Ripe for the Picking

A house full of dogs, so it was a clever idea to have a Christmas tree loaded with all sorts of plush toys. Cute, Santa-hat wearing soft and cuddly puppies lined the sofa waiting for their rightful place on the tree. Boughs laden with real candy canes and colored lights highlighted all of the temptations like a neon sign in a store window, beckoning shoppers to browse the selections. And Chase was in a shopping kind of mood.

He restrained his canine urges for a few days before I caught him carefully plucking a toy from the tree. As he attempted his getaway, I ordered him to "drop it" and he was quick to obey. I retrieved the pilfered toy just in time to spy Chase picking several more from the forbidden tree. He was in a generous mood and had chosen several ornaments for the other dogs in the house. And just to ensure that this was the gift that kept on giving, he dutifully taught his canine companions how to select their own ornament. The deviant behavior extended far beyond the Christmas tree. I caught dogs attempting to pull the singing musical reindeer from an end table. One over sized stocking hung by the mantle with care had newly acquired teeth marks in the toe and the wiener dog had stockpiled miniature Christmas stockings that he found tucked away neatly within the branches of the tree.

Christmas canine chaos ruled the house for several days before the dogs finally began to understand the "new" annual rules and ceased their attempts to strip the tree bare. While the stuffed-animal themed Christmas tree was not my idea, I can't say that my Edgar Allan Poe themed Christmas tree on the sun porch was any better with its jet black bird glaring down from its lofty perch at my bird dog. "And quoth the raven, Nevermore".

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