Our house is run by an 11 pound Jack Russell Terrier named Lucy. She is so petite you can pick her up with one hand and carry her under your arm like a pocketbook. But don't be lulled into thinking she isn't in charge as one certain 7 year old little girl in our family did last December.
My son has recognized Lucy's power from a very early age. He takes great pains to make sure she always has the best that life offers. Need a place to sleep? Here, let me make a comfy nest for you out of these four blankets and three pillows...next to the fire place. Are you hungry? Let me give you a treat or ten. You'd prefer my hot dog instead? Here you go - I'll just have mom make me another one. In other words, he always pays Lucy first and she has no qualms about shaking him down for more.
Last December Callie went to a birthday party where the theme was Winter Wonderland and all the girls made beautiful gingerbread houses. The mom sent the confections home wrapped in cellophane and tied with a silk ribbon. The next morning we went out for a few hours. When we got back I was the first into the house and saw mysterious shards of plastic wrap...cellophane. Upon closer inspection I discovered bits of crumbled...gingerbread. Lucy had gotten up onto the kitchen table, chewed a hole or two into the cellophane, knocked the gingerbread house onto the floor where it smashed to pieces and ate almost all of it. Her stomach was so full and distended you probably could see a gumdrop or two protruding.
When Callie came up behind me and saw the carnage she was devastated and began yelling at the dog. Luckily I was able to save the situation by letting her know I had purchased two gingerbread house kits earlier that week and we could make them that night. She was mollified.
The next day was Monday and Callie had art class in the late afternoon. We walked into the house around dinner time where the kids discovered another disaster. Lucy had climbed up on a bench in order to reach the window sill where the advent calendars were sitting. These were the kind made of corrugated cardboard boxes (very sturdy) in the shape of a Christmas tree where you could put a piece of chocolate in each box. The dog had managed to rip some of the boxes out of the frame out and eat about six days worth of chocolate kisses...but only from Callie's calendar. Charlie's remained untouched. (For those who are worried I contacted the vet and Hershey's milk chocolate, while not a recommended part of a dog's diet, is not toxic, though the tinfoil wrappers may make for some interesting digestion).
Callie was extremely upset at this development. Not only had Lucy ruined her advent calendar, she had eaten her chocolate. After many promises from me that I would go out first thing in the morning to purchase replacement chocolate she calmed down.
Two days later Callie, a friend and Charlie made cute little Christmas cookies. I lovingly arranged them on a platter which was on the kitchen counter. Yes, you guessed it. Lucy somehow managed to get up onto the kitchen counter, walk right past the two new gingerbread houses and eat some cookies off of the platter. But only the ones Callie made. She was beside herself.
Since that dark time Callie has been very deferential to Lucy. She makes her special cards and presents, crowns and jewelry, builds her comfy beds, buys her treats at the farmer's market and is the first to suggest we take her on a walk or throw her ball. In return Lucy sleeps on her bed occasionally and rolls around on the ground appreciatively when Callie scratches her belly. Who needs Santa when we have Lucy to punish those who are naughty and reward those who are nice?