Gone a Huntin’ Christmas Trees


This Saturday, we headed out to find ourselves the perfect Christmas tree.

What was it like?  Dog-filled.  There were an immense number of dogs of all sizes, helping their people find that perfect tree (not that any of those people found it, because we took the perfect tree home with us.).  This was great for Gwynn, though I felt bad about having to keep him on-leash for most of the time we were there.  A lot of people chose to ignore the ‘dogs must remain leashed’ rule, but I have a long list of reasons why that wouldn’t be the best idea.

  • There are people out there who are afraid of dogs.  But not afraid of Christmas tree hunting.  Let’s keep it that way, shall we?
  • Small children who are afraid of dogs.  But not afraid of Christmas Tree Hunting
  • Small children who aren’t afraid of dogs but lack pettiquette – they feel the urge to poke dogs in the eye, or smack them in the nose, or otherwise be mean to them.
  • Have I mentioned there were a TON of small children roaming free?
  • Axes and saws – people bring them, but don’t always have a protective cover for it.  Sometimes they even let their children carry it, but most of the time, the blade faces backwards, and is at about Gwynn-face level.
  • Other dogs.  Just because they brought their dog with them, doesn’t mean the dog is friendly.  Can you guarantee that your dog will absolutely not approach another dog without your go-ahead?  When you might not see that other dog (due to forest of tiny trees) until it’s right near you?
  • Horses.  The tree farm has them – they pull a wagon.  Gwynn went nuts every time he saw them.  We didn’t get close enough for him to try out his herding techniques on those massive not-sheep… or for him to get trampled by their giant steel-shod feet.

one of the wagons not pulled by horses... because being around the horse-drawn one produced this awful high-pitched wailing-Xena noise from Gwynn that threatened to rupture eardrums

Gwynn got to drag his leash when we found ourselves surrounded by emptiness, nothing but us and the conifers.  And he did get to meet a number of dogs, while he was on-leash, most of whom appeared, leashless, from between the trees, and whose owners were nowhere near to ask silly questions like, “is your dog friendly?”, or “Can Fido say hello?”.  It might not be thanksgiving anymore, but one thing I am thankful for is that my dog doesn’t get nervous in that type of situation.  We also met some nice on-leash dogs, and we did not meet some dogs that were on the not-friendly end of the spectrum.

Gwynn... in his new boots. More on that later.

My mom grew up with white spruceWHITE SPRUCE is, apparently, the only acceptable form of holiday tree.  WHITE SPRUCE.  Anything else is a sad, sorry excuse for a tree.  I hadn’t clued in until this year just how strongly my mom believes in this.

Could we find a single white spruce less than 10 feet tall?  No.  We’d have either had to cut the tree half-way up, or have the point curving down towards the floor in the house.  Entering the Blue Spruce area, you’d have thought we were turning traitor to my mom’s childhood and burning all the memories, soaked in kerosene.  But at least it wasn’t a … pine

Well, blue spruce at our Christmas tree farm was the right height, but kind of sad and sparse.  Clearly the spruce were all targeted by mother nature, regardless of the colour in their title.

It was a hard choice, but eventually the drastic inferiority of all the spruce wore her down.  She agreed, albeit unhappily, to choose a dreaded Scotch Pine.  It’s beautiful and full and christmas-tree shaped.  It’s still sitting on our back deck, waiting to be cut loose from the mesh wrapper they put it in for transportation.

Speaking of transporting your tree…

this is our tree... all bundled up (free with purchase of tree) in a mesh sack and strapped neatly (and safely) to the roof of the van. I swear, they relax back to normal tree shape quickly after you un-mesh them.

Or... you know... you could just... do this? The only reasonable explanation I could think of was that their tree was too big to go through the tree-wrapping machine. But it wasn't that big a tree...

I’m so excited for the christmas-ey smell that will fill our house once the tree is in place!  And last year, Gwynn didn’t once try to pee on the tree… I’m hoping it’ll be the same this year!  The trip was so much fun, though we missed having Doodle there (she’s off in exam-land in Ottawa).  That was one of the worst things about living away from home for school – I missed being home to go christmas tree hunting.

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5 Comments

  1. About 6 years ago I found out I was allergic to pine. 😦 There went the beauty of having a real tree in our house. I do miss those days of tramping through the fields arguing about which tree was ‘perfect.’ Then bundling everyone into the car and back to the house for hot chocolate and tree decorating. 🙂

    My dog (Sampson) is one who would run up to another dog to greet them, he does not listen so he would have to be on leash. Delilah would (of course) need to be on leash regardless.

    It never ceases to amaze me the stupidity with which people approach dog pettiquette. I like that word by the way, but don’t get me started on those people.

    • I get weird swelling if I get prickled too much by conifers, but nothing serious enough to get them out of the house – I’m just extra careful about hanging up ornaments. That would be sad, especially if you always had natural trees before. Luckily, you aren’t allergic to hot chocolate (i hope!) 🙂
      Gwynn would be running up to all the other dogs (and the horses) too! I know it, and I know how much issue an off-leash dog interacting with an on-leash-dog can be, so I keep him on-leash when there’s the opportunity to meet on-leash dogs. I figure it’s only fair to the dog that’s on-leash.
      I’m definitely glad that Gwynn is friendly, regardless of his/the other dog’s leash-status, because the day would have been significantly less fun if i’d spent the entire time policing my immediate area, trying to get between ‘theoretical leash aggressive/fearful/whatever Gwynn’ and random off-leash friendlies.

  2. I was thinking that maybe they needed a leash law for the kids. 😛

    We used to buy real trees, but several years ago switched to fake. We aren’t always around to water, so artificial works better. But back when we were doing real trees, we had a black spruce one year and it was beautiful. My two favs though are Balsam and Fraser Fir.

    Hope you will post a picture of your tree. 🙂

    • haha, i wasn’t going to mention it, but yeah, even with Gwynn on leash, I still had to keep an eye out for ‘pet-bombing’ children. Gwynn is ok with kids, though a bit nervous of them… having one run up behind him and give his bum a hug is unlikely to be appreciated, regardless of how kindly the hug is meant 😛 Luckily, all the kids seemed to be well-supervised, so I didn’t have to ward off any sneak-pats.

      Once it’s up and decorated, the tree will be up on the blog as well. as it is, it looks like a kind of alien tube-tree on the porch.

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