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It's been so quiet around here this last week or so....I thought I would start a thread about how we dog owners spend the holidays.
Do you have to leave your dog at home? Stay at home because of your dog? Take them with you? Travel with them? What do you enjoy doing with your dog on your time off?
Do you buy a Christmas present for your dog?

We have our family to celebrate Christmas with. I board dogs for a living...so have to be around for them. It's always a busy time for me...but we always manage to have a great time. Too much food, presents...and wine. lol. If it's not too bitter cold, and the snow is not too deep....we take a walk through the fields. Sometimes the grand kids toboggan down our hill.

Yes, I do buy a present for Jemma. I always have bought a present for all my dogs through the years....as well as birthday presents.

What about you, and your family??
 

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I also have horses so have rarely gone away longer than an entire day. The dogs have always stayed home.

I used to buy presents for all the critters but I stopped that during a lean period of my life and never started back up.

Being 11 hours from my family, I don't do Christmas anymore. I do, however, enjoy all the Christmas movies and specials on TV.

I live in an Ag county so there is still a lot of "peace and goodwill" in the stores, which makes normal shopping a lot more pleasant. I wish it could last all year long, everywhere:)
 

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Here at our house, it's just Rainah and me. I don't really enjoy waking up in an empty house on Christmas morning, so last year I decided we'd do stockings! I buy little things for myself throughout the year, and fill my stocking a few months in advance (makes it a little more fun if I forget what's in there lol. I'm still a kid at heart). Of course Rainah's stocking always overflows! I hung it a couple of weeks ago and one morning she woke me quite early. I thought she needed to go out, but no, she was standing by the fireplace sniffing at her stocking and whining! Silly girl! I keep telling her she has to wait until Christmas! I think she's actually learned the word "stocking" and Christmas morning is going to be so much fun!
I have family that lives nearby so I don't go out of town for the holidays. I board her when I go on vacation... we have an excellent place for that. They put them in daycare and Rainah gets to play with the other dogs all day. (They do an evaluation before placing the dog in a play group). They are kenneled for eating and sleeping only. The attendants also do some training with them, group sits, etc. They post photos on Facebook so I get to see her having fun. She comes home tired and happy!
 

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We celebrate with our families (my mom is also in Toronto, we have dinner with her, my brother, and Toby's mom Christmas Eve), then Christmas morning with my mom, brother, Toby and I, and Christmas day dinner with Toby's family and the nieces/nephew west of the city.

The dogs will not come with us, but we're around throughout both days so it's just a few hours here are there.

We picked up our tree yesterday! This is only my second year as an adult having a tree (I'm 40) since we always celebrate at our family's, but I love Christmas so am so happy. My mom even gave me some of the decorations from when I was a kid!
 

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Oh yes for our actual vacations, they're either running/camping/backpacking vacations spring-fall, and the dogs come with (I also winter camp and I think Agis will be my winter camping buddy, he actually likes the cold!). In the winter, we go away to cabins on the west side of Algonquin Provincial Park - 16 days this year, can't wait - and the dogs come.
 

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Love these Christmas stories.

We stay home not just for Bella but I also have a few cats that need to be fed. Can't seem to go too far from home anymore with the animals.

We have a lot of family in town but now everyone has their own extended families with in-laws and grandkids so everyone does their own thing on Christmas.

We do buy Bella gifts and she still enjoys toys even at her age of almost 9! She has a festive red and green sparkly collar she wears for the holidays.
 

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We usually go see my MIL out of town for Christmas, but not this year. Moqui our shep mix is not doing well and we will be spending Christmas with him. He is eating, but has lost some weight and is 16... might have had a stroke, is walking wobbly. I talked about him in this group before. A few years ago he had a bout with a tumor in his mouth that we put him through hell for: an operation and what was worse was the radiation treatments every week for a couple of months. He was so frightened of them we literally had to drag him into the office. So I have not wanted to put him through anything traumatic like a vet visit, especially if nothing can be done for his decline as is so often the case with an elderly dog. I called the animal communicator a couple of weeks ago and she said he wasn't eating as much because if he ate more his stomach hurt. He was mostly just sore and arthritic, not in any pain, is what she said. Although I think I will call her again to see if anything has changed. He is not ouchy, does not cry out, so it doesn't appear that he is in pain. if he wants to die at home I guess we will oblige. If in pain, I'll find a vet who makes house calls to do the deed. He's been a great dog. I want to do whatever's right for him. It sucks, but he's 16 y.o. and that's a long time for a larger dog. We knew it was eventually coming, but it sure hit quick when it hit.

