In My Own Voice # 40: Holiday Love

This time of year, the house fills with delicious smells and I wait, expectantly, patiently, hopefully on the couch until the scrape of the knife against the sharpener. Then and only then is it time to move to the kitchen.

Pettigrew gets a tidbit. Sometimes, it’s clearly not accidental at all!

My position? Seated. Front paws aligned and tucked close to the body. Ears erect. Muzzle tilted up. Maintaining eye contact, I’ve learned, is key.

As they carve, I watch.

Each delectable slice falls from the bird onto the cutting board. But occasionally, whether by accident or intent, I’ll never say, one falls to the floor. Mine. All mine.

This is the payoff. The moment that makes all that discipline and training worthwhile.

Discipline, because more overt overtures, such as barking, nudging, and head butting are just as likely to end with being banished from the room as getting a delicious tidbit.

Training, for myself in stillness.

Training, for the carvers, in that balancing act of leaning into the joy of sharing. For rewarding good behavior (mine). For saying rules are only good if they are occasionally broken.

This year my family tried to pull a fast one on me. They started carving while I was on the back porch, indulging in a delightful snooze in the warmth of the afternoon sun.

They hadn’t counted on my vigilance even in the throes of sleep.

Once I heard that tell-tale vezzt of metal rubbing against metal that signaled the sharpening of the the carving knife, I got up, stretched, scratched at the door to be let in, and, well, the rest is history.

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