“Let’s put up the tree!”
“Fido, what the heck are you talking about?”
“It’s almost Thanksgiving, so let’s put up the tree!”
“Old Boy, I believe you are getting your holidays mixed up. The tree is a Christmas thing, not a Thanksgiving thing. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for everything we have received. Christmas is about giving—a way to say to someone that they’re important to us.”
Fido scrunched into a sit while he considered all this.
“What’s the tree got to do with it, then?”
“Fido, you ask darned good questions sometimes.”
“We should have a tree for everything.”
“But a Thanksgiving Tree, Fido? What would it look like?”
“I’d be looking for a tree I could pee on!”
“Fido, cut it out.”
“Like in the shape of a fire hydrant or something. That would be good.”
“Would we have ornaments on our Thanksgiving Tree? You know, like we have angels and glass balls on Christmas trees?”
“I prefer brass than glass,” Fido said, “but that might just be me. I’ve been hanging out with the Hound Council, you know.”
“Fido, you are testing your readers here, just so’s you know.”
“Okay, okay. Ornaments, hmmm.”
Fido sat on his haunches and lifted his right ear, which he does when he’s trying to solve a problem. Usually, when he thinks he has an answer, he gives his ear a good scratching, and then gets up on all fours and shakes his coat out. Predictably, he did just that.
“When you do that, Fido, you look like a George Booth cartoon in the New Yorker.”
“That’s why I do it!” he lied.
“So what’d you come up with?”
“Instead of glass balls and angels, I think our Thanksgiving Tree should have biscuits. Big ones, little ones, in-between ones. And at the top, we should have a big, red Bongo toy. And then more biscuits!”
“You’re impossible, Fido. Thanksgiving isn’t about you or the Hound Council. It’s about reflection, and it’s completely secular. It doesn’t matter if you’re Christian or Muslim, Jewish or Hindu.”
“Or an Eskimo!” Fido chimed in.
“Right you are, you big red lug.”
“Proper reflection requires a big bowl of food, though,” Fido said. There was a hopeful tone in his voice.
“Right-o, Fido. That’s why we humans like to ski in the morning, then feast in the afternoon or evening. We have turkey and ham, roast beef, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beans, broccoli, heaps of salad, cranberry sauce, wine, fizzy water—the whole shooting match. We watch the Detroit Lions play football, too, and try to watch some of the big balloons at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.”
“What’s my feast going to be?” Fido wanted to know.
“You will get a nice bowl of your favorite kibble, a bowl filled with refreshing water and, for dessert. …”
“Maybe you can have a biscuit from your Thanksgiving Tree, and gnaw on a Bongo toy.”
Fido cleared his throat. “I would be ever so thankful if that were to happen,” he said.