“Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la, la la la la!” Lulu cried as she wrapped the tinsel around the tall, green tree.
Cruise cringed as her high pitched screech over powered the music throbbing from the speakers, pumping Christmas carols through the air as the animals worked on getting the house ready for Christmas.
Carefully lining up the last strand of Christmas lights, Cruise stepped back and frowned at the haphazard way Lulu had hung the tinsel on the tree and Zulu had placed the small Santa and ball decorations, sighing to himself in frustration. Sometimes his sisters were just too messy for their own good.
As he scrutinised the tree and planned what needed to be changed and how, he felt a giant weight slam into his side. Sliding across the room, he frantically fought to dig his claws into the smooth wooden floors to prevent himself from crashing into the wall.
Sliding to a halt, he whipped himself around with a hiss to face a laughing Zulu. Rolling around the floor in peals of laughter, Zulu cried “Lighten up will you! It’s Christmas, a time to be jolly and happy! Who cares about a stupid tree anyway, I only care about what’s under it!”
Shaking his head, Cruise took in Zulu’s new attire she had donned for the day. A giant Santa coat covered her sleek, ebony fur, her ears flopping through two holes carelessly ripped in the side of a Santa hat. Her collar had been transformed into a blinding circle of red and silver tinsel and Lulu had even worked to attach a grey beard to the end of her snout; “it looks more authentic”, she’d said. Because a female Santa dog was authentic in the first place, Cruise thought rolling his eyes.
“Up the ladder Cruise!” Lulu cried, “you need to do the top of the tree!” Making his way closer to the tree, Cruise climbed the rungs carefully and observed the decoration for the top of the tree. Smiling in all his glory was a hand drawn Chilli Dog head. A brother they had never known, but been told so much about. It seemed natural that his head, also adorned with a hat and tinsel, should top their family tree. After all, he was the reason the humans had sought out the love and affection of Cruise, Lulu and Zulu.
“Sing with us Ruisey!” Lulu cried out from where she stood, perched atop the buffet along the side of the room, her small, grey head adorned with exaggerated elf ears and a small Santa hat, her chin lifted high in the air as she warbled along with the Carols from the stereo.
Placing Chilli Dog with precision in his spot overlooking the family he so adored, Cruise smiled and turned to his brother and sister, letting out a loud and garbled “fa la la la la, la la la LA!”