When I saw my humans drag a tree into the house, I was sure it was a treat for me–my own watering post. Someone said “Uh-uh” every time I approached it, so I learned the tree was not there for my release or entertainment. That was long ago.
Now Lenore puts that tight sweater on me–ugh–and we go in the car to a little forest. She picks up a long-handled thing with sharp teeth, and we walk among the trees. I smell the blanket of dried needles on the ground, the sappy stumps where trees have once been, and the pee spots left by other dogs. It’s a fun walk, except she’s talking all the time: ” How about this one, Foxy? No, it’s too short. Maybe this one–no, it has a hole in the side. Maybe this one?”
It continues until she circles around one tree, leaves and comes back to it again. “This is it!” she announces, as if she had just spent an hour digging up a delicious bone. She drops the leash, tells me to “stay” and gives me the look that goes with it. I sniff around the area while she gets down on her knees and saws away at the tree. She grunts and groans, pauses to take off her coat, then I hear more grunts and groans, along with the “udge, udge” sound of the saw. Finally, she stands up, pushes on the tree and it falls over, releasing a strong piney scent from the cut.
Then, while some guys are putting the tree on top of our car, we go into the little house nearby and the fun begins. It’s warm inside and I’d love to take off my sweater, but that’s not part of the plan. The place smells like apples–it’s coming from a pot of steaming liquid and the cup Lenore is sipping. The people who run the place remember me from the last time and want to talk to me and pet me.
“Hi, Foxy, you’re looking very Christmasy today!”
“What kind of dog is he?”
“Hey, buddy, are you ready to have your picture taken?”
Lenore sits down in a big chair in front of the fireplace–take this sweater off me already– and lifts me onto her lap. The lady with the camera is making all kinds of noises. I look the other way. Someone behind the camera lady makes a piercing squeak, and I look up, ears at attention, wondering what on earth is going on. Flash! Bright light blinds me and then we’re done.
Back to the car, I enjoy the tree scent all the way home. The next thing I know that tree is standing up in the living room and Lenore is collapsed in her chair looking very proud of herself. Soon the room is full of boxes of shiny balls which she spends all day placing on the tree. I don’t bother to get a close sniff, but know I’ll be smelling that tree for a while until she drags it out of the house.
Now I just have to worry about the visit with Santa.