On Christmas Day it was time to open the box of goodies that Barb R. sends the gang every holiday season. This year, sadly, our lead “opener,” our elderly blind Lab Stella, was missing. Shortly before Christmas, she had gone downhill in a few days – a rapid physical and cognitive decline. A vet visit confirmed that she was at the end, and we had to let her go. So it was a bittersweet moment watching the dogs with this big box of presents and not having Stella leading the way.
She really did set the pace and generate the initial excitement, and without her, the only dog who was really into it was Tanner. The blanket at first threw him — it was always the first thing Stella removed for everyone, freeing up the contents. But he finally stuck his nose under it and quickly started retrieving the toys underneath. In the photo above, he has the first toy in his mouth and is about to pull it out.
In this next shot, Tanner’s returned to the other corner and now Millie and Daisy are becoming curious:
Little Bugsy, who usually joins in these escapades, was sleeping the entire time.
Here’s Daisy looking a little suspicious:
But no, she never did grab anything!
And despite Millie’s initial interest — and her past experience last Christmas pulling toys out — she didn’t retrieve anything this year, and seemed puzzled as to what to do:
Never fear, though, because Tanner knew exactly what to do — take out every toy he could find, chew on it for a few minutes, go back for another one, chew briefly, rinse and repeat. It wasn’t long before he was surrounded by his prizes:
Thank you, Barb!
Like everyone else in the East, we were dealing with record cold from this polar vortex for the past ten days or so — though probably colder than most! On January 1st we were at minus 28? that morning … on January 2nd, we hit minus 32? (that’s -35? C) … and yesterday morning, on Sunday, the polar vortex ended with a brisk minus 29?, as you can see from our weather station:
(The minus 32.4? you see there is the dew point.)
This morning, it was 12? above zero when we got up! Heat wave!
Barb Ribinski says
Well, even if Tanner is the one who enjoys the toys, (and he sure does have a pile of toys around him) I’m guessing the treats were enjoyed by all! And it’s really nice to see Daisy checking things out knowing that she can see well now. How do you even get the furry ones to run out and do their business when it’s that cold? Sweaters and coats for all probably help. Hope your temps are now on the way up this week like ours. Happy New Year to all the blog readers.
Tonya Allen says
So sorry you had to say goodbye to Stella. She was such a sweetie, and there’s no doubt the best few years of her life were with you. Tanner looks very pleased with his haul. Glad you survived the cold temperatures! That’s just really, really cold. I’ll bet it was a challenge to get everyone to go outside and do their business.
patty c says
I’m so so sorry to hear about Stella; you were surely the best retirement home she could have ever dreamed of. Stay warm up there, and Happy New Year!
Lisa Brown says
So sorry to hear about Stella. Tanner reminds me of my blind cat Hope who takes all the toys from a basket, surrounds herself and sleeps in the middle of her toy “friends”. Happy New Year to you all! Hope it warms up a bit.
James and Shirley says
Rest In Peace sweet, sweet Stella. I remember when she came to RDF. Thank you for saving her and giving her a wonderful life until it was her time to cross over.
Sending hugs to all.