By Julie Lux, Editor, goodnewsforpets.com
To get things started, here's one of the many holiday stories from, as my friend Charles Ferruzza calls our home, Casa Deluxe. Like most pampered pets, the Deluxe dogs each have their own Christmas stockings that are filled with treats and toys each year. (Actually, Gucci and Lindsay Ann have shopping bags to haul in the loot!) And, we have lots of funny and touching stories about holiday moments featuring our dogs. One of my favorites has to do with my Dalmatian, Ike, (Gucci's son) and a dog friend, Anita Crowell. For me, it was something of a holiday miracle.
My husband, Ron, and I often buy Christmas ornaments as souvenirs to remember places we visit. Quite a few years ago, on a trip to Chicago, we found a papier mache Dalmatian riding on a sled at the gift shop in the Ritz Carlton hotel. The ornament graced our tree until three years ago when Ike Lux decided it made a better chew toy than tree decoration. I was crushed to find the ornament in little pieces under the tree and sure I'd never find another one like it. Yes, I was upset, but, of course, the real Dalmatian, Ike, is certainly more important than any ornament, I thought. On Christmas Eve, we always have a friends and family for a dinner at our house. That year, we'd invited our friends Ivan and Anita Crowell to join us. Anita had just returned from visiting her daughter in Connecticut and happily handed me a little shopping bag with a gift she had found on her trip. A gift, she said, was "perfect" for me. Anita didn't realize just how perfect because, you guessed it; inside the bag was the exact ornament Ike had destroyed. Now, that's what I call a miracle. (That particular ornament now hangs close to the top of the tree, well out of Ike-range!)
That's just one of the Lux family canine Christmas memories. Here are a few more holiday tales and traditions from some of our Goodnewsforpets.com friends and family.
Jennifer Samolewicz, Public Relations and Patient Education, Global Business Management at the Pharmacia Corp. would never deny her favorite canine, at Christmas, or any other time of the year. "My dog, Midnight, has her own stocking. We fill it with gifts then watch her dig out the goodies on Christmas morning. She also has a green holiday collar with candy canes on it that she wears during December. Of course, everyday is Christmas for this dog. I'm constantly picking up her toys!"
A Special Holiday Memory from Bob Vella, host of Pet Talk America, www.pettalk.com, and author of "300 Incredible Things for Pet Lovers on the Internet", www.300incredible.com:
"Years ago at Christmas when I was in the fifth grade my parents gave me a special gift, a cockatiel named George. I had many other pets up to that point in my life but George proved to be very special over the years. George and I became very good friends and he went every where with me. He really liked the handle bars of my bike with his plume flying in the wind, what freedom.
When I moved out of my parents home I took George with me. When ever I talked about George I made it sound like he was human. I would invite people over to my home to meet George. When they saw him they were shocked that he was a bird! They thought he was my roommate.
For years people would ask me about George and were amazed when I said that he was still alive and healthy. George gave me the understanding of how to love an animal. He truly changed my life to the point that I decided to make animals my life calling.
I have been associated with pets and animals for over 24 years now. George lived to be 31 years of age. He died on New Years Day a few years ago. I loved that bird!"
Jeff Winton, Vice President Consumer Communications, Global Business Management, Pharmacia, Corp. and Jim Modica, Project Director for The Mercury Group, Inc., a qualitative medical market research company, are breeder/owner/exhibitors of many champion Whippets. But, their most memorable holiday story stars Jim's Siberian Husky.
Jim tells the tale: "I took Ted, the Siberian Husky, to visit his veterinarian's office to get his picture taken with Santa. A very social, good-natured dog, Ted was being his usual personable self, getting along with all the dogs while he waited his turn and sitting Santa's lap giving him kisses while he got his photo taken. As we were leaving, on the sidewalk outside the office, we encountered a fellow with two Mastiffs. All of a sudden, Ted stopped in his tracks, stared at the dogs and suddenly started growling as if he wanted to pick a fight with them. I pulled him away and asked him what he was so upset about. He just gave me a look with his big, blue eyes and would not take his eyes off those Mastiffs as I pulled him to the car. Later that evening, I was talking with Kathy Hefner, our veterinarian, and she was telling me how the staff at the animal hospital had remarked about what a good dog Ted was when he was in for his picture. Kathy went on to tell me about two Mastiffs that had come in just after we left - and attacked Santa! So, then, I understood why Ted had been so upset when he encountered the Mastiffs - he was attempting to protect Santa Claus."
Shelli Manning, Supervisor, Accounts & Web-based Services for Germinder & Associates, Inc. and gdmnews.com, LLC, relates a story that many of us can relate to. Whether it's a dog, cat, bird or other animal, Christmas trees are always vulnerable to "attack."
"When I was four I had a dog named Tippy, a black and white Chihuahua. My parents and I lived across the drive from my dad's parents. As was tradition, we walked over to my grandparents on Christmas Eve for the annual present opening. My parents made a point of leaving Tippy in a huge box in the living room just so he wouldn't bother the Christmas tree. Of course, he managed to escape from the box and had his own fun while we were gone. The tree was a huge, live tree that was sitting in the corner. He somehow managed to tip it over. When we came home, there were broken bulbs everywhere! How could such a big fat mess in our living room come from such a small dog? Actually, I don't remember this story myself, but my parents have told it many times and never cease to be amused.
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