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Dogs rule during the holiday visits

December 3, 2017

The thing I love about dogs is that they live in the moment. I know there are cat lovers out there too, but I feel that cats, who are smart and worldly, know just a little too much about my personal life.

But dogs are like the poster child for whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Whatever happened five minutes ago is long forgotten, forgiven and forever lost in a brain the size of a walnut. Don't get defensive now; I say this with all due respect, since my own brain is only as big as a sliver of lettuce.

That memory loss includes admonishments about not getting on the couch, barking over and over again at the sliding patio doors, and stealing loaves of bread off the counter. And that's just my memory loss. For dogs, the look you'll get is always, Who, me?

Recently, I visited my granddogs, a Golden Retriever the size of an aircraft carrier, with the attitude of someone who has just won the Miss America crown, and a Black Lab who is built like a heavily financed new building that could house an NBA team.

As soon as I pulled into the driveway, they rounded the corner from behind the house and put on the brakes; one look at the luggage and they realized they had hit the dog jackpot: treats, guest bedroom and best of all, no rules! Only baby talk would ruin that dream. Contrary to popular belief, dogs really despise baby talk.

Between their joyous sobbing and throwing themselves on the ground, I made a break for it. I reached the back door before they pulled themselves together and realized that I wouldn't be used as a tackling dummy.

Then the two posed outside the window like innocents seen on the family Christmas card. You know, the card where everyone is dressed alike, sitting in front of a fireplace, and the dog is in the middle with a matching Norwegian sweater.

But it's all worth it when Nan, as they call me, arrives. Because dogs love the holidays. Oh, it's not just the chance to wear those tiaras on their heads, the ones with the reindeer antlers.

They can tolerate that peculiar human idea of fun. And it's not being seen walking on a leash wearing a complicated snow scene sweater. No, the idea of dressing up in clothes is excusable, considering what insane attire their owners wear. I mean, black tights with an enormous butt sticking out? Get real.

No, the beauty of the holidays is the garbage can. It rules this time of year. With all that baking and sautéing, and don't forget the mother lode of sugar they dump in the can. Butter is everywhere.

The mutts at the dog park think shoes, especially stilettos, are real boss food, but intelligent dogs have given up the habit in favor of the gingerbread house at this time of year. Now that is some down-home eatin'.

The other great thing about the holidays is the entire family goes shopping. Ergo, the house is empty. The people are gone for hours. Dogs love to be home alone. No more enforced rules. They can watch cooking shows, CSI and their classic favorite movie, "Hotel Chihuahua."

Canines read the internet and have learned that stress shopping is the in condition today.

The more the stress for humans, the longer they shop, then the shopping itself stresses the human out, so when they get home, they are too tired to enforce the rules. Perfect!

Except for one fly in the ointment. Dog forensics. This is a little-known field to them. I check the beds and the sofa, and there is the evidence, the indentation. It's like a perfect chalk outline at a crime scene.

We know the forensic conclusion, we know the verdict and we know the broken rule.

But it's the holidays, so we both look the other way. Let the canine celebration begin.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.