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“Pavlov’s First Christmas” brief extract from THE PUPPY WHO DIDN’T LIKE RAIN

December 16, 2016

I was born when the nights get dark very early; later the Persons tell me I was born on Halloween.

I am very young when the Persons start talking about Christmas. These days-with-names seem to matter to the Persons. They are always talking about Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or perhaps Sunday. Sunday seems very special, they all sit round a big long table and eat a lot of food, which always smells so good. I don’t know why they don’t give me any.

To be honest Christmas seems to get in the way of everything including me getting my ‘puppy sleep’. The Persons are so busy, rushing around, talking in a very excited way and wrapping everything up in coloured paper. But I am only eight weeks old at this stage so my story is going back a bit.

Then they bring a very long stick thing into the house. It has lots of other sticks sticking out of it. It’s the kind of thing I see outside covered in green spikey things. And the Persons bring it inside, with great difficulty, and some very loud voices. Uncle Olly holds it still while Gran-Daddy Person makes sure it stops wobbling. Then they rush about covering it with twinkly coloured things. Suddenly they press a switch and all the twinkly things light up and pretty sounds of music can be heard. It is beautiful and I want to look at it closely. But when I run up to it, all the Persons stop what they are doing and rush to pick me up. “No Pavlov, no, you must not go near the Christmas tree.”

So that is a Christmas tree! “If you are a good-boy Pavlov, there will be a parcel wrapped up for you under the Christmas tree on Christmas Day. ”I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what they are saying. I am more interested in all the cooking that Groovy Granny is doing. She is always cooking and it always smells so good. “Christmas Pudding, Mince Pies, Christmas Cake, Pavlov,” says Groovy Granny, but I don’t know what she is talking about. “You can’t eat any of the Christmas fruits, Pavlov! Grapes and raisins are very poisonous to dogs, but you might be able to have some turkey on Christmas Day.”

What does poisonous mean? These Persons they have so many long words and they expect me to understand, but I do like it when they talk to me, it is really very nice because it makes me feel included.

“Christmas is very like Sunday lunch Pavlov,” says Mummy Person. “Except we have a really big Turkey on Christmas Day, instead of a roast chicken, but I think you will like it just as much! We will give you a little because, although you can’t have chocolate or any of the sweet things, you can have turkey and carrots.”

When the big day comes, Persons are excited from the moment they wake me up. Aunty Penny Person arrives with Arthur-little-person. She is carrying Arthur-little-person in her arms. To be frank that is also where I stay for most of the day, in Mummy Person’s arms. Unless they put me into my dog-house-crate, which seems to be an awful lot of the time. There is paper and ribbons everywhere, the lights are twinkling on the long stick which is called a Christmas tree. I would love to be running around in all things over the floor.

I think Mummy Person realises this and gives me a parcel of my own. I tear off all the loose wrapping, as you do, and inside is a lovely soft ball with a squeak inside. I am going to be able to drive all the Persons mad, wag a tails! Christmas dinner is more than Kibble good! Why they only give me such a little bit is beyond me.

Buy Now: THE PUPPY WHO DIDN’T LIKE RAIN by Suzi Stembridge, drawings by Anna Falkonakis:

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