By Anne Sullivan
“Merry Christmas!” Sylvia shouted as she entered the house for breakfast.
“My, aren’t we cheery today,” I said, heading to the kitchen to pour kibble into her dish.
“It’s Christmas, that’s why I’m so joyous. Did Santa Claus come?” Sylvia wagged her tail with eagerness.
“Not yet. You’re a day early. He comes tonight. That is, if you and Gordo have been good.”
“I can’t answer for Gordo, but I’ve not only been good, I’ve been angelic. Isn’t Christmas wonderful?” she said as she dashed over to the tree instead of her breakfast. “The house looks so nice with all the cards we’ve received around the windows and doors. And the tree is a joy to behold with all those beautiful ornaments.” Sylvia smiled from ear to ear and wagged her tail as she admired the tree.
“Be careful with that tail of yours. Some of those beautiful ornaments are very old.”
“Like you, huh?” Sylvia’s smile widened into an enormous toothy grin.
“Like both of us,” I said, having the last word for once.
Sylvia trotted over to her dish in the kitchen and for a few minutes loud gobbling sounds rang through the room.
“Mmn, that was delectable. Thanks, boss,” she said, wiping her mouth with a paper napkin picturing a jolly Santa. “What a gorgeous day this is.”
“Excuse me, but are you Sylvia?” I asked as I sank into my comfortable chair. “You seem to be a new and different manifestation of the depressed dog named Sylvia that used to live here.”
“It’s me, boss,” she said, bouncing to my side. “I’m your loving dog, Sylvia. Don’t you recognize me?”
“You look like Sylvia but you certainly don’t talk like her. You’re full of sunshine and cheer. I’m not sure I can cope with a dog like that.”
“Get used to it, boss. This is the new me. And it’s all your fault.”
“You’re the one who was after me to join Christmas, to meet it face to face and conquer it.”
“I’m not aware I phrased it exactly that way.”
“Nevertheless, that was your intent. I simply followed your advice to banish my Christmas depression.”
“Well,” I tempered, taken aback by this revelation, “that’s wonderful. How are you planning to accomplish this?”
“Gordo and I are giving a Christmas party.”
“Not in my my house, you’re not.”
“Don’t worry, boss. It’ll be on the porch. Like your parties, it will be potluck so we won’t have to furnish all the food. Gordo’s out now inviting all the squirrels and chipmunks and deer and elk. The birds have already refused because they’re afraid he’ll eat them.”
“You’re not inviting the mice, I hope.”
“No, not the mice. After the way they behaved last year they’re rodenta non grata. But there’s more. We’ll have punch to drink and games to play and Santa will give a small present to everyone.”
”And who will be Santa?”
“Gordo and I thought you would. You’ll just have to wear something red. Your pajamas will do. You already have the white hair and the belly.”
I glowered at her. “I take issue with that and I certainly don’t have a white beard.”
“We’ll make you one with cotton or something. There’s a lot to do to get ready. We’ll put the Christmas tree out on the porch for the party. You can move it inside afterwards if you want. We’ll have dress up games and lots of food. This will be such fun. Why, this will be the best Christmas ever.”
One can always hope.