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 December 2009 - Nr. 12

Merry Christmas and the best of Seasons from Echo Germanica

My Dog Teaches … Advice to Santa

Hunny by David McKagueApparently, Santa has been at his job a long time, so you would think he should be pretty expert at it by now and have all the wrinkles ironed out. While we dogs are generally happy with his overall performance (after all, we get some nice stuff too) there are some things he does which, from a dog’s point of view, could be improved. So here is Santa’s Job Performance Review from a dog’s perspective.

First, why does he come only once a year? Obviously, from a selfish point of view, who wouldn’t want to get gifts more often? But leaving that aside, people tend to be friendlier and more positive around the time he makes his appearance. Even newspersons can find some good news stories instead of all the doom and gloom, death and disaster. (By the way, that’s the main reason we dogs don’t read newspapers or watch television news – they focus on the bad things in life when in reality there are so many good things to put your attention on.)

But there are some things Santa does just don’t make any sense and could be thought to be downright dangerous. Consider, for instance, entering the house by coming down the chimney. (Now for me personally, I’m not going to be much bothered. Heck, I’ll go get a tennis ball and get him to play fetch with me. The only downside is that he is on such a tight schedule that he will have to leave well before I’ve had enough.)

But while I may be an anomaly, most of my fellow dogs consider it their jobs to protect their masters’ homes. So if anyone comes in uninvited, especially in such a surreptitious way as by the descending down the chimney, most dogs are likely to take offence and do all they can to protect their territory. At a minimum, they will bark or growl menacingly. A few may be so upset at this unexpected intrusion that they may bite. (Which is another reason why using the chimney is such a poor choice, especially for a rotund person; the cramped quarters make it very difficult for Santa to protect himself with his arms and very easy for a dog to attack the nether regions. But come to think of it, maybe that’s why he wears such big boots.)

Another thing that is difficult to fathom is why Santa would land his sled on the roof. While some of us don’t have the best eyesight, we are very alert to unusual noises. Our masters may sleep through a team of reindeer and a sled landing on the roof, but I can’t imagine many dogs doing so.

Furthermore, we are hardly likely to miss the scent of eight reindeer – nine if Rudolph makes the trip. I would give Santa some advice based on the fact that dogs have thousands of years of hunting in our heritage … approach from downwind. Unless the wind changes, we may not be able to pick up the scent.

Speaking of scent, if Santa wants the presents to remain wrapped until the morning, he should refrain from putting anything that smells good under the tree. And because some dogs love to chew, that can include things like leather gloves and smelly plastic toys. (You would think that with all his experience, Santa should have gotten the hint by now; how many houses does he have to visit before he realizes that the common denominator behind the missing cookies and milk left out for him by the children are … dogs.)

But the biggest mistake Santa very occasionally makes is to give a dog (or any pet) as a gift. While dogs make great companions, we are also a very big commitment and responsibility. If a child gets bored with a toy, it can remain untouched in the toy box or be thrown away or recycled – not so easy when it is a dog. Not that puppies can’t make great presents, but only if this has been thoroughly discussed and agreed upon beforehand, with the knowledge that looking after a dog is very much like caring for a perpetual two-year-old human.

Oh. And one last bit of advice for Santa; he might consider getting a dog himself (after discussing with Mrs. Santa and the elves, of course). He may be able to lose some of those excess pounds by getting more exercise – and we dogs just love taking our masters for walks.

Previous "Petitorial" articles by David McKague:

Editor’s note: I would like to encourage dog lovers everywhere to start a PETITION to have this law thrown out or revised to such a form where justice prevails. SFR.

Email to David McKague
David McKague talks about the pit-bull or pit bulls, pets, dogs, the duress put upon dog and the owners, especially through laws in Ontario, Canada, that affect and encroach on rights and freedoms of the individual, human rights, reputation of individuals and owners. David stresses the importance of being responsible and understanding when dealing with pets.

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