Come on, Christmas. I'm ready. The house is clean (kinda). The gifts are wrapped (well, halfway). The menu is done (the cooking is not). The tree is decorated (only took a week to get around to it).
Yes. I'm ready.
Dozer seems more ready than me. He is deeply disturbed by the presence of the tree. It's a bit larger than usual, true, and it does loom ominously as a result. Bigger is not always better. Next year I'm going to pick something a tad more suitable. (But it didn't look nearly as large on the lot, I swear!)
Dozer also participates in the bizarre gift-wrapping ritual that my husband and I go through every year. I say it's bizarre because we always pile the unwrapped gifts under the tree, then wrap them at the last minute. Because we have family members at our house constantly, the unwrapped gifts are a source of stress--what if Mom comes over and sees her amazing gift sitting there? The surprise is ruined! Quick, throw a sheet over it in a way that doesn't look totally suspicious. I don't know why we don't wrap as we buy. It would make life a lot less ridiculous.
Anyway, that's beside the point. Dozer, for some weird reason, likes to "help" with the gift-wrapping, which takes place on our living room floor. I bring down the paper, scissors, and tape from my office, settle onto the floor, and almost immediately find myself the target of a huge, excited white dog. He sits on me. He puts his head on my leg. His lips caress each gift--each mysterious box, each paper or plastic bag, each price tag I yank off. I pick up the scissors, and Dozer shoves his wet nose between the blades--sniff sniff sniff. I have to reach over his bulk to spread out the wrapping paper.
What on earth is this dog's problem? He's always directly between me and the gift. And if I dare to look at him or talk to him ("Dozer, move your fat head"), he starts licking my face uncontrollably.
I suppose he thinks some or all of these gifts are for him. Or perhaps it's my mistake for letting him "help" by tearing apart some of the unnecessary cardboard boxes. It actually was helpful (we must flatten for recycling), but now I have to rein in his new desire to rip apart ALL the boxes and packages.
To Dozer's credit, he has been very good about it all. This is his first year being left unsupervised and uncrated around the Christmas decorations and gifts. I expected at least one chewed candy cane or one torn gift, but the only thing he's done so far is discover his own Christmas gift. That was my mistake, as I left it on the floor in a Petco bag. Amazingly, he pulled his gift out of the bag but did not touch the cat toys or the dog toys that I had bought for friend and family pets. I guess we really know Dozer well, since he self-selected the gift intended for him.
Unfortunately, I hadn't taken the packaging off the toy yet. Fortunately, Dozer apparently realized it was not in a condition to be played with; he abandoned it on the dining room floor and we found it easily when we got home--it was still in perfect condition. Byrd stuck it in Dozer's stocking.
Oh yes. The stocking. It's a little depressing: it says "DOGS." Depressing for me, I guess. Dozer could care less. There's no way he remembers Fel after all this time.