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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Lockwood

A Christmas Safety Story

Many years ago (more than I would like to admit!) we celebrated our first Christmas as a married couple. I was in the Navy and my wife worked at Sears. We got married on July 1 and since I was stationed on board a ship, my wife wanted a dog for protection and company when I wasn’t home. So, on July 2 we got a brindle shepherd named Brownie. She loved to play and get hugged.

Since it was our first Christmas, we decided to get a real Christmas tree. Turned out it was to big for the house! We also had to buy ornaments and lights. After a few adjustments, we got the tree in the house and put all the decorations on it. We had silver and red balls, lights, and tinsel. We did all this on the weekend and never gave the dog a thought. While she watched us, she never seemed that interested in the tree.

Monday came and the wife and I went to work. Brownie stayed home as usual. When I came home, I found broken glass and tinsel all over the floor in front of the tree! At first I didn’t know where the glass came from. Then I realized the silver and red balls were made out of glass and that the dog knocked them off the tree and broke them! I immediately checked Brownies mouth and paws to ensure she did not cut herself. The color of the balls or she could see her reflection must have caused her to knock them off the tree. She also was chewing on the tinsel. Luckily, she wasn’t hurt and she was just happy we were home. We immediately moved all the balls up so she couldn’t reach them and took all the tinsel off the tree.

Turns out, this is a very common occurrence during the holidays. Dogs and cats like shiny things. Avoid glass ornaments and better yet, don’t put ornaments on the bottom of the tree. Don’t use tinsel at all. Dogs and cats will chew it and choke or get swallowed which can cause multiple issues. Always unplug Christmas lights when you are not home. Put Poinsettia's up as they are poisonous to dogs and cats if ingested.

Christmas is a time of joy and happiness. Please enjoy and keep your pets safe during the holiday season.

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