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Holidays from a Dog’s Point of View

When Izzy and I walk our neighborhoods in our small town in North Carolina, most of the time the only things we need to worry about are other animals — skunks, raccoons, cats that tease Izzy unmercifully, and dogs (most are friendly, but there is that one Nasty Dog . . .).  During the winter months, however, we also need to worry about . . . da da da duhhhhh . . . Horrendous Holiday Decorations.

Right after Thanksgiving, the decorations started going up.  I always put my tree up the day of Thanksgiving, so Izzy’s used to seeing strange sparkly things in our living room, lights that blink, boxes that sing jingles, and packages that he can’t quite reach but would love to rip up.  But seeing strange things on our walks, well that’s just simply and totally unacceptable to Mr. Izzy.

The day after Thanksgiving, he had to put up with our own doorway.  His red eyes are an indication of his confusion about this sparkly gold and silver thing that suddenly impedes his way in and out of the front door.

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And our next door neighbor followed suit with a door that Izzy likes quite a bit.  It’s tastefully done and doesn’t scare him at all.

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Around the corner, one of the local attorneys has a particularly lovely house and always an elegant display.  This one is far enough from the street that Izzy doesn’t notice it (it’s one of those houses that’s not on his radar anyway, because they don’t have any furry animals he can greet during our forays around the neighborhood).

 

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But there are others that he DOES notice, and the most obvious of them all is the house that was decorated so completely for Halloween.  This house is home to an incredibly aggressive Chihuahua that has attacked both Izzy and me.  We’ve run past the house many times in our attempt to get away from the little bugger.  

The people who own the house have outdone themselves for Christmas, putting up so many blow-up figures and flashing lights and moving wire figures that I can’t possibly get them all in one photo. On the roof, there’s a penguin popping out of an igloo, three moving polar bears, and a Mickey Mouse Santa; on the lawn, there are at least 8 wire reindeer of various sizes and shapes, a sparkly Cinderella type sleigh and horse (replete with a plastic Santa stuck in the seat), a plastic 8-piece nativity set (the shepherd boy has a missing nose), and various Christmas trees, as well as an 8′ tall blow up Santa and matching Snowman.  At one point, they had a wire figure of a moose alit with lights next to the Chihuaha’s pen.  (Izzy looked at it, then back at me, as if to say, “What does a moose have to do with Christmas?”) but they removed that one.   And I noticed when we walked at 6 AM this morning that they’ve just added a small wire pig dressed in a Santa outfit at the end of the walkway.  This one is close enough to the sidewalk that Izzy cautiously stretched out his whole body until he was nose-to-nose with the brightly lit pig (that’s, ironically, the same size as he is).  When he realized after tense moments of hyper-active sniffing that the figure wasn’t real and was utterly ridiculous on top of that (the question remains:  what does a pig have to do with Christmas?), he pee’d on it.  That’s a dog for you.

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Izzy and the Haunted House

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The house around the corner from mine decorates for Halloween at the end of September and people come from miles around to see the moving and speaking figures that populate the porch and hang around on the rooftop.  In the corner of the porch, a Frankenstein-like creature plays an organ (and the haunting music from that organ plays 24/7), while a witch welcomes visitors and tells them (every fifteen minutes or so) about what she’s stirring in her pot (‘double double toil and trouble’).  On the roof, a supersized black cat swings its head from right to left, lit from within in some horrid way, and above the doorway a gigantic spider waves its arms, threatening to spin its web over any intruders.  Pumpkins litter the lawn, cutout witches guard each corner, and a blow-up evil tree spooks little kids who will probably never enter the woods again.

Every time Izzy and I pass by the house, he freezes in his tracks and his eyes light with the orange flickerings from the decorations themselves.  He’s baffled by the moving cat and spider on the roof, tilts his head when the witch intones her spell, and the sound of the organ alerts him even when we’re blocks away.  He pees on the gravestones at the edge of the walkway and doesn’t even bother sniffing the wood cutout witch.  If we’re walking by early in the morning when everything else is quiet, he mutters a little in the back of his throat or does a little prance and whine routine.  He knows this isn’t “normal” but he has no clue what Halloween is (nor does he care, other than the sound and lights bug him).  

Wait until the kids start ringing our doorbell in their costumes.  Now that is cause for a great deal of barking!