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It's A Dog's Life: Yuletide Eccenticities

With the ‘joy’ of the giving and receiving of seasonal gifts fast approaching, Teddy shares his thoughts on human yuletide eccentricities, through his human portal, Helen Stockton

Now I’m a dog so I don’t really do shopping; I deploy staff. However, in the run up to Christmas, this shopping activity seems to take on a particular significance. It’s only my second Christmas with ‘Them Indoors’, but I’m already recognising the signs of the impending festivities. ‘Her Indoors’ makes lists and mutters under her breath, whilst ‘Him Indoors’ hides in the study, briefly appearing to moan in anticipation of the January credit card bill, and to sign gift tags with the correct moniker for the intended recipient. Occasionally he gets this wrong and signs ‘Dad’ when it should be ‘Uncle’ and gets told off. He should just use a paw-print like me, then he’d be okay.

A dog’s role in all of this is to watch out for signs of a bag from the pet shop to ensure canine needs have been met, chew any lists, wrapping paper or ribbon left carelessly lying around and to take firmly to their bed if it looks like things are getting a bit stressful. A good tactic!

‘Her Indoors’ present buying is reduced these days as the Juniors are grown-up and various family members have agreed not to buy for each other to avoid waste. However, in that peculiar way people have of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, ‘Her Indoors’ has decided to complicate matters by reducing her dependence on the home-delivered, smiley-face parcels, and try instead to make gifts or shop locally.

Making gifts is always a bit of a worry in case she branches out into knitting. As if it isn’t bad enough that shops sell dog Christmas jumpers, and one totally irresponsible national retailer is actually selling matching ones for owners and dogs, there are also some selling knitting patterns especially for canines. I’m watching her carefully but so far so good although I’m not relaxing my guard.

I have to say that shopping locally, seems like a good idea. Last year ‘Her Indoors’ ordered our Christmas meat from the village butcher and she took me with her to collect it. True, I had to wait outside with ‘Him Indoors,’ as for some unfathomable reason, dogs are not allowed in, but I did have the joy of following the bag all the way home. And I have to say I was particularly satisfied to discover what breed of dog our local butcher owns; you’ve guessed it, a miniature sausage dog.

If ‘Her Indoors’ wants help with any of the other shopping, I’m happy to oblige. I’m sure I’d be good at choosing presents. I reckon everyone would like a squeaky ball and some treats, and if not, I’m happy to deal with any returns rather than all that business with queuing and receipts. I’m a generous dog, what can I tell you. So if all else fails, take a canine approach to Christmas. Dispatch others to shop, avoid festive jumpers, enjoy your food and tear open your presents with glee. It works for me every time!