“Wait” is not in his Holiday Vocabulary

H called me about 2 weeks ago to tell me she and Lyric and Echo (Darby Crash’s mom and his sister) had a Christmas present for us. We love presents, so we ran right down to the clinic gather our loot. When presented with a very simple brown box, I asked if we could OPEN IT NOW?!? We were told no, it’s a Christmas present, you should wait. Darby and I sighed together and agreed, we would wait. So I put the box in the van and left it there (in the foot well of the front seat). Today (Christmas Eve Day), I loaded up DeeDee and Darby and we went to do a little last minute shopping.

Let it be noted that all of my dogs are very well mannered and trustworthy in vehicles. I travel often with one or all of them, and they never destroy or soil anything (seatbelts, electronic cords, seats, etc). At worse they’ve gotten into the trash or my training bag and scattered or devoured the contents. Not so today. I had forgotten Darby’s obsession with cardboard boxes. Not paper bags, not magazines or newspapers, never blankets or dog beds. But a severe cardboard addiction, starting with chewing a corner until it’s soggy, then going wholesale nutso ripping and shredding like a mad-dog until there’s nothing but confetti remaining. But I had forgotten, and left the two in the van parked directly on the street in front of the store I was in without a second thought (other than how lucky I was to find a coveted parking spot in a busy shopping area). The alarm was set, the minivan was parked within sight, what could go wrong?

When I was done, I got in the van and put my packages on the passenger seat. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something that made me do a double-take.


Dead Monkey Wig, first glance. What else could it be???

The first thing I thought (and remember, first thoughts don’t have to make sense) was “There’s a dead monkey in my van????”, and then actually turning around and looking closer my second thought was “Somebody chewed up a wig???”. Then I realized that I have neither a long haired black monkey nor a wig, so those first thoughts couldn’t be correct. Then I took a good look at the bigger picture and saw the cardboard carnage, the nibbled/ripped greeting card envelope, and of course the Dead Monkey Wig that I still couldn’t identify and was a little hesitant to touch…..


The bigger picture, still don’t know what that thing is. Suspicious.

It was about that point that Dee started doing a little prancy-dance and then dove onto the back bench seat to try and look as small and non-guilty as possible, leaving Darby ‘holding the bag’, or in this case the chewed box.


Guilty, ten times over. The glitter on his face, and the lack of glitter on Dee, confirmed it beyond a reasonable doubt.

Maybe he was set up? Maybe Dee wasn’t so innocent as she pretended and had arranged for Darby to take the fall? Not a chance. In his guilt Darby flooded me with snuffly face nuzzles and kisses….his muzzle was covered in glitter. A Dead Monkey Wig, with glitter???? What was this mangled furry glittery thing that was liberated from the plain brown box Helen had insisted we wait until Christmas to open? Was this some sort of deranged joke? I gathered up my nerves (a Dead Monkey Wig was still in the top running as a possibility at this point, having no other ideas) and plucked the hairy, spit flecked thing from the floor of the van. It was a toy, a very nice quality wool ‘chaser’ toy, similar to a fox-tail, but wool. And scary-hideous if you have no idea what it is. I plucked the cardboard shreds and various pieces of tape and other wrappings from it and tucked it safely away in the center console, gathered up the nibbled card and smiled at the greeting from H, Lyric and Echo. The card is one of Helen’s original Lyric photo Christmas Cards, so it was sort of special from a mom-to-son perspective.


I still think it looks like a Dead Monkey Wig.

Glitter-Lips continued his 3 part apology, further cementing his conviction as the gift shredder. All was well, but I should have known better. If there’s ONE THING Darby cannot resist for any length of time, it’s a cardboard box left unattended. He has stolen them from the recycle pile in the carport, he’s nabbed them from the office, he’s liberated them from the barn. No matter the size, no matter that he knows he’s not supposed to destroy them, he loves cardboard boxes and they are not safe in his presence. But he’s a Good Boy, and to be fair, it WAS his present. No harm, no foul. Still adorable, of course, which erases all wrong doing and resets the “Angel-O-Meter”.


Angel-O-Meter…. all in the positive. For now.