Buckaroo’s holiday behavior tips for horses, humans, and dogs
My name is Buckaroo, a nine-year-old Australian Shepherd and connoisseur of foods, treats, and my human’s peanut butter jar. I’m a schmoozer, with the ability to get humans to do what I want. Hence, I’m frequently called “Mr. Schmoo” or “Schmoonie” due to my engaging personality. But I digress.
My top behavior tips for horses, humans, and dogs for the holiday season come from my many years of experience gaining insight as to appropriate behavior and decorum during this festive time.
I have taken the liberty of including insights from my fellow pack members as well.
1. Please do not get stressy, colicky, or go off your feed. This will cause the human to go into a complete meltdown of panic and worry on top of the holiday pressures. I will then be forced to be the emotional support animal, and I’d much prefer to gnaw on a chew bone or take a nap.
2. Try not to get a hoof abscess, strain a suspensory ligament, or wound yourself in a way that requires vet and stitches. Wait until after the new year.
3. Don’t kick the human, bite the human, step on the human’s foot or buck the human off during the holidays. You’ll have plenty of time for that in the new year.
1. Be sure to leave platters of food on the edge of the counter for ease of canine counter surfing. Pushing plates and platters to the back of the counter makes it hard for Eden, our counter-surfing Australian Shepherd expert, to get the food to us. Come on, it’s holiday time for us too.
2. Lift the embargo of “No Feeding Food to Dogs Under the Table.” Isn’t Christmas the time of giving?
3. Please tell your guests that giving the dogs a few morsels off the cheese hors d’oeuvre plate is not a crime, and we canines promise to be polite by not mistakenly grabbing a guest’s finger.
4. If you don’t want dogs like Crockett and Keen to mark the Christmas tree, keep it outside, okay? Otherwise, it’s not their fault. They are intact males; that tree is an important canine message board. After all, our paws are not highly functional on keyboards.
5. Make sure you have plenty of toddlers around to feed us Christmas cookies when no adult is looking. This is one of the most important behavior tips for humans. Toddlers are the perfect height for Aussies to grab a free cookie snack out of toddler’s hand or just clean up the crumbs. I am especially adept at washing a toddler’s face with my tongue … just to be helpful of course.
1. Please refrain from toxic foods! Don’t eat chocolate, don’t lap up the eggnog (or anything containing alcohol), and do not — under any circumstances — pay attention to what the cat tells you to eat. Try not to start vomiting on the newly cleaned rugs or emitting foul-smelling diarrhea in the kitchen. This is not the time to have a health crisis that requires going to the emergency vet. This is one of the most important holiday behavior tips for any dog.
2. Avoid isolation and bathtime! Don’t roll in a dead animal carcass or fresh manure when guests are arriving, or you may find yourself barricaded from the activities. Or worse: given an immediate bath.
3. Don’t get coal in your stocking! Please restrain yourself from sock eating, garbage diving, manure consumption, kitty litter box cleaning, zoomies during Christmas parties, and opening gifts that aren’t yours.
4. Enjoy your holiday – Smile and get all the belly rubs awaiting you!