01/07/2013 10:43 am ET Updated Mar 09, 2013

My Christmas Sweetheart


Oh how I dreaded the thought!! No, not the thought of having 15 very loud relatives over... not the thought of all the cooking, cleaning and preparations I would have to do... no, no, no. I dreaded the thought of how pup would behave after everyone was gone!

Please, let me explain. Last October during Thanksgiving, pup had behaved like a dream. It wasn't until everyone had left, and my overnight guests were getting ready for bed, that pup decided he didn't feel like sleeping. He actually kept us awake all night, barking from midnight to 8am every hour on the hour. Well, this time, the only overnight guest we had was my mom, and I certainly didn't want the poor lady to be kept awake. Hubby decided that today we would do everything the complete opposite of that fateful October day.

The day started like any other. We got up, we walked the dog in the morning. Then, hubby and I proceeded to clean the house and start up the cooking... but, learning from our mistakes, we tried to keep to pup's routine as much possible. At lunch time, I dropped everything I was doing, and took pup out for a walk (he's used to me coming home at lunchtime every day, and I kept to the same route). After we came home, I continued my cooking and cleaning, and pup took his usual midday nap (man that pup sleeps a heck of a lot!!)

As hubby and I continued our work, we put on soothing Christmas music instead of the upbeat rock we listened to during our cooking last October. Pup seemed good with that as he lay on the floor and had a deep, deep sleep.

Around 4pm, roughly an hour and a half before the guests would arrive, son took pup out for another walk. Once again, pup is used to son walking him after school, so once again, in pup's mind, he was just following his usual routine.

Once the guests started arriving and the noise got louder and louder, hubby and I exchanged nervous glances but it was okay -- pup wasn't too excited with all of this. He was just happy to have new people around him showering him with affection.

As we sat at the dining room table, carving the turkey, pouring the wine, and everyone talking above everyone else, pup just sat and looked at us.. perfectly happy with all this life and activity in the house. At one point, I asked hubby if he knew where pup was (as I had noticed he wasn't in his usual spot). One of the guests told me that pup was under the table, sitting on one of the guests' bare feet.. keeping them toasty warm.

I have to say, after 7 months of putting up with his biting, pulling, growling, jumping, leash-biting habits, this was the first time that pup really felt like the family pet. He was just wonderful. A real pleasure!

Finally, once all the guests were gone and the dishes cleared, hubby took him on his last walk of the day. The snow had started falling heavily at that point, and, as I looked out the window, I could see pup frolicking out in the snow, trying to grab snowflakes out of the sky. I finally felt something that had been evading me for 7 months. I finally started feeling a warmth spread over me as I saw how happy he was. Yep, on that Christmas day, my pup gave me the greatest present of all.... pup gave me the gift of love.