In our house we have a special Christmas tradition that we've observed for several years. I have put together pictures taken over the last four years to illustrate. On the day before Christmas I take the dogs' toy box to the garage and empty it. I fill it with new toys and tennis balls and put the lid on tightly. Then I bring it upstairs and put it near the tree.
I have to remind Samba not to touch it, as she knows how to open it. We leave the full toy box there all day and the dogs know there's something going on. They check it out several times during the day and Monty spends a lot of time guarding it.
They are so interested in the box that all day they will try to get us to open it, but they have to wait.
On Christmas morning we feed the dogs and take them out. Then Rob and I have coffee and something to eat. Finally it's time to open the box. Each gets to choose their own toy.
Monty always has a difficult time choosing. He takes so long to make a decision that all the good toys are taken and he gets left with tennis balls. I usually help him, before he gets left out.
Everyone takes a toy and comes back for another. Then they swap and steal each others.
Monty guards the box.
Monty and Lucy have their toys.
Morgan shows Rob her new toy.
Fudge is really excited and wants to show Rob his new toy, too.
See what Santa Dog brought Fudge.
Lucy takes her toy to the laundry room so none of the others can take it.
Samba makes herself comfortable.
Morgan has a mouthful.
Tsar took two.
Everyone is having a good time with their new toy.
Now it's our turn. We go downstairs to where our new toys are waiting to be opened. Of course all the dogs come with us.
Monty would like to trade his toy for one of those packages.
Everyone is hoping there are more dog toys in this room. There probably are. Our friends and family often include toys or treats with our gifts.
They're starting to wind down now. Monty makes himself comfortable under the tree.
Morgan is tired and climbs onto the sofa under a pile of wrapping paper. She actually fell asleep there.
It's been a great day and all the dogs are fast asleep. I have a trail of toys to pick up and replace in the toybox.
This year the pups will be old enough to take part in our tradition. That should liven things up. Imagine twelve dogs choosing toys. Maybe I should get a second toy box.