No one should have to start the New Year mad!
Even less should one have to start the year mad at their dog . . . you know man's best friend and all that stuff.
But that is exactly what happened in this household. The details are a little sketchy. After all, the dogs still aren't talking about it much. But this is what fell out, the best I can deduce.
White Dog and Brown Dog were left home alone on New Year's Eve. This made Brown Dog decidedly grumpy and started off the evening on a bad note. To make matters worse, fireworks began to go off in the neighborhood and Brown Dog found himself nervous, disturbed, and feeling very, very alone.
About this time, Brown Dog spied something he had not yet noticed in all the holiday festivities. Down under the Christmas tree was a large, soft, white flannel sheet, used as a tree skirt. It looked very, very comforting . . . for a dog who is nervous, disturbed and feeling very, very alone.
Brown Dog began eyeing the sheet.
White Dog smelled trouble and warned Brown Dog to mind his own business, be content with his cast-off quilt, stick his paw pads in his ears, and be a good dog, w
hich of course only encouraged Brown Dog all the more to have . . . that . . . soft . . . sheet.
The fact that Brown Dog was on his leash, which was attached to a pillar two feet from the tree mattered to him not in the least. In fact, it served only to heighten the challenge of having . . . that . . . soft . . . sheet.
And, so he pulled, he tugged, he threw his body at the tree, he twisted, he jumped. And by gum he got that sheet.
White Dog, meanwhile hid his head under his own well-worn, cast-off comforter, put his paw pads in his ears, hummed loudly and said, "I don't see what you're doing. I can't see a thing. I know nothing that's going on."
That is how it came to be that as the 7 of us walked in to the house, bleary-eyed, in the wee hours of New Year's morning, we found the tree, rotated 90 degrees, bottom 2 rows of expensive artificial tree foliage bent to the ground, a veritable shower of artificial tree "needles" on the floor, ornaments scattered about . . .
Have I mentioned that no one should have to start out the New Year mad?
After a cup of tea, my emotions were back in check, I had decided that Brown Dog could live in safety for another year, and I was beginning to believe that 2011 might actually turn out to be quite a satisfactory year.
It was at this point that Youngest Son approached me tentatively, eyes wide, gesturing in the general direction of the dining room table, mouth moving but no syllables coming out.
Yes. Vintage glass ornament. Part of a set from the 1930s. Handled with care by my German grandmother for years and then passed down to me. Smashed.
Children don't understand these things. It's round. It must therefore be a ball.
If things don't turn around quickly here, I'll be the one in bed, covers over my head, waiting for 2012.
Have I mentioned that no one should have to start out the year mad?
Time for more tea.