Do you want to know my new year’s resolution? I want to put an end to the whole “Who’s a good girl?” debate. 

Once and for all, I want my owner to say that I am a good girl—unequivocally. Me. Yours truly. Holly J. Hound Dog.

I am The Good Girl.

But to be honest, I am gonna have to make some effort. I wasn’t exactly best in show this past December. 

As a result, I didn’t get coal in my stocking—I received a six-roll pack of poop bags.

Poop. Bags.

Dear Santa,
What’s your return policy?

Deck the halls with tasty trouble—pets and decorations

My saga began right after turkey day. Seemingly overnight, my home went from a magical food paradise to some kind of alternate universe, where tasty morsels are considered decoration, and I am not supposed to eat them—not the gingerbread house covered in candy, the popcorn-cranberry garland, the candy canes hung from staircase railing, or the little salted dough ornaments on that tree, which spontaneously took root in the middle of the living room.

My family thinks I’m weird because I dig holes in the yard? After I got in trouble for trying to eat food-based decorations, I learned the hard way that I should keep my paws off all the decorations, including the nonfood items:

  • Candles — That fire was not my fault—and it was contained.  
  • Ornaments — In my defense, these look like shiny tennis balls. Word to the wise, they do not bounce.
  • Figurines — The little baby in the manger looked cold, so I put him in my dog bed. I’m pretty sure I should be commended, not disciplined.
  • Holiday plants Lilies are extremely toxic to cats and can cause acute kidney failure. No matter how mean the neighbor cat is to me, I will refrain from putting lilies in his water dish. Poinsettias have a bad rap too, but they’re actually harmless—does that remind you of anyone?

Three French hens—pets and the holiday meal

I really expected this holiday meal to be a lot like Turkey Day, but my family must be one green bean short of a casserole. All they did was serve up stuff that would make me seriously ill, such as:

  • Ham — Oh honey, this glistening porcine piece of perfection was calling my name—and I am sure that pineapple slice with a cherry in the middle was winking at me— but this prime cut can trigger pancreatitis, a life-threatening inflammatory condition.
  • Onions, garlic, and leeks — Name one side dish that does not contain these red blood cell-damaging ingredients. You can’t. Pass me the kibble.
  • Salted nuts — Sometimes you feel like a nut. But if you’ve got four feet and a tail, no nuts for you. All nuts are dangerously high in fat, and macadamia nuts can cause me and my canine colleagues severe lethargy, fever, vomiting, and hind end weakness.   
  • Chocolate — What are people thinking when they name their dog Coco? Steer clear of this toxic treat in any form.
  • Xylitol-sweetened treats Xylitol is like a lump of coal hiding in an otherwise appealing sugar-free dessert. This pet-toxic sugar substitute causes severe hypoglycemia and potential liver damage. 

While my—ahem, former—loved ones were busy feasting on pet-prohibited provisions, I found some leftover bones in an unsecured trash can. I settled down for a long winter’s chew when my mom came crashing in like a runaway reindeer. She said something about choking, splintering, and intestinal obstructions, and snatched away my prize.

I’d bet a biscuit she buried that bone under her pillow, so she could chew on it later.

Timber! Pets and the holiday tree

Like most of my canine and feline pals, I was mystified—but altogether elated—to find a real tree in my living room. My people marveled at the fresh pine scent, but all my nose detected was eau de chipmunk. 

To my surprise, when I lunged at that tree—attempting to dislodge any chipmunks—the stately pine fell over! I have never knocked down a tree before. My family seemed surprised too. Later that day, the tree was anchored to the wall and the ceiling.

Later, my owner scolded me when I was trying to drink from the tree’s bowl. They said that was dangerous—tree water is filled with bacteria and chemical fertilizer. While trying to get away from that dangerous tree water, I was all tangled in the tree’s branches, and ensnared in those twinkling lights. Forced to chew myself free, I felt a terrible shock. The next thing I know, I’m confronted by the Ghost of Christmas Past, warning me to get my act together.

I woke up at Walnut Creek Veterinary Hospital where the veterinary team said I’d suffered tongue burns and minor electrical shock. To protect me from that trouble-causing pine, my owners put a fence around the tree, and a gate at the living room entrance—looks like they’ll do anything to protect that fir—and mine.

New year, new me—a pet’s resolution

I’m sure by now you understand why I landed on the naughty list. I could say I was overcome with the holiday spirit, but the truth is, I’m only a dog—but a sweet one. The holiday season is an overwhelming sensory experience for us pets—and sometimes we act on instinct.

To all the pets who hear my story, I hope you have owners as good as mine—ones who look out for you and keep you safe. I suppose that’s the best gift a pet could ever receive—a family who loves them and knows when to call Walnut Creek Veterinary Hospital

Next year, I’ll do better. I’ll be the good girl everyone’s always asking about.

But for now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to help my owners make use of my Christmas gifts—the boring poop bags. 

Give your pet the gift of health this holiday season—schedule a visit to Walnut Creek Veterinary Hospital.