Usually we go out of town on Christmas and sneak the Chihuahua in hotels while an employee from our office who is familiar with our dogs feeds them. A friend at the ranch feeds my horse his extras for me. I hate leaving the animals. If my husband or I get them presents we give them to the animals right away. We're the kids who can't wait.

The Chihuahua has several seasonal Christmas shirts he wears to get us into the spirit of the season. He has so many shirts/jackets! One time I found a cute sweater that was knitted to look like a football, so Bill would look like a football with legs. I showed it to my husband, who said, "I can't believe I'm telling you to do this, but buy it."
 

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Sorry to hear about Moqui….. hopefully he goes peacefully? I know it's hard to lose them...they seem to take a piece of our hearts with them. ) :
Having dogs and other animals makes it hard to visit family, or travel ….or sometimes it just makes a good excuse not to...hahahahaha!!!

I've never owned a small breed dog as an adult...it's always been the large working breeds for us. We will probably 'downsize' breeds when Jemma is gone. Not sure how I feel about buying coats, and clothes for a small dog?? I will probably end up buying clothes for a small dog, and pushing it in a stroller....hehehehehe!!
 

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Thanks Andrea,

I called Bea the animal communicator last night to ask how he was feeling. She says it feels like his spine is disentigrating and his systems are shutting down. His lower spine has problems, he can't walk, can't use his back legs, just pushes off with them. Can't stand to pee. We have to put something under him to walk him outside and back. It has only been getting worse... but he told her he didn't want to go to the vet's. I asked if a vet could come to him and he was not as opposed to that, although he isn't in enough pain for that yet.

I tried to feed him this morning and he wouldn't eat. I looked at his face and said, "If you don't eat, we are going to have to put you to sleep." He then took the chicken from my hand and continued to eat a decent amount of chicken. However, this was the exact chicken he refused before my comment to him. He's not ready to go just yet, but he may not have a choice before long. I ordered some CBD oil for him. We are giving him low dosage aspirin. It's a losing battle when a dog is this elderly. When he gets closer (could be any day) we will call a vet to come and give him the shots here at home.

The big Rotties are more respectful of him at this point at least. Before they would unashamedly steal his food at every opportunity. Now, even though he has truly delicious food (I'm using everything under the sun to tempt him to eat) they are being respectful of his food.
 

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Sorry to hear about Moqui….. hopefully he goes peacefully? I know it's hard to lose them...they seem to take a piece of our hearts with them. ) :
Having dogs and other animals makes it hard to visit family, or travel ….or sometimes it just makes a good excuse not to...hahahahaha!!!

I've never owned a small breed dog as an adult...it's always been the large working breeds for us. We will probably 'downsize' breeds when Jemma is gone. Not sure how I feel about buying coats, and clothes for a small dog?? I will probably end up buying clothes for a small dog, and pushing it in a stroller....hehehehehe!!
Ha! We got the Chihuahua by accident. Got him for MIL when her small dog died. He was at a PetSmart dancing around in a pen with a bunch of other Chi's. We thought 'oh, mom would like another little dog.' Boy, were we wrong. She took one look and said, "I don't want it." We couldn't find anyone else to adopt him, and by the time we found someone he had earned a place in our home and hearts. Dressing him is actually fun. He's not getting a stroller though! Those make me laugh when I see them. He is utterly fearless with the big dogs. He will throw himself at Rocky, whose head is as big as he is if Rocky gets near his food or cookie. Rocky, bless his heart, just shys away and looks like he's saying, "Sorry Bill, I thought you didn't want that anymore."

After adopting the last two Rotties we have realized our mortal limitations and we find we are too old to take on that rambunctiousness and size on again. Downsizing is a definite probability in our future, as we can't be dog-less. However, there are always older dogs who need homes and I expect we will go there eventually....
 

