Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Together at Christmas

We're finally settling back in at home after spending a nice Christmas holiday at my mother's house. My husband and I packed up the dogs and made the two-day road trip with a car stuffed full of luggage, gifts and outerwear for any sort of weather happenings on the way.

We had a quiet Christmas, just the three humans and the two dogs, and we profoundly missed the presence of my father, who passed away last spring. But, just as he would have wanted it, we cooked and ate too much delicious food, gave each other too many presents and spent a great deal of time relaxing, chatting and enjoying each other's company.

Christmastime always seems to have a bit more magic when children are around, even when the younglings are of the canine variety. This was Kirby's first Christmas, and the excitement level was at an all-time high. After spending a couple of days in the car, having free run of Grandma's house was a gift in and of itself. And the miracle of finding his same toys and crate there, was quite something.

Of course, Baxter is an old hand at Christmas and he demonstrated very well how to thoroughly sniff every package under the tree (in this case a potted palm) without disturbing any of the wrappings. The gift bags with catnip mats for our friends' felines and the boxes with the dogs' rawhide bones drew the most attention.

At the appropriate time, Baxter also demonstrated the proper technique for ripping paper off of presents. Baxter has always shown tremendous restraint at Christmas. For him both the wrapping of presents and the unwrapping of presents are team events (pretty much every present we've wrapped over the past seven years has had Griffon moustache hairs stuck in the Scotch tape...and this year they also had a bit of little mutt moustache).

Once opened, Kirby proceeded to steal Baxter's presents and Baxter returned the favor by stealing one of Kirby's new favorites (a rubber bouncy toy with a noise-maker in it). As usual, Baxter successfully bit through one end of the toy within minutes. Kirby didn't mind, because he somehow managed to collect BOTH rawhide bones and both fleece squeaky toys, which he assembled into a little pile next to the chair. Kirby alternated chewing and squeaking for the better part of the evening and Baxter enjoyed keeping an eye on the delicious food items being enjoyed by the alphas.

By the next day it was pretty obvious that we once again had too much of a good thing. Kirby ran, over-cranked and unfocused, from one toy to another as if he couldn't decide what to do next. We removed most of them and doled them out a couple at a time for the rest of the week, just to keep things interesting.

We had a pleasant (but long) ride home and Kirby once again confirmed that he's a good little traveler. Baxter has always been great on the road and the two of them just nestled into their beds and slept most of the way.

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