The Chihuahua that almost ate Christmas

December 21, 2011 § 5 Comments


I just love all the excitement around the house at Christmas time. Mom, Dad and the kids go around decorating everything with pretty and sparkly things. The humans even bring a tree inside at my Casa! I say every dog needs their own tree — to chase squirrels up to (or maybe pesky catos, heh, heh); to rest by at the end of a good day’s labor (napping, er, I mean guarding the Casa all day); and, oooooooh, to explore the marvelous smells of nature! Every sniff is a new mystery that the Chica must investigate!

And the familia always has a great time setting the tree up. The kids each have special ornaments that they always put on the tree. Mama made the angel back when she and Dad first celebrated Christmas together. And Dad always reminds the Cato and I that we are not “allowed” to nap on the velvety tree skirt (sure, sure 😉 )

Christmas at Casa Chanel

Ah, these traditions always bring fond memories of Christmases past, in particular, my very first Christmas …

You see, there is this little lamb that came with the Nativity scene that Mama carefully puts out every year underneath the Christmas tree. I didn’t know it then, but it is the first Nativity scene she bought when she moved away from home. And well, though it is a little plastic lamb, it looked delectable to me then. Still does. So when all the peeps were looking the other way, I made my lightning-speed, precision attack and snatched that puppy up. I should have known better, but I was young and impulsive in those days. And I hadn’t learned just how much these precious traditions mean to my peeps.

I slunk off in my finest stealth mode and stole away to my blanket, salivating at the thought of hours of good chewing I’d get out of my prize catch. Chew, chew, chew. Lick, lick, lick. Gag, gag (just a little to cleat the throat) and REPEAT.

The Christmas music was playing, the televised footage of the roaring fireplace was “warming” the scene (we were still enjoying flip-flops weather, but the ambiance we had created was winter wonderland cozy.) Everyone was talking, laughing and reveling in the Christmas spirit and I was throughly enjoying my “Christmas” snack. When Mama suddenly got the notion of taking pictures to capture the tender moment. I must admit I was a little distracted. I was still young and had not developed my full efficient canine guard machine skills. So I didn’t notice that she was looking for me to be in the picture too.

Gnaw… gnaw … lick, lick … chomp, chomp … then WHOOOPS, I suddenly sensed something wasn’t quite right! I looked up to find Mama STARING down at me, hands on her hips, chancleta-clad foot tapping furiously, and brown eyes blazing some serious Cuban disapproval. Stopping at mid chomp, I extricated the little lamb (which no longer looked particularly sweet and tender) from my mouth. Ay, caramba, I knew I was in mucho trouble! I tried my best to moisten my eyeballs for an emergency puppy/bambi-eyed look, pleading forgiveness. It is a self-preservation mechanism, you know. But there was no denying the facts, I had been caught in the act and enjoying it just a little too mucho. My only hope was to appear as contrite as a Chihuahua could be. We actually get a lot of practice at this art because, well, a Chihuahua will be a Chihuahua — low to the ground scroungers to the last!

And then as Mama bent over to snatch the lamb away and who knows what else, I squeezed my eyes tightly shut and concentrated on beaming a telepathic plea, “But Mama, Baby Jesus would not mind. He always forgives the Chica for her little trespasses.” I cringed, prepared for many of her more colorful Spanish words, spoken in that particular Cuban “volume and speed” that adjusts as her temper rises.  But then, somehow it WORKED!!!!! She sighed, patted my head and laughed as she carried what was left of the lamb away, shaking her head.

Mama's little lamb ... or what is left of it

That was the day that this Chica learned that Love IS the true meaning of Christmas. And I had not ruined the happy day. La Chica and the spirit of Christmas were here to stay.

Ever since I only get to see my little lamb from afar at Christmas time. Mama still puts out the same Nativity set, but my lamb stays up on the bookshelf. Ahhh … so close and yet so far. Its back left leg sticks out a little, in mangled fashion. Still, it reminds me of that first Christmas of my youth, the first with my awesome human family, and brings a sweet carol to my heart …

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