Just put down the possum and nobody gets hurt

Last week, while Christmas shopping, I spied something special in the pet aisle. A cute stuffed possum.

I hadn’t decided which dog would get it, but snuck it upstairs once I got home, hiding it carefully in a bag in the corner of my bedroom, just as I would when hiding gifts for children.

Two days later, I spied the possum downstairs on the kitchen counter.

“What is this?” I wondered picking it up. The fur was matted and hard, a sign it had been heavily slobbered on and well enjoyed.

“Did you give the dogs the toy?” I asked Joe.

“No,” he replied shaking his head, “I thought you must have.”

The four canines stared at me, blinking innocently. I hid the possum behind my back and slowly edged my way out of the kitchen. The dogs tracked my every move, their bodies twitching with anticipation.

It was then that I spotted the chewed-up packaging for the toy, hidden under the table. I placed the possum down momentarily and was suddenly overwhelmed by a tangle of dogs fighting over the coveted critter.

My four children have grown up and left the home, only to be replaced by four others.

How are your pets behaving this season? Naughty or nice?

I’m half tempted to give mine lumps of coal.

Belinda Seagram, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Executive Director, Landing Strong

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