Asa and I have reached an important milestone! Mom is trusting us with our very own, fully decorated, Christmas tree! It only took me 5 long years to achieve this goal. No thanks to Lemmy, who sabotaged my first Christmas by decorating a tree with tennis balls! But after years of enjoying the Christmas tree from afar, or having one without any decorations just ribbons and lights, we finally have our own tree in the living room! Ok, so Mom still doesn’t completely trust us. Asa and I are continue to only be allowed supervised visits with the main tree that has the sentimental ornaments in the other room, but we’re making progress! So for all our new puppy friends who will be enjoying their first Christmas this year, and as a reminder for our older friends who may need a refresher, here is the advice I gave Asa for his first Christmas with us.
Ultimate Puppy Challenge December 2015
An open letter to Asa: Since entering our family, I have been training you for the Ultimate Puppy Challenge, or what humans refer to as the Christmas Season. For the entire month of December, you will be faced with all sorts of temptations, and through them all you must remember your training. One misstep and you could miss out on all the fun. And worse yet, I may also get punished due to guilt by association. So you must be strong and resist all temptations! I will be right by your side though, coaching you on all the obstacles so that we all may have a very merry Christmas.
Obstacle One: The Christmas Tree. Everyone knows our favorite way to relax is to chew on a stick in the backyard. But now it is winter and our time outside is limited. So what do our parents do? They bring a tree into the house! Now this is where things can get really confusing. You see their “tree” looks like a pine tree, but it definitely doesn’t smell like one, much less taste like one. Please don’t ask me how I know this about the taste. I have considered telling Mom and Dad that it is fake, but realize we can use this tree to better prepare us for the challenges that lay ahead. Because soon we will be visiting family and friends who have actual real trees inexplicably placed inside their homes. Under no circumstances can you eat it! In fact stay as far away from this tempting treat as you can! Humans get very angry if the tree is missing a branch, or worse yet should happen to fall down. And never, I repeat NEVER, use the tree to relieve nature’s call, even if Dad’s face has been buried in his computer for hours and hasn’t noticed your pleas to go out.
Obstacle Two: Ornaments. Now this tree will most likely be covered in balls. But these are not the balls that we play fetch with. No, these shiny ornaments are of great sentimental value, and humans get quite upset if you decide to play with them. Also, these balls can be dangerous because many are made of glass. Why would they possibly make glass balls? Isn’t fetch with tennis balls difficult enough? Glass balls are just preposterous! But I digress… Just leave the balls on the tree alone. Beware of traps too. I’ll never forget the Christmas when Lemmy decorated a tree with actual tennis balls. How was I suppose to know they were for “decoration”?! Well you’re in luck little brother. Unlike Lemmy who was no help in guiding me through the pitfalls of Christmas, I’ll help you resist the temptation of this bizarre ritual. I find chanting “leave it, leave it, leave it,” over and over again in my head as I enter a room really helps.
I guess this is enough coaching for now. I don’t want to overwhelm you. We’ll continue this lesson later with a discussion on unnerving elves, and the most difficult challenge of all – Santa breaking into our home! These are dangerous times my friend, but together we will make it through the Ultimate Puppy Challenge!
Love your big brother, Chuck Billy
The Evolution of Our Christmas Trees: