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Staying Close Through the Holidays

Every year I say I will manage my time better during the holidays. I promise myself I’ll get my shopping done early, my holiday cards in the mail, and everything wrapped and ready for Christmas morning. Needless to say, every year I leave large gaping holes & wide margins for improvement.

Baking cookies and decorating gingerbread houses turns into a wild, rushed, chaotic routine filled with laughs and giggles and a ton of clean up. I always forget, without fail, how much time is consumed in the process of celebrating the holidays.

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It goes without saying that our pets, who like family, are cherished and included in as many of these traditions as possible. They also likely feel left out when we aren’t around or I’m racing from one thing to the next without blinking. I’ve made it a point to be deliberate about bringing Theo around on the errands he’ll enjoy, and even some he won’t especially love, just so he feels included. It’s during these times that I make sure to bring his water, a toy and a few of his favorite Pedigree DENTASTIX treats. The kids love to give him his treats, because they see and understand how excited he is to receive them, and we love that they’re an easy way to help clean his teeth and freshen his breath.

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I treasure this time during the year when the kids are on winter break and we can dedicate real moments to spending time as a family, both immediate and extended. Theo is so involved in our daily lives and routines, and this will be his third Christmas season. He no longer sneaks nibbles off of our popcorn garlands or tears open the gifts under the tree. He clearly leaves Buddy, our elf, alone at night to work his magic and gets just as excited for Christmas morning as the kids do. Santa knows to fill his stocking with tennis balls and Pedigree DENTASTIX treats, the only dental treat he’ll actually eat without racing off to bury and forget about.

As much as we strive to include Theo in everything we do, during the holidays it becomes a challenge to make sure all of the kids and pets are happy and the errands are run in time. I can’t really explain to him in a way that he’ll understand that our time spent away is a necessary part of our merriness, but they are all patient and appreciative in the end. A few sugar cookies for the kids and Pedigree DENTASTIX treats for Theo help keep their spirits bright-and his breath fresh enough to snuggle and love him up. Our family is really big on spending time together, and this time of year it’s certainly the best for that.

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