We are decorating the house for Christmas and Joey has shown a great interest in everything we are doing. There are lots of lights and shiny things, musical things, jingle bell things, smelly candles, six foot soldiers, three foot Santas, oversize nutcrackers, Christmas village, and of course, the irresistible Christmas tree. Now, years ago, we had two dogs that loved Christmas trees. One of them in particular loved confined spaces, and would constantly crawl under the tree. She would forget how big she was when she was ready to get up, and the tree would get knocked over. Joey started trying to crawl under just once, and got stopped. He hasn’t tried again, yet. He does love the ornaments hanging there right in front of his face. I kept him on a leash when I first let him approach the ornaments and he sniffed them, but left them alone. But, just like a bank robber that goes into a bank a few days before he pulls a heist, Joey was just casing the joint. He patiently waited until he was off his leash and we had our backs turned. Next thing we knew, there was a hunk of chewed up plastic laying on the floor near the tree. I don’t know if he pulled it off the tree, or if he happened to knock it off with his tail before chewing it. I put him back on leash and walked him back and forth by the tree and he completely ignored it. Later, we found another chewed up. We need to do some more work on this.Joey had another first today. We had just walked out of the mall after a short shopping trip and I took his coat off to let him “busy” before getting in the car. He sniffed around a little bit, got right up next to a bush and proceeded to lift his leg. Southeast Guide Dogs wants us to discourage male dogs from lifting their leg to pee. I gave him a sharp tug on the leash to move him away from the bush. The leg came down, but nothing else stopped. He took a couple steps, but by the time he caught his balance enough to squat, he was finished. Finished? Yea, finished all over my flipflop! I guess I caught him by surprise when I jerked that leash during his “private moment”. A big milestone in the development of a male dog and I had to shut it down. Sorry Joey, but you are still a big boy, even if we have make you squat.