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 How Christmas was supposed to go

Kids wake up well after sun fully risen, open their stockings.

Parents get up, begin breakfast.Dad leaves to do chores.

Kids sit down to breakfast but first open a special present.

Dad goes to bring the black lab/boxer mix dog named Lucy who we adopted in secret three weeks ago to the house.

Kids, who are at home opening one dog-themed present each, are confused but silent as they open the first, then second presents.

A collar? one of them will say. Why are you giving me this?

A leash? another will inquire. What’s going on?

A rubber bone? the third will query. Why do I need this?

None of them will dare guess because there have been no signs that a dog is coming, no hints, no warning. We haven’t been talking about it, they have not been asking again for one.

Dad rolls into the driveway.

The kids are now talking to each other about what they got in their stockings and look out the dining room window casually to see dad pull up. They resume talking, drinking cocoa and eggnog. Dad comes in but he isn’t alone. In bounds a shiny black dog with a tag that says Lucy. At first, nobody moves. Mom and Dad are watching for reactions. Lucy, too is frozen for a moment. Then, everyone begins talking at once.

Oh my gosh!

I can’t believe it!

Is she ours?

Her name is Lucy.

This is awesome!

Where’s she been all this time?

Thanks, mom and dad!

So that’s what the presents were for!

Oh, now I get it!

——

How Christmas actually went

Kids wake up well after sun fully risen, open their stockings.

Parents get up, begin breakfast.Dad leaves to do chores.

Kids sit down to breakfast but first open a special present. Dad goes to bring the black lab/boxer mix dog named Lucy who we adopted in secret three weeks ago to the house.

Parker opens collar.

“Catherine’s cleaning the poop,” he says.

No one hears him, because he talks so much all the time, nobody pays attention to him. I am videotaping this, so I say loudly,

“Hey, Harry open yours!”

Harry opens his: a matching leash. He looks at Parker who has not stopped repeating his sentence.

“Catherine’s cleaning the poop, Catherine’s cleaning the poop,Catherine’s cleaning the poop,Catherine’s cleaning the poop.”

“Shut up, Parker,”  Harry says. “Mom, wait a minute. What is this for?”

“Let Scout open hers, ” I say.  Somehow Scout hasn’t heard Parker, thank god.

Harry says ” No way, I way asking for like three years. Tell the truth, Mom, what kind is it?”

Parker, “Catherine’s cleaning the poop.”

Harry,” Dude,shut up.”

Catherine opens the box with a dog brush and other dog stuff. She gets very excited.

“Catherine, you’re cleaning the poop,” Parker says.

Dad rolls into the driveway.

Catherine grabs the leash and the collar and goes out into the driveway to meet her new dog and Harry goes out, too.

He has no coat on, so he stays in the mudroom.

The cat comes into the mudroom from wherever it hangs out at night.

Harry steps out to greet the dog.

Cath hands him the leash, walks into mudroom, says hi to cat, gets ready to introduce him to the dog.

Harry walks the dog into the mudroom.

Dog sees cat, lunges barks like crazy which echoes in room with tiled floor.

 Cat sees the dog, freaks out completely.

Cat literally leaps to ceiling trying to get away.

Dog is barking with excitement. Cat is scrambling in terror.

Catherine is screaming to the cat to calm down and crying for Daddy to save the kitty. Doug is hollering at dog to ” Cut the shit!” 

 Harry is pulling leash with all his might, yelling “Holy crap! They hate each other already!”

Parker, who has not moved from the dining room table and who can see all this through the window into the mudroom, is laughing so hard, he is doubled over in spasms and tears are rolling down his face.

I get up and push stop on the video recorder.

Another Beaupre Christmas.

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