Yes it’s beginning to look like Christmas – oh we don’t have the snow but we do have the tree. And, yes, I have it up and fully decorated. No, you may not see it yet. That is for Friday’s post so you will have to be patient a little longer.
Today’s story does, however, involve the tree. You see, I have learned from past Christmas seasons that the one thing more important than any other in this house is to keep the tree secured and safe from the stealing paws of EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer. She has in the past stolen and chomped on many ornaments, even destroying some old family treasures, much to my displeasure.
I learned several years ago to put baby gates up to protect the tree from her midnight raids. We put up the tree in a corner of our dining room so a gate goes across the dining room entrance to the kitchen, and another gate is set up among chairs going from the dining room into the living room. Sounds confusing and it doesn’t look very nice, but it serves the purpose.
So there I was this afternoon sitting on the couch watching a DVR of Dollhouse and having a wonderful time while Devoted Spouse was in the living room reading. What is that noise I hear? It sounds suspiciously like chewing…chewing on some type of wood…there is loud crunching involved. Nah…we have baby gates. Devoted Spouse must be eating Trail Mix and he’s just being overly loud about it.
I continued watching Dollhouse when that little alarming bell in the far reaches of my brain went off. What if one of the baby gates wasn’t up? Could that sound be EmmaLou eating one of my ornaments?
Yup. I raced into the dining room to find that the baby gate had been moved. There EmmaLou was on the floor by the tree and she had one of my ornaments, a cluster of wooden cherries, complete with wiring, in her jaws and she was thoroughly enjoying chewing. I pried her jaws apart – no easy feat – and managed to get my hand in her mouth — yes I got a few war wounds. Giving up those wooden cherries was not on her agenda. I finally pried the entire cluster from her mouth, plus the two she had pried off the original cluster. She continued chewing and swallowed. I examined what was left of the ornament and I don’t think she really ate anything dangerous, she might have gotten a wood chip or two, but the wires were still intact. This is what she tried unsuccessfully to consume:
I was livid. She thought it was a new game and started racing around the house to stuff into her mouth as many toys as possible so I could pry them loose also. Grrrr…
Crisis averted narrowly. Devoted Spouse and I reminded each other of the danger to her of the Christmas tree and we both vowed to make sure those gates are up and EmmaLou is nowhere close to that tree unsupervised ever again.
She knew she had done wrong – I ignored her for several hours and to EmmaLou that is a fate worse than death. It is her usual punishment when she has been a bad dog. That, and a mugshot to add to the books. Oh, and I signed her up for a new 12-step program:
It has been a nerve-wracking experience — my fingers are raw from having her bite me as she continued to chew the wooden cherries and I’m on my last dog stunt nerve. EmmaLou has been warned that there is a Puppy Farm and they have a room waiting for her if she tries this stunt again. If she attends her OEA meetings and makes amends, I may forgive this incident. Given her past history, I’m not hopeful; once an ornament eater, always an ornament eater.