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Taking our labs to help us cut our Christmas tree, a disaster waiting to happen

Posted by LarryL, 30 November 2012 · 1,446 views

Well, tis the season, so I thought I would share another one of our family dog stories that still cracks everyone up in my office when I tell it.  You see, about 15 years ago my family thought it would do that wholesome family adventure and pack up our three kids and our two labs, Millie and Winnie, and head off to east Texas to find a Christmas tree.  We all piled into our Suburban and headed off with holiday music playing and hot chocolate to drink.  What a great day.  At least we thought it was going to be.
Everything was just great as we found a Christmas tree farm and we all took off looking for that special tree.  Millie and Winnie were having a blast chasing my three kids throughout the trees.  Finally, after I had to step in to stop the arguing on which tree is the best, our family decided on one and strapped it on the roof. It was the perfect tree for a perfect day. Then off to the nearest town to celebrate our day with some lunch not knowing what is about to take place.
We pull up to a small diner and my son and I head in to order everyone some burgers while my wife takes the dogs out to sniff around the back lot.  You know, one of those back lots in a small town where it is also a junk pile.  Such a scenic spot for labs to romp.  But, it did not matter because this has been the perfect day for our family.  Or so I thought.
Suddenly, while in line I hear someone shout out while laughing, "look at the yellow lab standing in that tar pit."  Well, my heart sank.  I immediately glanced out and sure enough, there was my yellow lab, Winnie, waist deep in a hole of black tar! 
I had every kind of emotion going through my body and one was extreme anger, the kind that would send you to prison for life. But I am also so embarrassed because my family dog has provided everyone at this diner enough laughter for a week. I am wondering how my wife can just take the dogs for a short walk, forget to watch them, and allow this to happen.  I am thankful she watches our kids with much more attention to detail. 
I grab our sack of burgers, which now, who is hungry, and go running and screaming across the parking lot at Winnie, my wife, and the town for leaving a tar pit in a parking lot.  
How in the hell was I going to get this off of Winnie?  Unfortunately, I knew what would do the trick.  Kerosene, which cuts through just about anything, but smells like a refinery's waste.  I run to the nearest auto store, grab a gallon and begin to scrub now, my black and yellow lab, over and over again, all the while cussing up a storm.
In the meantime, nobody in the family is speaking to dad for fear of being beheaded.
After one hour, I place Winnie in the back of the Suburban, freshly hosed off at the nearest car wash at 5000 psi of pressure. I'm thinking I have salvaged the day, at least partially.
Winnie is shaking from her experience.  Millie thinks she is in trouble and did nothing.
We all pile in and head back to Dallas.  Suddenly, the strong aroma of kerosene engulfs the entire inside of our rather new Suburban to the extent that Excedrin migraines were rapidly setting in. 
I scream out, "all windows down and I don't care if it is 35 degrees outside!"
So, the two hour drive continues.  No holiday music is playing.  No laughing and cheering this time.  In fact, no speaking. Only the sound of 35 degree wind whipping through the cabin.
But we got our Christmas tree!  And my wife and I are still married going on 32 years.
Happy Holidays.

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