Saturday, January 17, 2015

Ivan and the Sinister Reindeer

During his walks Ivan patrols his neighborhood, happily peeing and sniffing, trotting along until Something that should not be in His neighborhood startles him. That something might be a scarecrow jauntily propped next to a neighbor’s mailbox or a fluttering Halloween decoration, perhaps a ghost hanging from a tree. However, most of the trespassers that plague Ivan show up shortly after Thanksgiving.
For a few years, a herd of large white wooden reindeer moved into our neighborhood during the winter, causing Ivan to jump in alarm and then peek from behind me as he sidled to the other side of the street while we stole past the reindeer. On the way back home and on subsequent walks he warily tiptoed to the other side of the street as we approached the yards with reindeer, all the while watching the scary intruders out of the corner of his eye.  They were usually displayed in the middle of front lawns, sometimes positioned next to tiny lighted trees and a little lake of blue lights.  Even so, they were a problem.
       He didn’t seem to mind the assorted Nativities—some complete with Winnie the Pooh, Mickey and Minnie, and Santa all paying their respects at the manger. The pink flamingos in Santa Hats, the Christmas geese wearing Santa and Mrs. Claus outfits, Yoda and Darth Vader in Santa Hats waving light sabers, countless sets of sleighs and plastic reindeer, even the inflatable Santa in a bass boat failed to give Ivan pause. The white reindeer, however, were evil; he could just tell. We were all relieved when they migrated away from our neighborhood.

     Dasa doesn’t go for walks anymore, but in the past, she seemed unperturbed by the danger lurking in her neighborhood, possibly because these hazards appeared in winter and she was probably being carried, often wrapped in a blanket, to protect her from getting too cold.
                           Ivan watching the sinister reindeer from across the street.

This year, right on Ivan’s street, there are new threats to his neighborhood: Sinister Reindeer. Ivan guides me determinedly across the street, preferring to have some distance between us and the Sinister Reindeer. These menacing inflatables are sitting, a somewhat unusual pose for reindeer, and at first glance could be mistaken for Christmas dogs, which might be part of the problem.

I even stop to pat the Sinister Reindeer and chat them up a bit. However, Ivan is back at the end of his leash, warily watching while I do this. He then purposefully propels us to the other side of the street where he can safely observe the interlopers.  Fortunately, the Sinister Reindeer season will soon be over. The weather should be nice this weekend,  a perfect opportunity for the Sinister Reindeer to leave town, and Ivan’s neighborhood will be safe once again.


  1. Ivan is such a handsome boy and looks very dapper in his coat!

  2. Pobrecito!
    That inflatable actually looks like a basenji!

  3. Thank you for the compliments. We are quite fond of Ivan’s handsome face :-)
    And, yes, I’m pretty sure Ivan also thinks that inflatable is of the canine variety, and it’s intruding in his neighborhood.