It’s December and Christmas is nearly here. I’ve been working at home, chocolate-chipping away at my to-do list which includes decorating, shopping, wrapping, baking and entertaining. Speaking of entertaining … one of our favorite forms of entertainment is the Tug-man. He is a constant source of joy!

Tug will be eight years of age soon, and in the past 12 months he has decided the love seat in the family room is his own, private, over-sized pet lounger. It sort of makes sense; he does like to watch television and is partial to commercials. He barks at anything he sees on TV that has four legs; a cat being chased by a Swiffer through a glass tube, a monkey climbing a telephone pole, elephants, horses, cattle … it doesn’t matter.

We love our big hairy guy. We love it when he rolls around on the floor, then sits up super-fast and looks at us with electro-static crazy-dog hair! We love it when he pushes his orange ball under the wicker chair and gets all sad-eyed until his dad helps him out. We love how much he loves our grands. Sometimes he’s their shadow, other times he is a back rest while they read or compute. Always he greets them with the biggest smile and a lick on the chin.

We appreciate Tug all year in a multitude of ways. He has an everyday treat jar which is of equal importance with Jay’s cookie jar. “Special treats” reside on top of the fridge. He has three heavy duty rubber tennis balls, bones galore and the carcasses of three stuffed toys, two chippies and a monkey. But it’s Christmas and he knows it. The tree is up, I’ve been wrapping and like any other 7 almost 8-year-old he loves unwrapping!

So … Tug’s gifts, once wrapped, are stored up high, where even I can’t reach them. We will bring them out Christmas Eve and let him entertain us. Tug has skills when it comes to ripping and spitting wrapping paper. He tears and spits and takes his time until he gets a whiff of what’s to come, then it’s “look out.”

Yesterday I went shopping for Tug. This year he is getting a new gigantic chew bone, a “no-fill” Loofa Dog in lime green, a bag of everyday treats, a bag of really “special treats” and another chunk of elk antler (elk antlers are his favs). I wish every dog were as lucky as Tug. I wish everyone were as lucky as us to have a Tug in their life.

Tug came to us from York Adopt-A-Pet. We could tell he was grateful for his new home from the day he walked through the front door, jumped on our bed and nearly turned a back-flip! The way I see it Christmas is all about love, so each year we celebrate the gift of our family and friends; including Tug. York Adopt-A-Pet is a place that cares for pets of all ages. The dedicated workers and volunteers demonstrate love daily. Love is the gift York Adopt-A-Pet gives to the dogs in their care and it is a gift that keeps on giving. Anyone who has adopted knows. We do, because, since adopting Tug, the love we have given has been returned 10-fold.

This Christmas Tug will have his people, his toys, his comfy spot on the love seat in front of the television. He will have a full dish of fresh water, two cups of delicious food twice a day and countless treats, both everyday and “special.” And us … well, our gift is being entertained and loved by one very sweet and appreciative dog. Consider adopting one of the dogs and cats seeking forever homes and bringing a source of joy into your home.

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