I volunteered to dog sit my friend’s Labrador/Irish Setter/Golden Retriever mix while they visit family for the holidays. That’s hardly noteworthy, as Sean spends a lot of time over here and is the only dog my Dribbler tolerates in his space.
We’ve known Sean since he was a pup, so we’re well aware he was taught not to go upstairs and thus whines something fierce if you head to the upper regions of the house without formally inviting him to follow. We know this Marmaduke of a dog thinks he’s lap sized and wants to cuddle constantly.
He can’t eat table scraps and if he gets out of the gate, he loves to play chase. He’s scared spitless of thunderstorms and despises water of all sorts: swimming pools, puddles, showers, hoses. Sean does adore car rides, other dogs, and people, enough so that he lets us throw confetti all over him on New Year’s Eve.
No ornaments were harmed in making this photo
So this weekend doggie play date didn’t trigger any special alarm bells. I had his arthritis pills in my coat pocket and a few extra chew bones in the drawer. What more could I need?
Well, stupid me. I’m out of super glue.
In the first 12 hours, Sean has managed to destroy the bottom half of my Christmas tree. The first time he flat ran into it when my dog started a game of chase — for which Dribbler promptly found himself in a stay position to calm his excited, holiday-hyped self down. (Sorry, fellow dog lovers. The bigger the dog, the slower the jog.)
Not 30 minutes later, Sean stopped smack in front of the tree and begged to be petted. Twap! His tail took off the koala from Australia, a green rocking horse and the little outhouse that opens to display Santa on the john. When my husband came home, Sean again begged for attention in that same spot — did I mention he likes people and he’s stubborn? — and wham! The Pillsbury Doughboy took one for the team.
The next victim is when I started to get ticked. Sean’s tail assaulted the little fuzzy bear with his megaphone. That bear is a senior citizen, having first appeared on the tree in 1984, when the store won our business by offering half the cost of an expensive Mountain King brand in free ornaments. Not to mention he was going A Rod on the green rocking horse – no youngster itself — and sending it 10 feet across the floor.
There’s a dog this morning that can give you another, less positive, definition of “get outta here.”