Cookie came to live with us last year (“Cookie, Our Second Three-legged Dog,” January 16, 2023. She was here, then, for last year’s Christmas. The tree was a small one that went up on our early marriage antique round pedestal table; the presents were collected on two rectangular folding tables, all preventative precautions since she had already taken a few items off the chicken coop I use for seasonal decorations.

I naively thought she had grown past some of that behavior, but then, this Thanksgiving, I would find shredded artificial autumn leaves chewed up in the floor after we had been gone for even a short time and made the mistake of leaving the dogs in the house. She also chewed on one of the little miniature cotton bales I use for fall decorations. I know Porche didn’t do it; she’s way past that behavior and would much rather nap on the one sofa they are allowed on. And then, on occasion, when I would go outside to do something for a short time, or even just go into another part of the house, when I came back in, there would be more leaves torn up, and Cookie would be sitting there innocently, like nothing was amiss.

So, once again this Christmas, the tree is up on the table and the presents will be on a table as well. But what decorations could I put on the chicken coop that would not be a temptation to her? Anything soft or furry or apparently bright-colored would be too easy. I decided hard and metallic might be the answer, so I located the box of disco balls, shiny foil stems, and bland green pine branches and came up with is arrangement.

And that seemed to do the trick.

But alas, it did not. I came through the room one day and found one of the small balls on the floor. Nothing else was disturbed, and the ball had not been destroyed, but there it was. She was at it again!

I put it back, reprimanded her, and things were fine. For a few days. I had been working on the computer in another room, and when i walked back to the front of the house, I found another ball on the floor.

I guess they are too hard and metallic to be fun to chew on because so far nothing has been torn up, but you never know. So now I try to remember to check on her when it gets too quiet or when she and Porche get excited and do a little rough-housing, which I think sometimes gets Cookie excited and she might grab a ball during the ruckus. The greenery has not been moved, nor have the little reindeer been disturbed, so at least there is that.

If you have dogs, cats, or new little crawling babies, I hope your decorations make it till Christmas intact.

Merry Christmas!