It is Christmas Eve. We have a beautiful live Christmas tree in our living room, a tall Fraser fir … with nothing more than star at the top and lights this year. With cats in the house, we’ve always been careful to put the breakable ornaments near the top, out of reach of playful paws.
This year, however, we have a new threat: Winnie, a rambunctious puppy, our latest adoption from the local humane society.
Don’t let that innocent face fool you …. This was the scene as I worked from home the other day:
Between Corbin, my 100-pound trusty running partner, and our newest family member, you are watching 160 pounds or so of dog playing keep away with each other. Amazingly, the tree remains upright and the lights are twinkling as I post this, with Christmas Day just hours away.
The tree is still beautiful in its natural simplicity. But I do miss the many ornaments we usually decorate with, and the memories they hold. Over the years, we have been blessed with many four-legged family members, some already in their twilight years when they joined our family (remember Kruger? I wrote about him in several posts, including this one), while others enjoyed a full decade or more of life with us before we had to say good-bye (like our lovable duo Snowy and Duffy, who were remembered in this post).
A tradition we began years ago was hanging a photo ornament on the tree for each furry family member, and adding their ID tag to it after their death. Each one brings back so many happy moments and stories, we find ourselves sharing as we hang each one — “Remember … when Snowy ate 3/4 of the box of Belgian chocolates while we were at church?” “Remember … how Mr. Mistoffolees would sit on the back of the couch and knead your head and purr?” “Remember … how Duffy would whine every time you stopped giving him a tummy scrub?” “Remember … how Sadie loved leaping after the leaves while we raked?” “Remember … when the cats would nap in the crib?” “Remember … how Bruce knew the name of each of his toys?” “Remember… the day we brought Corbin home from the humane society and he was so excited to get to the car he knocked your brother over to get in?” Remember…. all the love … I can’t imagine our house without them.
I will leave you with a gallery of many of these memories (from last year’s tree), to carry us until next year when a certain puppy will have a photo ornament of her own.