HOLIDAYS-THEY DO MESS UP A ROUTINE
Submitted by Lisa A. Yackel
Hospital Administrator at Case Veterinary Hospital
Every time I hear that classic Christmas song, Itâ€™s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, it challenges me to take a minute and remind myself that I am getting off course. I love what Christmas stands for; I love the general feeling of charitable giving and goodwill; and I love the joy I see in others, especially the children. What I dislike about the holiday season is the feeling of being overwhelmed and not taking the time to truly absorb the special moments.
Being a pet owner at this time of year comes with its own set up anxieties. Do I have time to rush home to let the dog out before I go to the Open House in town? Where will I board him while I am visiting relatives? Will he be well received if I take him with me? Will the photographer for the family Christmas cards be able to work with getting him to stay still for a good shot?
And, as a frequent hostess for gatherings and parties at my own home, another whole set of problems arises when I try to figure out the logistics of that particular gathering. Does this particular set of guests like dogs? Are they allergic? Will their children know how to handle his â€śhigh-spiritsâ€ť? Will they feed him the hors d'oeuvres that I have slaved over and that will surely make him sick?
My blood pressure is rising as I write this! But then, my little guy comes over and puts his head in my lap and looks up at me. Like the song, he reminds me that the holidays are about family and he is family. He doesnâ€™t understand why I am anxious or not spending time with him. He doesnâ€™t understand why I donâ€™t allow him to be in parts of the house that he normally is because of Christmas trees or poisonous Poinsettias that I canâ€™t give up at this time of year.
So what will I do about getting home late more frequently or having guests over? I will tag team with his Dad to make sure one of us is getting home in time to let him out and eat at his normal hour. I will tell my guests about our house doggy rules when they arrive (no people food, no over stimulating games). I will put up extra doggie gates to keep him out of hazards and protect him from me having a meltdown when he ransacks my carefully arranged displays.
Most importantly, I will make sure to buy him his favorite toys for under the tree, I will cuddle with him more at night to lower my blood pressure, and I will remember that everything does not have to be perfect. It wouldnâ€™t be a family gathering without him and his comical ways!
Relax and enjoy this time of year! It truly is wonderful and our pets make it even more so!