A Dog Looks at Christmas . . . and Humans
As a dog writer, I’m a keen observer of the world around me. This ranges from bugs and squirrels to humans.
As odd and unpredictable as bugs and squirrels may be, I find humans to be much more mystifying. As I often say in my books, “You just can’t understand humans. It’s not possible.”
As a leading dog thinker and writer, I believe it is my duty to try, no matter how difficult such observations may be.
So I have watched and listened during what humans call ‘The Christmas Season,’ which seems to extend from the end of summer until now. But I do not believe it is a real season, like summer or winter.
I believe it is another made-up human concoction. My question is why.
Therefore, I am applying my massive brain-power to this subject, and I have come up with some observations. To make it simple for my human readers, I will list what I have observed and then I will note my comments, as a dog philosopher.
1. There is great human excitement at, around, about, and approaching Christmas.
MY COMMENT: People seem to get excited by the strangest things, including commercials on TV. Dogs are excited by actual things, like sounds and smells.
2. There is a lot of talk about being happy and sharing things at Christmas.
MY COMMENT: When I ride in the car with my humans during Christmas, I hear a lot of people blowing their horns and saying very ugly things to each other. And there is a LOT of traffic. My humans mutter about finding a parking place.
Dogs do not TALK about being happy. We just ARE happy.
3. There is a lot of human talk about love among all people at Christmastime. But from what I hear on TV (and I do watch the news when I can stand it), I do not see a lot of love anywhere.
MY COMMENT: Dogs to not waste time TALKING about how we feel. We simplify. We wag, growl, or bite. Very direct. We do not need to enhance our self-esteem by talking about how good we are. Just wag, growl, or bite. Then move on.
Remember this principle: Wag. Growl. Or Bite. Then Move On
4. Humans seem to do a LOT of shopping. I watch my humans worry about shopping, plan to go shopping, go shopping, worry about how much they’ve bought, worry about whether they forgot someone, haul stuff back from shopping.
Later, I watch them return all the things they don’t want.
MY COMMENT: You will never see a dog waste time shopping. If we need anything, our humans will provide it for us, or we just go get it for ourselves via the popular snatch-and-run. We dogs are therefore free to enjoy life. (In my own case, of course, I am also free to think and write.)
5. At Christmas, humans do a lot of decorating of everything from the house to the yard to the car. As I said in my little book of Christmas stories, Farmer even put a wrath on the front of his tractor at Christmas. (But it didn’t stop him from firing wildly at Par after the mashed potato explosion.)
My Comment: I do not understand why humans haul stuff out of the attic, scatter it around the house, and then put it back in the attic. If it is so pretty, why don’t you leave it out all the time?
As for the yard, my famous father,Par, had quite an experience with those blow-up Christmas decorations when he and his canine singing unit (aka “The Twelve Dogs of Christmas”) tried to bring Christmas cheer to the people of Dahlonegee. You’ve probably read my story, so you know what happened.
It was not Par’s fault.
6. A lot of trees are killed and dragged inside people’s homes, where humans then humiliate the poor trees even more by hanging all kinds of stuff on them (as if the trees NEED decorations!). I believe this is an exceptionally odd custom, and will require more study.
MY COMMENT: Why? I think trees look perfectly good in the woods. And they are still alive.
7. A lot of the things that are bought in stores are taken home and then bandaged up in fancy paper (which is also bought in stores!). THEN, the paper is ripped off, wadded up, and thrown away.
MY COMMENT: It would be simpler and quicker just to throw away the money, and you wouldn’t have to go to the store, find a parking place, spend money on fancy paper, bandage up the gifts, and then throw away all that expensive wropping paper. I believe it would also be easier on the trash collectors.
8. I have observed that humans cook a LOT of food, have a LOT of parties, and eat a LOT more food at Christmas. Then they worry and worry about how much they ate, so they “go on a diet.”
THEN, they worry about not staying on their diet. I am mystified by this.
MY COMMENT: We dogs eat when we are hungry, which is quite often, but we stop when we have had enough. What’s the problem? Why don’t humans do the same?
I do not understand the concept of “going on a diet.” This requires more study.
9. Some humans seem to be sad at Christmas.
MY COMMENT: Since we dogs do not pretend to be extra happy (or pretend to be anything else), at Christmas, we do not have any false expectations to confuse us. So we don’t get depressed when the real world does not live up to our ideal.
We just look around, see what’s what, and go on from there. Nice system. It works.
10. I can tell that the humans DO enjoy Christmas, they DO have fun, they DO enjoy being together, and they DO even enjoy the gifts they give each other. But there is so much fol-de-rol involved that I’m surprised that they can enjoy it at all.
MY COMMENT: Maybe humans should study dogs the same way I study humans. Learn from the magnificently balanced way we live our lives, study how we enjoy every moment of every day, and quit doing all the extra stuff.
If humans would simply settle down in a comfortable place (I recommend the floor in front of the fireplace), scratch behind their ears, yawn, and take a quick nap, eat some simple food when hungry, sing a few Christmas songs, and romp in the yard, I believe you all would be much, much happier. A back rub never hurts, either.
And we dogs never hesitate to show how much we love our humans, and how excited we are to see them. We do not calculate, ponder, hold grudges, worry about motives, or remember bad things from the past. We don’t do any of that. We just wag, growl, or bite, and then move on.
I recommend that you humans watch us and learn.
Of course, to judge from what humans are saying in their reviews, one way to be happier is to read my books of stories about my unusual dog family. They say you’ll smile, and I say that is ALWAYS good!