Chase loved Christmas. It wasn’t about all of the people visiting or the new food smells or even the decorations. This dog was all about the presents.
For his very first Christmas, my roommate and I hastily selected a live tree two days before the 25th and chose a spot in the dining room corner out of convenience and the ability to straighten the tree out by tying it to two walls. Chase and my roommate’s cat, Samantha, were fascinated with the tree. Chase was more intrigued with the presents under the tree and when an opportunity presented itself, he would attempt to snatch a gift for himself. I finally had to remove all of the presents and hide them in a closet.
This idea of entitlement did not stop at my front door. When visiting the homes of friends and family, Chase would sniff around their Christmas trees, too and select gifts that he deemed appropriate for himself. He had a knack for finding the gifts that held stuffed animals and other toys.
Christmas arrived and I spent it with my family. I had wrapped a few gifts for Chase and figured that I would give them to him after we had opened all of ours. Chase patiently watched his family “ooh and ahh” over presents. Paper and bows were strewn across the floor. He was becoming increasingly impatient and vocal about his unhappiness to participate in gift opening. I called my dog over and handed him one of his special presents. He gently took it in the folds of his jowls, moved to the exact center of the room, and plopped to the floor. As he held the gift between his paws, he slowly and carefully removed the paper until he had revealed a new plush chew toy. His gift unwrapping talent was not a fluke. He demonstrated his technique several times more, tail wagging in happy anticipation.Five years later and Chase still loved opening gifts. Family and friends would bring him presents to unwrap during the Christmas season and the joy of watching one silly dog reveal the gift inside the wrappings is remarkable. For me, my dog shows that it is clearly more fun to give than receive.