Friday, 30 December 2011

Christmas with Mila

Mila sleeping off the effects of a big Christmas Day
Mila Grey's first Christmas with us has been a very successful and very busy one - full of new experiences, new toys, new friends, and a brand new crate to call her own.

In the past week, we have met and made friends with a very enthusiastic Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Maltese dog named Rupert, spent time splashing about in a paddling pool, been back to the farm to play with our Waimaraner buddies, gone to the beach, hung out with some young kids, learnt some new tricks, and discovered a whole new world of squeaky toys, treats, and things that jingle. I have attached some photos of the various things we have been up to over the last little while. As I type, Mila is certainly showing the effects of her big Christmas adventures, sleeping on her couch in the dining room (a new favourite position being to sleep upside down with her legs resting against the back of the couch) - getting up occasionally to find a squeaky toy and have a play. Despite the tiredness, Mila has coped really well with all of the different things that have been thrown at her (and with the break in routine) and now feel a lot more confident about taking her out and about with us whenever we can.

Over the Christmas break, we have definitely learnt a couple of lessons about the way that Mila operates, the biggest one being that a box of treats wrapped up under the Christmas tree, will be found and demolished (along with the wrapping paper on every other present under the tree) if the opportunity presents itself. Of course, this is probably a very obvious lesson for a dog owner to learn (Greyhounds might be sight hounds but that doesn't mean that they can't smell!!) - and I really have no justification for thinking it was a good idea to put a doggie present under the tree, but hindsight is 20/20 and we had been having such success with the "human gifts" staying untouched under the tree that a week or so out from Christmas, I got a little bit cocky and thought that Mila's present might also survive. Quite the opposite. 

Cooling off in the pool on Christmas Eve
We arrived home after work one night to the usual excited waggy tail at the doorway and went about taking off bags and jackets and starting to think about what we might have for dinner. Then, walking into the lounge, we saw the damage. Thankfully, the Christmas tree remained in tact (and upright) - but there was wrapping paper everywhere, and presents strewn randomly across the floor. The presents were largely unharmed (although I did have to explain the bite marks in a few things on Christmas morning) and it seems that it was the wrapping paper and the boxes that were the main attraction there. However, in the corner sat an open and destroyed box of choc drops (empty of its contents) and a squeaker toy which had obviously provided some entertainment already. Unfortunately, it didn't end there. Our flatmate had just been donated a whole lot of herbal tea from a friend of hers which was sitting nicely in colourful boxes on the bench waiting to be put away. The boxes came off the bench, the tea bags came out and Mila proceeded to take seemed like every single one around the lounge to her mat, ripping holes in the bags and leaving a trail of tea leaves behind her. As you can imagine, it took a while to clean up - but I knew straight away that I had really been asking for it the whole time.

My theory is that Mila sniffed out something interesting under the tree and decided to investigate further. The present would have also squeaked when she chewed at it - and it was all over from there! Being so successful with one present, I can only think that we opened the remaining presents in an attempt to recreate the magic. Luckily, there wasn't anything else edible under the tree (so we didn't have a rehash of vet visit on our hands). Of course, now no Christmas tree and/or Christmas present goes uninvestigated. We don't go so far as ripping any wrapping paper - but a good wander around the tree and a sniff of all the presents under it is a must before Mila will settle down.

So, no more dog treats under the tree before Christmas day - got it. Something best left as a gift for Santa to bring down the chimney with him next year I suppose :)

Mila helps out with the Christmas baking

1 comment:

  1. Lol, I can imagine this scenario happening if Frankie was left in charge of a Christmas tree and presents ... although I doubt the Christmas tree would remain upright long enough to have presents put under it:) Sounds like Mila is loving her new life and taking to it like a duck to water. I've got a paddling pool for the kids and they drink out of it and that's all. I'm very envious of people whose dogs actually paddle in them:)