It’s time for the annual lesson on balls. I love balls! They make my tail wag. I like it when my human throws them so I can retrieve them-see what I did there? I am a Labrador R-E-T-R-I-E-V-E-R. Balls are a reward for doing good things. They make me feel like a puppy again, playful and energetic.
Every year around this time, a tree arrives in our living room and is decorated in…BALLS! Imagine my delight at this magic! I BELIEVE these balls are for ME!! It turns out they aren’t. These balls are made of glass and not fuzzy. They aren’t chewable and are unsafe for dogs.
I try to listen and learn, just like the kids I teach. Safety is important. I also notice other safety measures my human takes to keep me safe. He puts the pretty poinsettia plants on a table that I can’t reach and makes sure the leaves that fall aren’t in my reach either. He knows I like to snack on whatever hits the floor and that I am not a food snob.
My human has a fireplace screen in front of our glass-enclosed fireplace. The glass gets hot and can be dangerous to doggy noses. My human knows I like to sniff everything, and he wants to make sure my nose doesn’t get burned.
We don’t burn candles because of the fire hazard, but my human does diffuse essential oils to make our house smell nice, and less like stinky dog feet. He does a lot of research on what oils are safe for dogs, uses them in moderation, and makes sure to clean up any drips I might like to lick up with my tongue.
My human makes sure I have a warm place to sleep at night. Some of my friends have to stay outside at times. All big dogs like me love the outside, even in winter, in moderation. We like the smells and the freedom to run around our fenced yards. But it is important to have an accessible place to get out of the weather to warm our paws when needed. Some pine shavings in a dog-sized house make a cozy place to nap and make our fur smell like that tree in the living room! But no balls, except those yellow fuzzy ones!
I hope this holiday season is happy and safe for you and your humans!