Once upon a Christmas Eve, Lindsey, Caitlyn, Anna and Kali, were off to Grandmother Ruby’s house for a noon gathering with all the family bringing food and gifts. As we drove away, we waved merrily to Amelia and Lily, our two King Charles Cavalier spaniels who stood watching from the window.
Before the family departed, Lindsey wanted to leave one of the three chocolate pies prepared for the family at the house for later. We left the homemade chocolate pie with hand crushed graham cracker crust on the middle of the counter-height table. After a festive luncheon, the senior elf Caitlyn assisted by junior elf, Kali passed presents out all around, with the littlest one- Anna watching from her mom’s lap. With everyone satisfied and happy, we returned home.
As we entered the back door, Lindsey hustled the kids in for hand-washing, while I saw to my horror, a half-eaten chocolate pie in the middle of the kitchen table. My heart sank as I considered the culprit, Amelia, who stood licking her lips with a bashful look, “Did I do that?”
Several fears seized me simultaneously. Will Amelia suffer from chocolate overload- aren’t dogs allergic to chocolate? Then, a bigger fear washed over me. What happens to me, when Lindsey starts looking for her childhood all-time favorite Christmas dessert? Yes, I left it there, with no idea that a sweet-natured little dog could find a way onto the chair partially tucked under the table, much less eat half a pie.
Then, I could hear the lines from my favorite Christmas movie, “Then he got an idea. An awful idea. The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea!”
I knew what to do. I needed to hide it. Out of sight, out of mind, right? I took the pie, carved off the ragged edges where dog lips had happily lapped to a perfectly smooth line and set it out in the laundry room on the dryer with a cover.
What could I do? I needed time to think. Should I tell Lindsey right then or shield her from worrying all night about Amelia and upsetting the sweet feeling of Christmas? As the old saying goes, “Let sleeping dogs lie”. I waited and watched nervously.I kept Amelia close by me all night, watching for any ill effects and thankfully there were none. The next morning, before anyone else woke up, Lindsey started looking for her pie. I knew it was coming, since it was her habit at holidays to eat cold pie for breakfast. She checked the microwave where I usually store it. As she looked around, all the while questioning me on where her pie went to, I still had not figured out how to break the news to her. With a healthy, happy dog smiling up at us, I let Lindsey find her pie where I had put it away for safe keeping. Casting me a quizzical look, she wondered aloud if I had been the one eating her pie.
I waited until right before she took her first bite to say, “I wish it had been me, but the missing part of the pie was eaten by Amelia!” After she gasped in shock, throwing down her fork, she looked Amelia over telling me how dogs are not supposed to eat chocolate and decided she was no worse for her adventures. Then, shaking her head at me, she laughed and said, “I know how you don’t like making those crusts, but start crumbling the graham crackers for my pie.”
Feeling I had gotten off easy, I went right to work while she made breakfast for the kids who were waking up to see what Santa Claus left them.
Don’t worry, we are careful to keep all of the Christmas desserts out of reach of dogs, especially Amelia with her sweet tooth! We should have remembered that she had a weakness for chocolate after she had ransacked an Easter basket and been found in straw strewn with candy wrappers! Yes, she has the face of an angel, but she is not to be trusted around chocolate!