It was a Canine Christmas night “Out on the Town”. Ten dogs invited their human parents to join them at the Doggie Pot Luck Christmas party being held at Raymond’s and Blenda’s Dog House.
In a crowded 10 x 16′ living-dining room, 10 doggies greeted one another and played. Cautiously, their parents watched the proceedings.
With all dogs and guests having arrived safely, the parents of the dogs gathered round the dining room table helping themselves to the delicious array of food including spiral ham, scalloped potatoes, Thai noodle salad, ginger carrots, and homemade Christmas cupcakes.
One by one, the parents of the dogs filled their plates and returned to either their chairs, or the couch. Meanwhile, 10 faithful dogs patiently eyed the food. Rather than jumping up and grabbing, the ten dogs caroused the floor hunting for any scraps that might miraculously have dropped to the floor from heaven. Some scraps did fall, and were immediately cleaned up. One dog named Happy who is a 7-year old Labradoodle and loves food very, very much lurked in the shadows strategically scheming. When all dog-owners were seated and the coast was clear, Happy concluded her timing was perfect. She snuck under the dining room table and with one gallant leap and an open mouth grabbed hold of two big pieces of ham. “Yum,” Happy said to herself, “I did it. What a coo!”
Indeed, this was a hammy situation! Out of the corner of his eyes, host Raymond saw the sneak attack and yelled at Happy, “Stop!” Raymond’s voice was commanding. Instinctively Happy knew she had best comply. Quickly she devoured her prize ham. Much to Happy’s surprise, she met with more laughter than scolding.
With more laughter than scolding, Happy figured, “I did a good thing. I awakened everyone. I gave them a good laugh, and I got my prize ham. Now I’m a Canine Heroine.”
Following the ham incident, the loud buzz in the room started to calm. This gave the adults an opportunity to better appreciate the dogs. It was fun to see dogs dressed up in Christmas Splendour. Lydia was wearing a pink lace Tutu around her long, weiner-like body. Lydia is a 1-year old mixed mutt therapy dog who I think looks like a mixture of Dachshund, Jack Russell, and Heinz-57.
Bandit and Bently, 4-year old Shih Tzus, were decked out in red and green sparkles looking like two adorable Christmas doggie ornaments. Little dainty Daisy who is a 5-year old Pomeranian/Yorkie was dressed in a regal full-body princess outfit. Adding more glee to the package was the big Labradoodle’s mom named Bonnie wearing a necklace adorned with sparkling Christmas lights.
With all the doggie sights and sounds to see and hear, our humble living room resounded with Christmas glee. The gallous atmosphere added to the flavor of the delicious food. Many guests went back for seconds.
When the dinner was finished, as hostess I asked for a volunteer to share a little story that they remembered, perhaps cherished, about their dog. Bonnie volunteered to go first. Bonnie was the only parent with a large doggie present, and her dog was the large Labradoodle named Star. Star even looked like a star sitting regally next to his Mom. Bonnie told us about her dog, “Star grew up with a little puppy who stayed small while he grew bigger. Star loved his friend so much that he learned to dance around his friend never stepping on her. Sometimes Star would even roll on his back letting his friend play upon his belly.”
When Bonnie finished her story, I handed her a green bag that contained a dog toy for each dog. There were fourteen toys in the bag. I believed that Bonnie would reach in for a toy, but NO she surprised me. Instead Bonnie put the bag in front of Star. Ever so gently Star took his big snout and started exploring the treasures within the bag. The room went absolutely silent. All human and canine eyes were riveted, spellbound, upon Star as he carefully examined each toy determined to discover his perfect toy. After a whole minute passed, Star lifted from deep down in the bag a festive, squeaky red bone. Everyone clapped. Next Star started squeaking his new red bone. All “you-know-what” broke loose as a chorus of 9 dogs started barking. We humans unanimously decided that all squeak toys would be safely stored away for “at-home” use.
As hostess and dog sitter, I was absolutely astounded as each parent told their story and every dog patiently waited until the chosen dog selected his/her perfect toy. Such attention and mutual canine respect was amazing. It was as if each dog was saying, “I respect my friend and know when it comes my turn I will receive the same respect. This is the unwritten Law-of-Fur-Ball-Respect & Attraction.”
Of course, when it came to Happy’s turn, she had to ham-it-up! She sniffed and routed round in the bag. Her owner, Nelson said, “Well, there is no way Happy will choose the rope. Happy does not play tug-of-war.” Less than ten seconds later, Happy proudly pulled out the rope and tantalized her Dad to join her in a game of tug-of-war. Nelson complied. All dogs and humans laughed ourselves silly. Happy was our Humor Heroine.
