Molly and the rubber chicken

While the Buntjer family Christmas won’t be celebrated until this coming weekend, my lovable mutt Molly and I exchanged our gifts on Christmas day. Her gift to me was lots of laughter, which of course stemmed from my gift to her.

Each year since our first Christmas together seven years ago, I’ve purchased gifts for my precious pooch. They’ve ranged from puppy pillows and colorful collars to squeaky toys and tasty treats.

On Saturday, Molly’s gift bag (it had photos of Snoopy on it – perfectly fitting for a canine Christmas present) was filled with a couple of pouches of doggie treats and a squeaky toy.
I sat the gift bag on the kitchen floor of the farm house as Molly looked inquisitively at the one thing she could see – the long neck and face of an  “it’s-so-ugly-it’s-cute” rubber chicken.

She cautiously approached the bag, wrapped her teeth around the chicken’s neck (squeaking it ever-so-gently) and wandered over to the door to sit and whine.

Unbelievable … she completely ignored her doggie treats!

And whine – seriously? My Molly doesn’t whine. She runs like a deer, barks like a drill sergeant and kills snakes with a whip and a roll – but she is not a whiner.

When she realized she wasn’t going to be let outside just yet, she wandered back in my direction. That’s when I noticed a line of drool starting to dangle from her mouth.

I snatched back the toy before the drool dropped, but Molly did not appreciate that. Our little round of keep away was officially under way, but I was at a disadvantage sitting on the kitchen floor. Her nose was even to my nose, and her eyes were intent on the prize – getting back her ugly rubber chicken!

When she successfully pulled it from my hands, she returned to the back door, sat and whined again until the door was opened and she could make a bee-line for her igloo dog house (yes, she has finally succumbed to sleeping in it!)

She did not come out for the rest of the day – not even for Christmas dinner leftovers.

Yes, my dog was really sick … sick with puppy love for a rubber chicken.

A flashlight revealed the problem – Molly was curled around the squeaker and licking it like it was her little baby.

Uh oh – that wasn’t quite the reaction I’d hoped for.

Needless to say, Molly was not happy when I grabbed the ugly chicken once more and started another round of keep away. She was less than thrilled when my bum shoulder sent the squeaker into the snow drift instead of onto the cleared path behind the house, and when she retrieved it she was more determined than ever to race back into the garage and hunker down as far back in the igloo as she could get.

For the first time, I realized I forgot to train Molly one important lesson (well, I’m sure there are many) … she never learned to share her Christmas toys. Maybe my parents ought to have a talk with her about that!

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