Friday, December 21, 2007

Naughty pets can unleash Christmas chaos

Ho, ho, uh-oh! One of my earliest holiday memories is of our cat climbing the Christmas tree, knocking ornaments off all the way.

Most cat owners have probably had a similar experience. Dogs, too, have their own brand of holiday mischief, such as chewing open the gifts or scarfing down Christmas dinner.

The holiday season offers ample opportunity for pets to show their naughty side, leaving some owners to scramble to save the tree, the trimmings or the turkey.

Retired schoolteacher Joanne Nash of Los Altos, Calif., used to decorate her tree with clay-bake ornaments made from flour, salt and water. “I had made some myself, bought some, and had some that my students had made,” she says. Unfortunately for Nash, her Dalmatians thought the ornaments were delicious dog treats, placed on the tree just for them.

“Stealthy Dalmatians managed to snatch them one by one when we weren’t in the room with the tree,” Nash recalls. “We replaced the consumed ones with a few more the next year, but some invisible dog stole those too, and we haven’t had any clay-bake ornaments since.”

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