What a conniving character Happy is and how she made us laugh. No wonder her dad was able to boast about how adaptable Happy is no matter where she is staying – Nelson travels a lot so Happy gets to visit with many people while Dad is away.
There were other great stories including the one by Nelida of her dog named Sparkey who many people believe was the perfect dog—Sparkey minded his business and actually obeyed his mom. Nelida told about Sparkey and how Sparkey would lay on her daughter’s tummy while she was pregnant guarding and warming her unborn babies. Nelida said, “Sparkey always kept my daughter named Maria in sight. Then when Maria gave birth and there were two babies, Sparkey would run from one baby to the next when they cried doing his utmost to comfort them until Mommy could tend to them. Sparkey became Mommy’s Canine-Baby-Nurse.”
During the party our lively 4-year old Jack Russel named Buddy ran around stirring up the other dogs when things went too quiet. Then after a good play session Buddy would jump with passion right back into his Mom’s lap knowing full well how irresistible he is. Lacey, the darling Mexican rescue Chihuahua, who has often been the instigator, snapped only once at another dog. Quite unexpectedly, Lacey decided to help keep the peace. This evening Lacey proved herself as a true rescue dog. Who says dogs can’t change. Lacey’s mom certainly loves her little dog and with a big hug let Lacey know that she is the most special, loved dog in the whole wide world.
Bentley and Bandit, the two 4-year old Shih Tzus showed their team work. When one ventured down from the safe perch on their parent’s lap to play with the doggies, the other would watch guard. If anything happened that was threatening, the other would be right there with a deep throated growl warning the other dog in no uncertain terms that they are an unbeatable team.
Little Pom/Yorkies, Duke and Daisy are somewhat the same way protecting each other; however, Duke is such a card that he often gets led astray when another dog wants to play. Once he starts playing, Duke gets full-blown into the action. Often I saw him looking to see if any of the dog gifts were balls. His first love in toys is balls, and he can destroy a normal tennis ball in a matter of minutes.
Last, but certainly not least, there was Michelle’s Koda. Koda is a purebred Pomeranian and handsome as a button. Koda had the distinction of not only being the oldest dog present at 10-years old, but also the smallest dog. Saving the best until last, Koda showed everyone that it isn’t size that matters. Koda stood proud and tall and when a big dog tried to bully him, Koda stood-his-ground. His stance revealed his thoughts, “You watch out buster, I may be small, but I am powerful. With my smarts and self-confidence, I will keep you in line. Respect me, and all will be dog-gone well!”
With gifts all opened, Nelson got out his guitar and we sang Christmas carols. Guests parted company on a need-be basis. As the guests departed, I realized what a wonderful gift of joy the party had proven itself to be. Within the last two months, one lady had lost her husband, another had lost her dad, and a third lady was about to visit her sick uncle. In the logic of synergy, it is said that 1 plus 3 in energy is much more than 3. In synergetic fact it is multiplied by itself so would has the energetic power of 9. Thus using the logic of synergy, with our ten dogs we guests enjoyed an equivalency of 100 dogs worth of fun, laughter and unconditional love! What a dog-gone Merry Christmas!
Thank you dogs and dog-owners all over the world. Thank you for your love. If you like this true story of inspiration, please pass it on to other dog lovers.
Images © Blenda Pilon & Nelson Brunanski
Guest Author Bio
I remember being single, lonely and putting my little fur-ball named Sparkle up to my heart. As I held Sparkle I could feel his slow, soft heartbeat. My heart warmed and softened. Magical doors of expanded love began opening, embracing me, and protecting me from past hurts. Continued experiences such as this started me on a wonderful adventure in learning.
When my husband’s and my recent dog that was a Border Collie Lab died, I decided to dog sit rather than own our own dog. This enabled me to more full heartedley enter into an exchange with the dogs. My main gift to them was my absolute love of dogs combined with being a dog owner for thirty years. Adding to this was seventeen years as a relationship therapist in private practice, ten plus years as a metaphysical minister, and being an author.
While dog sitting over the past three years, I found myself irresistibly drawn to writing about my experiences. A central theme emerged. The dogs were instructing me about unconditional love. Among things, they taught me the importance of play, how when challenged to stay calm rather than be driven by anger, and the way to deepen my intuitive capacities as my most powerful communication tool. I invite you to read my book of heart-warming stories: “DOG SECRETS as Whispered to the Dog Sitter.”
Blog / Website: Dog Secrets Whispered