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Ask Walter: Holiday issues and mishaps

Dear Walter,

My owner gives me canned pumpkin with my food to keep me “regular.” I much prefer it made into a pie. I recently ate a whole pumpkin pie myself. It was delicious, only now I don’t feel so good. Brings a whole literal meaning to the term, “The Trots.” On a few occasions, I couldn’t even make it outside in time, which did not earn me my owner’s admiration.

My rumbly tummy is not only uncomfortable, but also it has a tendency to clear the room — nobody wants to be near me! When will the madness (and diarrhea) end?!

— Fun with Fiber

Dear FWF,

Kudos on the sweet heist — can’t say I’d have passed on the opportunity to have my way with an unguarded pie of any kind, either. I once ate a whole stick of butter myself (it was just sitting there on the dining room table), and another time, I famously ate the whole enchilada, quite literally.

My editors tell me I need to advise, “everything with moderation,” but being a dog, and more specifically a dachshund, this sentiment is against my nature. Unluckily, your big score pumped up the volume in your colon, and moved things along a little faster than is comfortable or wise. It’d be best for you to eat smaller meals of bland foods like boiled hamburger and white rice to settle that tummy of yours and slow things down a bit.

Once you’re feeling more like you and are not having to rush outdoors so often to do your business (which may take a few days), you can gradually go back to your normal food. Hope that helps.

Dear Walter,

I love boxes. I like to sit on them, in them, topple them over, scratch them to smithereens. I do my best interpretation of a crouching tiger from inside a box full of tissue paper. Sometimes I hop inside and peer through a hole in the side and spy on people. Then, when they’re least expecting it… I POUNCE! I hope I get a bunch of boxes for Christmas this year — or maybe some big gift bags to mix things up a little. What’s on your Christmas list?

— Schrodinger’s Neighbor’s Cat

Dear Cat Neighbor,

1. A whole pizza pie.

2. Chicken pot pie.

3. Any kind of pie.

4. A nice nap after all the pie.

Dear Walter,

After playing with ribbons, bows and dangly, sparkly toys plucked from the big pine tree in the living room (it’s called a Christmas tree), I work up an appetite. So, I eat poinsettias, wash them down with Christmas tree water, throw up the poinsettias and then fall asleep in a pile of trash. Best day ever.

Once I’m fully rested, I’m going to climb to the tippy top of that tree to get the big, pointy star. It’ll be my crowning achievement. Wish me luck!

— Leaping for the Stars

Dear Leaping,

Um, what’s next, jumping off a bridge wearing a big rubber band?! Perhaps I’m sounding like an old buzz-kill (as a 13-year-old dachshund, I am a fully-qualified curmudgeon) but your risk-taking makes me nervous for you.

Ribbons and bows can be choking and strangulation hazards — you can become hopelessly tangled in them, but if you feel sassy enough to put them in your mouth and begin swallowing, they can become terrible blockages in your stomach and intestines, too. Wire ribbons can scratch eyeballs and harm teeth. Fragile, breakable ornaments and their metal hooks are also dangerous playthings. Eating poinsettias MAKES you vomit, but whatever. While I totally agree about the Christmas tree water being the best drink in the house, be sure this water is not poisoned with additives to “keep the tree fresh,” as it can make you very sick. And last, climb the tree at your own risk: If the fall doesn’t kill you, your owners might! Consider yourself forewarned.

Dear Walter,

Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights. And singed whiskers.

— C’mon Baby, Light my Fire

Dear Light My Fire,

And this just proves cats are thrill seekers. Seriously, keep your face away from open flames! Shalom.

Dear Walter,

My people like to stuff me into sweaters this time of year and pose me in awkward situations so they can take my picture and say “Awww.” I’m okay with the attention, and I’ve gotten used to the sweaters, but the deer antlers with the bells on them are a bit much.

How do I get them to put the antlers on the cat instead? That’d be sure to wipe that smug look of his stripey face.

— Santa’s Sweaty Helper

Dear Sweaty,

I’d give up a bite of chicken pot pie to see a cat wearing antlers try to dive through the cat door!

Happy Holidays!

— Daverio is a veterinarian at Williamsport West Veterinary Hospital. Her column is published every other Sunday in the Lifestyle section. She can be reached at life@sungazette.com.

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