On our nightly walks that Dad and I go on, I’ve started to notice the decorations that some of the neighbors have up.
I can sense the nip in the air. It must be getting close to my favorite time of year – the holidays!
The house is all warm and cozy and Mom puts up all kinds of great decorations. The best part is, the kids all come home and they bring their own kids with them!
Mom and Dad get so excited to see the grandkids and so do I.
I remember protecting the kids when they lived here. I watched over the whole family while they would sleep at night and now I do the same for the grandkids when they come to visit.
I’m getting older, so my joints ache a little bit and I may not be as fast as I once was, but nothing is going to happen to this family while I’m on the lookout.
I think I heard Mom in the attic the other night. I wondered what she was doing up there, but now I’m betting she was getting the lights and candles and that funny looking turkey that always sits on the table. I think one of the kids may have made it in first grade or something.
And, oh the food. I love all the food that Mom makes and some of the kids help her now that they’re older.
I’ve noticed if I sit close to the little ones, I might get a nibble or two that drops on the floor. If I use my trademarked big, brown eyes on them long enough, they’ll usually give me a bite of the turkey. Mmmmm. That’s good stuff.
I also like that at some point before everyone digs in, they all go around the table and tell us what they’re most thankful for. The grandkids come up with some of the funniest things! I’m still not sure what those little thin noisy screens are, but the little ones sure seem to love them.
And I’m going to have to remember to ask one of the dogs at the dog park the next time we visit if they know who or what on earth this Iron Man is that everyone keeps talking about. I’ll figure it out one day.
My favorite thing about the thankful talk is inevitably someone will mention me – that the family is grateful that I’m here. That always makes me take a deep breath as the warm feeling floods my chest. My family is so important to me.
The kids usually eat too much pumpkin pie smothered in cool whip and get what Mom calls a “sugar high” and we go outside into the dark back yard to play a game of football. It’s so much fun to run and jump and play with everyone.
Mom’s usually got enough lights all over the house that it’s not all that dark, anyway.
The next day we usually get the Christmas tree from a farm just down the road and everyone helps to decorate. I’m not allowed near the tinsel, but Mom usually has a story or two about the ornaments and the kids groan at the decorations they made when they were really young and how some of the macaroni is all chipped off, but Mom won’t stop putting them on the tree.
I’m so excited!
Two days later, when Dad and I get back from our walk, Mom’s on the phone talking to one of the kids and making plans and when she hangs up, she looks at me and says, “It won’t be long until we’re all back together again under one roof.”
I hope she knows when I wag my tail it means I can’t wait either.
Jennifer Vanderau is the Publications and Promotions Consultant for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and can be reached at [email protected]. The shelter accepts both monetary and pet supply donations. For more information, call the shelter at 263-5791 or visit the website www.cvas-pets.org. CVAS also operates a thrift store in Chambersburg. Help support the animals at the shelter by donating to or shopping at the store.