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We had to say goodbye to Moqui last Friday. He couldn't even try to move his back feet at that point. We called a vet to come to the house to do it. She was great. Moqui didn't have to be put through the stress of going to the vet and the other dogs got to watch and know we didn't dump him somewhere (a consideration when you own rescue dogs many of whom have been dumped).

Interesting thing: When the vet gave Moqui the first shot of sedative and muscle relaxant he reacted very twitchy. She said that was something you see with dogs who have problems with their central nervous system. It's possible he had a brain tumor. He did have the tumor we removed from his mouth three years ago and radiated the spot afterwards. The cancer could have gone to his brain.

Moqui was a wonderful dog. He was a GSD, Rott, Pit mix. We adopted him from a ranch where he had been dumped as a puppy. He had decided it would be fun to bark and chase joggers on the road so the owners tried to train him and then tried to find him another home. At that time we had one dog who was so abused and shy he didn't bark and a Rottie girl who was also not inclined to do anything but sleep most of the time. When she heard the doorbell ring, she'd lift her head and look at you like, "Shouldn't you get that?" and then lay it back down on the dog bed. She was a very laidback girl. So my husband wanted a dog who barked and was on the alert. Moqui was a really sweetly dispositioned dog. We went to see him at the ranch and when the old dog came up to him, Moqui kissed him on the face and when the young dog came up to him Moqui played with him. We brought him home and he fit right in.

We had Moqui for 13 long wonderful years. He was a terrific dog. He was the mediator when we brought home new adopted dogs and he'd make sure they didn't hurt us. (or so he thought). He was always the good one, except when it came to coming to the office. If I left the garage door open, instead of getting in the car to come to the office, he'd run down the street on a walkabout. He somehow thought that was OK and we should know he could find his way back home, as he had when he roamed the big ranch he came from. Of course since we live in a residential district not far from a busy street it was very NOT OK. We'd have to get in the car and chase him down the street and stop and coerce him into the vehicle. This happened his whole life. I think he thought it was a game and he'd run off down the street with his tail held high, just trotting and smelling the front of the neighbor's homes. He had a grand time of it.

I kept Moqui and Bill the Chi in my office while I worked. When Bill had to go potty, Moqui would let me know and start barking at me and wouldn't stop until I got the leash out.

He used to sleep on the floor by my side of the bed. (Now the big Rott likes it there..... so I'm glad I still have a big kid at my feet to wake up to.)

He was a really good dog and people used to call him "the smartest dog" which he told the pet communicator he really liked.

We miss him. I hope he's at the Rainbow Bridge running free now, out of arthritic pain and whatever neurological damage he'd endured. He loved to run. Hopefully he's running, sniffing and playing with our others who have passed that were his buds over the years.

It sucks losing him, but it's satisfying he had a long life... they can't live forever, but 16 years is the longest we've ever had. He was very healthy for most of his life, except for the bout with the tumor.
 

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Sorry to hear that Moqui is gone. You did the right thing letting him go. He sounds like he was a wonderful dog...and he gave you many years of love, and happiness.
RIP Moqui
 

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Steph King, I am so sorry about Moqui:(. I really enjoyed reading his back story:)

You mentioned the eye twitching and the vet’s comments.

My Blue eyed white Catahoula had a massive stroke last February. When the vet PTS’d him, she said the same thing about his eye twitching — that he likely had brain tumors and sending him on was the best we could do for him.

Mason was dumped on the road below me when he was around 18 months. He was nine years when we laid him to rest in our Pet Sematary. He was the sweetest, most loving, non-confrontational dog I have ever had. I am pretty sure my Catahoula/Pit Bull still hasn’t gotten over losing Mason, even though he has the Rottweiler to keep him company.
 

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So sorry to hear you lost your Moqui Steph. :(Thanks for sharing his story with us. He was lucky to have you and he knew it. May he rest in peace.

You are absolutely right about having the vet come to the house. It may cost more but is so worth it to let him go in peace at home instead of having to load him up and drive him, putting him through more pain.
 
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