In Daughter's younger days we had Jasper Dog, who had a plan. "What's this nonorganic thing? It hurts. Ow. Well, maybe if I chew it, meat will happen."
I miss that dog. There's an ornament of a dog with a halo on the tree, reminding us of bygone friends. I miss the Christmas morning challenges of assembling pink-plastic things, unshaven, muttering quiet oaths. I miss toys, to be honest. This is the last Christmas that Daughter will be around the house in the weeks before the celebration. Next time, she comes home from elsewhere.
But Birch will be there to greet her when she gets out of the Uber. Oh, we would have liked to have picked her up from the airport, but Birch ate the car-key fob. Every time he runs down the stairs the door locks go up and down.
Don't hug him too tightly, we'll warn her, or the horn sounds.
I imagine she'll hug him tight anyway, because it's Christmas.
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