Silas fared pretty well this year, largely because Christmas was very low-key for the humans. My husband’s family had a plumbing problem, which delayed their holiday a few days, and my mom’s family was too sick to do a big to-do. (We had a plan for dodging Mom’s family anyway–lots of children on that side.)
Christmas Day was very easy. A little present unwrapping with my family, aka people 1, 2, and 3 on Silas’s list of “acceptable people whom I don’t live with,” then some time in his crate while my husband and I went to the huge family party on my Dad’s side.
The real test didn’t come until Thursday, with the delayed Christmas party. My husband’s family is hard for Silas, because they’re all dog people. Since Silas doesn’t like to be reached for or for people to act excited about him, dog people are hard for him. I credit Silas’s deep and enduring love for my mother to the fact that he had to work hard to win her over. They’re also loud, and the kind of loud people who wave their arms around while they talk. They’re so loud that I honestly have trouble with them myself. I think my family party of 60+ was less noisy than K’s family of eight (including us).
But, you know, it went pretty well. We left Silas in his crate at my parents’ house a few miles away while we did the dinner prep and ate. Then we put him in his Thundershirt and carried him to the party. This meant that everybody else was already there. Additional people arriving once Silas is in a room can be hard for him. I left him on his leash while we went around and met everyone, and they had already been instructed not to reach for him, pet him, or act excited to see him. After that he was fine loose in the house. He had one or two barking spells with K’s uncle, but I can’t blame him.
I’m not sure if the difference was age, or the Thundershirt, or our improved party tactics, but this year was so much better than last.
Silas still thinks holidays are exhausting: