holiday

Izzy and the Holiday Shindig

Every year, I invite my faculty and staff to my house for an annual holiday party.  People tend to come in “shifts” — ten or twenty at a time, over a three-hour span.  During the past couple of years, I’ve had one of my friends “babysit” Izzy or I’ve left him in the back yard.  This year, I decided to give him the ultimate test and let him stay for the whole party.  This is a big deal considering he’s gone from being the most antisocial dog I’ve ever had to a dog that now likes to say “hey” to his neighborhood friends but is still nervous about me having anyone over for dinner.  I have to admit I was nervous.

I gave him a bath that morning.  He’s had an issue with dry skin recently, so I used that as an excuse, but the truth is that I wanted him to look and smell nice when everyone came.  My next door neighbor, Deb, told me that afternoon when I took him for a walk, “I’m surprised you don’t have a bow for him to wear for Christmas.”

Rummaging through  my Christmas paper and ribbons, I found the perfect one for him to wear and put it around his neck.  Black and white polka dots with silver trim.  He pranced around the house as if he knew he was too cute for words.

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Throughout the day, he monitored my cooking, aroused by the smells that I know reminded him of pizza.  That’s the one meal that he and I “share.”  Whenever I cook a pizza and eat it while watching TV, he shares the crust with me, the only human food I let him have.  This year’s food theme for my party was Italian, so the smell of two different kinds of lasagna, meatballs, and pizza dip must have reminded him of pizza.  He pranced around the kitchen as if excited about the possibilities.

When the first two visitors arrived, he did his usual barking, but, thankfully, they had dogs of their own and were perfectly calm when he “greeted them.”  I warned him to be quiet, and he knew what was expected of him.  Wiggling, however, was not something he could stop.

The next couple of visitors oohed and aahed over him, then my neighbor (Deb) came over, and I could leave her in the living room with him while I prepared the food.  Perfect.

People came and went.  Izzy greeted everyone and popped around from person to person, seeming to enjoy the attention.  By the time we were more than an hour into the party, he had taken up a spot on the living room rug, just watching the conversations and occasionally doing some harmless begging.

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At the end of the night, the two of us sat on the couch, and I told him how proud I was of him.  I think he actually understood because his fan-of-a-tail wagged.  Love this little guy!

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Beginnings and Endings and New Car Seat and the Holiday Dog Spirit

Grades were due yesterday, but some of my faculty didn’t get them in until the last minute — always a nail biter.  But they’re done now and we’re all heaving a huge sigh of relief.  Today is our holiday lunch, and when it’s over, I’m going to pick up a new desk for myself.  I’ve been writing on my dining room table, which means the center of the house is a disaster area.  Not that anyone sees it except for Izzy and me, but I would love to be able to sit in front of a window where I can daydream and write and have space rather than sitting where I eat.  And I’m loving this new desk . . . .

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During the holidays, I’ll be seeing my friends and family, which means Izzy’s going to see some of his friends, too.  Unfortunately, that means traveling.  Not one of Izzy’s favorite things to do.  BUT he now has a new car seat, and I tested it out last week when we went to my daughter’s house.  He still shivered during the whole hour and fifteen minute trip, but at least he wasn’t sliding all over the place, and I think that, with time, he’ll feel better about the traveling . . . especially if the end of the trip means he gets to run around with two other dogs in an enclosed backyard sans leashes.  Nothing better than seeing dogs running around free!

 

Izzy’s getting into the holiday spirit, too 🙂

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