My After-Christmas Conversation with Georgia

Or… When the thing you thought you wanted didn’t turn out quite as planned… It happens to dogs too.

The holidays are over, life is beginning to return to normal, and people are flocking to the stores to return the purchases that weren’t quite as perfect as they’d hoped. You know how it is when the outfit that looked great in the store—or on someone else—just wasn’t as much your style as you thought it would be?

It happened to Georgia, and here’s how:

A few weeks ago, my daughter Tessa showed me a cute doggie jacket she was planning to give her dog Melissa for Christmas. Georgia was sitting with me, and you should’ve seen how excited she got! Her tail wagged, and she got all happy, and then when Tessa tried the jacket on Melissa instead of her, her tail went down, and she looked at us with such sadness in her big brown eyes. She felt sad for being left out, then embarrassed for thinking the gift was for her when it wasn’t.

Well, we can’t have that, now can we? I sent Tessa back to the store to get an identical jacket for Georgia, but they didn’t have one in her size. So the search went on until my daughter Natalie found the perfect one, even prettier than Melissa’s.

Welp, it’s been in the high 70’s here until last night, when the temps plunged to the mid-30’s. This morning, when I opened the door to let the dogs out and Georgia was hit with a gust of cold wind, she turned right around and came back inside. I ran to get the jacket and put it on her. At first, she was happy and excited! Then I cinched the jacket up snug—not too tight, just so it wouldn’t flap around—and Georgia froze with an expression of panic on her face.

“What am I supposed to do now?” She implored. She sat in that one position, afraid to move. “My hair can’t breathe! I don’t like this!”

“You’ll get used to it,” I said. “Come on, let’s go outside.” (And by this, I meant that she should go outside. I ain’t going out in that cold, no sir.) I opened the door and tried to shoo her out. She wouldn’t move.

I decided to try tough love. I went about my business, turning on my computer, getting my coffee, getting ready to start writing for the day. I came back into the kitchen to find Georgia snuggled up to Fred for comfort, still imploring me to take the jacket off so her hair could breathe.

She’s not wild about the cold either, but at least for now, the cold air wins, and the jacket loses.

We’ll try again tomorrow, or maybe later tonight when the temps will go below freezing. I am NOT going back to the store in this weather (or any weather really) to return that jacket. She’ll just have to learn to like it.

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