How About London For Christmas 2016?


Sometimes I wonder how things that normally wouldn’t be an issue for me peripherally impact me. Saturday morning I noticed a posting on Facebook regarding two unidentified dogs on the roadway. Honestly, I paid the posting no mind. I didn’t even read enough to know the (stray or missing) dogs were in the vicinity of where I live.

Although I don’t consider it a character flaw, I am not an animal lover. Perhaps, I mask that pretty well.  Often, people say of their pets when they are around me, “He doesn’t normally have anything to do with strangers, but you must be okay. After all, my dog or cat can’t get close enough to you”. All I can say is: “No, I’m not okay!” Just for the record, “I don’t like it when your 110-pound Pit Bull wants to lick me in the face or your cat with a thousand and one claws wants to sit in my lap”.  Actually, I’ve never said that, but I’ve thought it on more than one occasion.  When it comes to animals, I need my space! (Sorry for the rant! I couldn’t help myself. I forgot it was Christmas.)

Repeat – “I am not an animal lover.” Okay, that may be an overstatement. My wife has a dog named Barnabas. Over the past thirteen plus years, I’ve warmed to his irresistible charm, playful personality and sparkling dark brown eyes.   Good for me that I did. Otherwise, I’d be on the outs at home. This dog is at the top of the leader board as far as the General is concerned. Barnabas can do no wrong!

“Barnabas can do no wrong”. Well that is the exclusive opinion of the General. It is not an opinion shared by both of us. I guess beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I’m still waiting for Barnabas’s behavior to improve. Pardon the pun, but he’s got a couple of marks against him and I’m not willing to overlook his choosing to mark the place by hiking his leg. Did I mention at times I hate that dog?

Before the Christmas experience was over, we had almost enough dogs in our home to double as Santa’s reindeer. I probably would have been really confused if any of them had been named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner or Blitzen. A house full of people and five dogs, what more is needed for a perfect holiday experience? You’re probably going to say, “A glass of eggnog might help”, but we didn’t have any and I didn’t think of that.

Actually, I probably should start digging myself out of the dog-house (pardon the pun) before I say more. Since the dogs are dearly loved by those I most dearly love, I would never consider banning dogs hosting a people only venue. In addition, I can truthfully say the dogs couldn’t have been better behaved. I didn’t even get licked in the face. In addition, if I had paid closer attention, I wouldn’t have tripped over any of them. As it was, I managed to self-correct rather than fall flat on my face. I didn’t hurt any of the four legged trip hazards either. Consequently, “mi casa es tu casa” is my motto. “The more the merrier”, I say!  If it makes family members feel content to be close to their four legged creatures, I’ll go with it. In fact, I’m considering: “All Creatures Great and Small” as the theme of next year’s Christmas celebration. If I were passive aggressive,(I mean self-absorbed and self-promotional), I’d probably recommend the first ever “Forrester family destination 2016 Christmas excursion”. How about Christmas in London? It sounds like a marvelous idea to me.

On Saturday evening, my son-in-law called to say they were in the neighborhood headed toward our place. Of course they were. We were expecting them for dinner thirty minutes earlier. While in route to our house, as the sun was setting in the West, they noticed a couple of dogs on the road that appeared a long way from home wherever home was. Neither dog had a collar or any kind of identification. They wanted to send me a picture to post on Facebook to see if anyone was missing their pets. The request reminded me of the posting I had seen that morning. As it turned out – same dogs/same location – hours later they were still unclaimed.

When we first moved to Henly in 1980, one of the problems associated to country living was the number of people from Austin who randomly discarded animals for someone else to manage. Perhaps that was the case with these dogs. At any rate, tag-teaming off of one another my daughter and daughter-in-law sprung into action. First question, had the dogs been scanned for a chip. Even if they didn’t have a collar, they could have a chip embedded.

I am simply not that high tech. What did they mean a chip embedded? I made a mental note to keep my distance. At my age, I might be a candidate for a chip. After all, how many “Silver Warnings” does one have to see posted before you realize the plight of the elderly. If Apple can find your iPad, why not let them find your somewhat forgetful “animal avoiding” elderly parent or grandfather? It might be a community service that adds a whole new concept to “Med-Alert”.

It was a Christmas weekend of animal alerts. Saturday night, before the dog situation was resolved, I subsequently learned that our automatic gate opener/closer had malfunctioned. Consequently, five horses had exited from our pasture through our gate. They now had joined the ranks of missing or stray animals gathering on Loop 165.

Maybe I’ll see you at Christmas in London next year.

All My Best!






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