Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hilarious and Heartwarming Holiday Pet Stories

Kim's cat Libby

By Tamara McRill

What pet owner doesn’t have at least a few sweet or silly holiday memories spun from the antics of our fur children? Whether it’s the loving holiday traditions we carry out with our pets through the years or singular events that warm our hearts and uplift our spirits, these all become cherished stories. The best tales are meant to be shared, so I thought I would ask my friends about their favorite holiday memories starring their cats and dogs. Here’s what they had to share:

Kitty and Kiddie Sneak Peek

What’s a mom to do when the cat and children are in collusion to catch a glimpse of the gifts? Kim Morgan shares how her adopted feral cat Liberty, aka Libby, “helps” her spread the joy of the season:

“My kids want me to wrap their presents and put them under the tree early, because they know there's a good chance the cat will tear the wrapping to shreds and they'll get to see what they're getting,” said Kim. “This Christmas, it's already happened twice.”

Reindeer…err...Puppy Games

Santa’s not the only one watching to see if all little puppies are being good for Christmas, but that didn’t stop Linda Wolke’s Dachshund mix, Puppy, from trying to get his mom to join in a little holiday play. Puppy would tug his mother Rusty’s chain and try to drag her into a fun scrap. But Puppy must have known who was handing out the stockings in his house, because every time Linda would look out the window, he would stop and act like a perfect angel.

O Christmas Tree...

Kerri's former dog Cody
How tempting you can be. Especially when all those brightly colored packages are piled up underneath. That goes double when they are under someone else’s tree. Kerri Hollingsworth shared how her former dog Cody, (now mine), took all the surprise out of Christmas one year. The  Australian Shepherd and Blue Heeler mix had a grand time unwrapping all the gifts under her sister’s tree – including her sister’s new PlayStation.

They laughingly made a quick getaway, but it’s not like the tree is any safer at her home, thanks to her cat. Like most kitties, Nala considers the tree her private Christmas playhouse. It’s too bad it gets infested with garland, which she – of course –  does her best to “exterminate.”

The Best Gifts Come to Those Who Wait

Eleanor's dog Sebastion
Eleanor Evans shares how one of her favorite gifts, Sebastian, came to be in her life:

“I was living with my mother in 2009, when I was laid-off from my job and supplemented much of my income by petsitting. I really wanted to be a pet parent. On Christmas Day, we unwrapped presents and watched Disney movies. When we finished with Lady and the Tramp, my mom said, ‘I think we should get a dog.’”

“Within minutes I was on Petfinder looking for a furry creature who needed to find a special home. I applied at many shelters, but there was one special dog who stood out: a little Schnauzer-Pug-whatever mix. He was my top choice, even though he lived two hours away.”

“I was approved after a very detailed application process, and Mom and I drove for two hours in the snow in early January to pick him up. As we were leaving the shelter, one of the volunteers said, ‘You saved a life today.’ Nearly three years later he's curled up beside me and eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santy Paws.”

Oh, no, Santa!

Andrea's dog Julio
Sometimes the funniest holiday stories are so very not funny when they are happening. Luckily, time adds a little perspective and humor to the situation. Andrea Coventry told me about how her little puppy, Julio, wasn’t quite up to being Christmas company:

“The first Christmas that my sister and I went home with our puppies, we thought they would behave themselves,” Andrea shared. “Alas, my puppy went into my parents' bedroom and ate the nosepiece to my Dad's CPAP machine. My mother and I had to drive to a hospital a half hour away at 3 AM so Santa could get some sleep.”

A Little Christmas Tail Jig

I have plenty of warm-fuzzy Christmas memories of past pets, but our current trio of canine companions are more about the chuckles. After making one of those Christmas videos online for my nephews – where you turn yourself into an elf – I decided it would be cute to do one for the dogs. Preparing to show my chocolate Labrador, Wuppy, the video, I didn’t really figure I’d get much of a reaction.

Boy, was I wrong! He was so excited to see all of us carousing around the screen that he started dancing around. Over on the couch, Cody was helping him keep time by happily thumping his tail to the beat.

Do you have any cute or funny holiday pet stories? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Read more articles by Tamara McRill


  1. Cute but "tug his mother Rusty’s chain" -- I can only hope that chained dog gets a chance to interact with the family inside.
    Also, please remember that cats and garland can be a fatal encounter -- for the cat

    1. Oh, yes, these dogs get plenty of inside time with Linda! She operates a flower shop next to the house, so if the dogs want to be outdoors during business hours this is the safest way for her to let them do so.

      Yes, tinsel garland is extremely harmful -- and can be fatal -- to cats. Thanks for pointing that out!

  2. When I was a kid (a very long time ago) we had a grey Tomcat named Long John. One day in July, he went outdoors and didn't come back! We did all the signs, calling and whatever we could do. My Mom said Good Riddance but my Dad and I missed him. The months went on and we thought he had been killed or run over, we just gave up on ever finding him again. Then on Christmas Eve, I heard a noise on the porch, opened the door to a fat, puffed up Long John, he walked in, greeted me and my Dad and curled up on the couch for a sleep. He stayed home forever after that (or what was forever to him)! We never forgot our Christmas Eve surprise!

    1. What a wonderful story -- thanks so much for sharing!


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