The Journey of Phillip, the Forgotten, to Phillip, the Fabulous, in 30 Days
Ninth in a Series
December 24, 2015
Second Verse, Same as the First
The smells of the pine scented candle and sounds of Paul practicing Christmas carols on the piano reminded me that Christmas was nearly here and I was not ready! Taking stock of my to do list, I started with the stockings. The family dogs already had their own stockings, but I was not about to leave Weasley, Thor, and Phillip out. With carefully controlled steady strokes, their names were written with a glitter pen across the top edge of the red and green felt and left to dry on the counter top.
I inventoried the stocking stuffers. There were Slim Jim Jerky sticks donated by Weasley’s family, homemade peanut butter cookies donated by Thor’s mom, and I had picked up enough doggie dental sticks for everyone. A fresh batch of Kefir was bottled for their midnight Christmas Eve snack as Paul walked over to the array of goodies,” Really, Ellen? Dental Sticks? That’s like putting a tooth brush in a kids stocking. I’m going to make a run to get them something they will really like…Bully Sticks!” “They really like Dental Sticks!” I protested. Shaking his head, Paul left the house with his best boy Jeff Smith riding shot-gun and big girl Bone-it-a taking up the whole back seat.
The conspicuously loud sound of car doors slamming on an urgent dog mission brought me back to the many tasks at hand. Phillips bedding needed to be changed again. As I took the favorite bowl out of hiding beneath the covers, I found another precious possession…the mashed and torn box of Milk Bone Dog Biscuits! The dirty blankets were replaced with clean ones in which his beloved belongings were covered with care to ensure his ownership in his special place.
Multi-tasking between collecting boxes, bows, labels, tape, and rolls of paper to begin wrapping and washing the dogs’ breakfast bowls, I heard the Bully Stick shopping team noisily barking with their heads hanging out the windows of the car that was making its way down the road to the house. Along with the much anticipated stocking stuffer, Paul held a Starbucks coffee drink. “I bet I know the real reason behind the stocking stuffer shopping trip,” I said staring at the steaming brew. Noticing my glance at the addictive drink, Paul commented,” They didn’t have any dog biscuits to hand out today. It made Bone-it-a really unhappy so she complained about the service. She gave them her “Gruff Bark.” Then she gave her “Gruff Bark” to the biker and finally to a truck driver that we passed.” Paul headed to the kitchen door to let her into the back yard. Stan the Man beat him to the door and slung it wide, then with great gentleman-like manners bowed under the kitchen table as Bone-it-a rushed past into the fresh air to chill out.
The youngsters, Thor and Phillip, had taken the diversion as an opportunity to run into the yard behind Bone-it-a and continue the wrestling game that was started last night. With all the energy of puppies they chased and changed direction and yipped happily. They startled a sleeping Cindy Lou awake as they jumped over her reclined body lying in the direct path of their fun. Cindy Lou scolded the boys by throwing her head back and howling,” AWUU!” Loki even joined in the race for a few moments giving the fat squirrel time to test the bird seed assortment before being noticed. Loki left the kids to continue his ongoing job of squirrel control. Even a pouting Bone-it-a bemoaning the lack of a Starbucks doggie treat, could not stay resentful when watching the mirth of the black dogs engaged in a game of chase and tag.
“Look at em go!” I said directing Paul to the window for a better view. The joyous barking was infectious. “It’s like Phillip doesn’t even know he is sick, and Thor doesn’t notice Phillip has anything different about him,” I continued. “Yeah,” Paul chimed in,” Dogs don’t care about what’s on your outsides. They only see what’s on the insides. They don’t care about where you’ve been or what you’ve done. It’s all about the here and now. People could sure learn a thing or two from dogs.” “Speaking of dogs,” he went on, “I promised to take some photos of new dogs at the shelter to get on the PetFinder website this weekend.” I shouted after him as he grabbed his camera and hot dog treats,” Don’t forget about our celebration at the kids house tonight!”
The car was packed with gifts wrapped in the most interesting and unique paper in all of North West Arkansas as we headed down the road to celebrate with family. Paul looked over the assortment. “I see you had a little help from Phillip,” he said. I looked at the smashed bows and paw print paper. “Yep,” I replied, “he’s a natural.” “You did remember to crate him, didn’t you?” Paul queried. “I did and checked the clasps this time as well. Thor is behind the baby gates in the kitchen. We’re good to go.” I replied as the car door closed.
Returning home from the party, the new pals, Phillip and Thor, once again, greeted us at the door with wapping tail wags and panting mouths. As before, the contents of the pet adoption equipment box that had still not found its way into the closet were strewn all over the floor. The baby gate was askew again and yes, Phillip was out of the crate. They were tossing garland in what could only be their attempt at uncovering another hidden Christmas gift like the Milk Bone Dog Biscuits found yesterday.
Paul said,” Isn’t it time to set out milk and cookies for Santa?” “How about homemade peanut butter dog cookies and Kefir for Santa Dog?” Our good girls and boys got a plate of cookies and mug of Kefir before turning in to dream of stockings filled with goodies. I looked at the mess and found it beautiful. I looked at the silliness of the friends and thought them fabulous. Santa had not forgotten this house and these animals this year!