“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!’ ~Dave Barry, “Christmas Shopping: A Survivor’s Guide”
Judy and I typically celebrate a very low key Christmas. We attend a worship service of some type and display a tree often decorated with hand-made ornaments that Judy produces in the weeks before Christmas. We now fix dinner at home and our favorite part of the day: letting the dogs unwrap their presents.
The last part of the tradition has taken strong hold with our Papillon-Dachshund mix Molly. Molly savors everything and while our previous Dachshunds went along with the presents game, Molly tears into her presents unwrapping them with great zeal. Our nearly one year old Papillon puppy Minnie figured out what to do with her presents quickly as well and ripped them open with great aplomb. So I expect that this little tradition will continue for quite some time.
Molly is now 11 and going on 12 years old. This year she went from having great eyesight to being mostly blind. It happened very quickly, within the past few months. She is adjusting much faster than I thought that she would or for that matter faster than I would. At first I was really worried wondering if she would adjust and what it would mean to her and us, but she not only adjusted but is doing quite well.
She is still happy, playful and energetic. She makes adjustments in the house feeling her way up and down the 2 steps leading to our living room and making note of where the walls and doors are. She is re-learning our back yard and compensating for the blindness by being more careful, listening carefully and sensing where things are, especially Minnie. Molly has taken to chasing Minnie in a game of cat and mouse, with Minnie dancing around while Molly tracks her. Sometimes it is funny because Molly will simply wait until Minnie gives her location, usually behind me on the beanbag away.
When she is prowling Molly now kind of reminds me of a Shark. Of course we all know that sharks have terrible eyesight and rely on other senses such as sound and smell to find, track and kill their prey. Molly is now our Red Land Shark.
Last night after coming home from dinner with our friends we were preparing to watch the 3D version of Men in Black 3 on the television-entertainment system that I won last week. Since I have few technical ability our friend Randy came over to set it up the other day. Randy is like “The Tree that Knows Stuff” in the comic strip Over the Hedge while I am more like RJ the Raccoon.
To use a different movie character illustration, when it comes to technical things I am like Donald Sutherland’s character “Oddball” in the movie Kelly’s Heroes. There is a scene in the movie when asked by Telly Savalas’ character “Big Joe” about why he is not up fixing his tank with his crew Oddball replied: “I only ride ’em, I don’t know what makes ’em work.” That was pretty much me when I started opening boxes and reading directions. Thankfully Randy, our Tree that Knows Stuff was able to come over and help.
I think the whole aversion to putting things like this together, comes from watching my dad’s valiant efforts to help us build the gifts that advertised “some assembly required” and “batteries not included” at Christmas. But I digress….
Like I was saying…while we were getting ready to watch the movie Judy noticed Minnie with a flour tortilla on our couch. Now we wondered if it was something that she had hidden there and just pulled out. However she was back in the kitchen and came back with another tortilla. We then realized what was going on. For the first time the two had worked together for a common goal. As we looked into the dinning room we saw that Molly was going in and out the the kitchen. The two dogs had found that I had forgotten to unpack a bag of groceries. In the bag they discovered a family size pack of flour tortillas, which Molly, yes Molly the blind, but not helpless had gotten into. It was the first time that the two dogs had worked together on a theft, and I hate to say I was proud of them. We were laughing so hard. Of course we had to put a stop to their revelry but it was fun while it lasted. Molly had a tortilla rolled up in her mouth and appeared to be trying to act like it wasn’t there.
Molly is not the first dog that we have had to assume that we were too incompetent to notice her thievery, our Wire Hair Dachshund Frieda was much worse.
Anyway, we are preparing our Christmas dinner and will enjoy a quiet night with our girls.
Peace and Merry Christmas to All,