Lost in Midlife column: Santa Paws is coming to town
Columns share an author’s personal perspective.
“What is all this?” asked my husband when he walked in the door. He waved at a big stack of gifts assembled in front of the fireplace.
“Those are presents,” I said.
“I know they’re presents,” he said. “But who are they for?”
“The dog,” I said.
“Yes, the dog.”
“And why does the dog get presents?” he asked.
“Because he’s been a good boy,” I said, matter-of-factly. My husband opened his mouth and then snapped it shut. He knew better than to question my actions when it came to the dog.
I did, actually, have a reason for the abundance of dog gifts in our living room. When our kids were little, we had loads of gifts for them wrapped up in front of the fireplace for Hanukkah and Christmas. Back then it was not uncommon in the month of December for our living room to resemble the loading dock of a toy factory. But then our kids grew up and got their own homes, and suddenly our living room was achingly empty. Then I thought of someone who would be overjoyed to get presents, especially ones that were bacon-flavored. And with that realization, I went shopping.
I found an online pet store and got a bacon-scented stuffed squirrel, a bacon-wrapped chew stick and a toy that dispensed bacon flavored-treats. I got bacon biscuits, bacon strips and bacon balls. I bought a big, bacon-flavored Frisbee and a small, bacon-scented tennis ball. And finally, I got a large stuffed toy in the shape of a bacon.
Are you sensing a theme here?
Once I saw the bill, I realized I’d gone somewhat overboard. But then I thought, “Hey, I knew when he was sleeping and I knew when he was awake, I knew if he’d been bad or good and he’d been good for goodness sake.” So, my dog certainly seemed to meet all the requirements for Christmas gifts.
When all the toys and treats arrived, I wrapped them, and stacked them by the fireplace. The dog sensed something was up and he sniffed around the gift pile enthusiastically.
“Not yet, Monty,” I said. “You have to wait until Santa Paws comes to town.”
Then one particularly cold night while my husband was still at work, I decided to make a fire in the fireplace to warm me up, forgetting that the nearby gifts might also warm up. Soon the whole house was toasty and, also, the whole house smelled like bacon. By the time my husband got home, our house smelled the breakfast rush at the Hollywood Diner.
“Hey, it smells great in here! Are you cooking bacon?” he asked when he walked in the door.
“In a sense,” I said, quickly moving all the dog gifts away from the fireplace.
“Are we having brussels sprouts with bacon?” he asked.
“Um, nope.” I pushed the toys further away from the fire.
“Noo …” I said.
“So what’s cooking?” he asked.
I shook my head and shrugged.
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