Lani’s first Christmas


By; Tracey Zysk – January, 2011

Christmas Day December 25, 2010 was one like no other for my Sweet Lani. As many of you know, I adopted Lani from a high kill shelter in Texas this past August.

Sweet isn’t even a word nice or kind enough to describe my precious 3yrs old Boston terrier. She is compassionate, sensitive, gentle and full of unconditional love. Love with no boundaries, love that just wants to continue to give more, and love that is always there for you asking for nothing in return.

Lani, who had never seen life outside of a crate at a puppy mill, has had many experiences these past four months. She has truly been on a life journey. She had to learn how to be potty trained, she had to learn how to play with other dogs, and most importantly she had to learn not all people are harmful. We have had our challenges and I had a few learning curves to work with but honestly, it has been more than worth it.

Every morning like clockwork, I wake up to my Lani licking my face awaiting her breakfast and every night I go to bed with her cute little self snuggled up right next to me. That is love ….

This year I knew Lani would have no idea what to expect on Christmas day. Of course I wanted it to be special for her and I wanted her day to be filled with joy and excitement. As any mother does for her little ones, Christmas preparations must begin. I went out and bought her a beautiful red sweater and a Christmas collar covered in red and green gems. I took her to have her nails trimmed and I hit every sale in Massachusetts to buy her the perfect gifts.

After a few bouts with a sneaky snooper, who found a few of her gifts and managed to help herself to them, the rest were able to be hid without being found. Yes I admit…I spoiled my girl. I went a little over board but it was her first Christmas. Christmas morning after getting Lani dressed in her new attire we packed up the car and went to Grammy’s house in NH.

Once there, everything my dog trainer had taught me about discipline, how to teach my dog not to tear into things, how not to dominate the house, all were forgotten for that one day. Christmas Day!

Instead, the chaos began….first was stocking #1, filled with treats…Ms. Lani, dove right into that one, then stocking #2 filled with toys, then onto stocking # 3 filled with more toys and treats. Lani was in heaven! On the couch, off the couch, run around in circles, throwing her new ball in the air and munching on way too many treats. Could Lani have had more fun? It was like watching a child after Santa came…the excitement of it all was one that won’t be forgotten. The joy I saw in my dog was an emotion I can’t explain, the happiness was unbelievable. Something as simple as a tennis ball and throwing it 100 times down the hallway and watching Lani run back and forth and chasing it was happiness I know that only a few months prior Lani never had the opportunity to experience.

It amazes me when people say; “it’s just a dog” well I ask you to think about that statement. Really? Just a dog….no, a dog is a family member and should receive and experience all the joys life can offer. If you really take a step back you may even realize that “dog” can give you more than you ever experienced in your life..Unconditional LOVE

Tracey Zysk, owner of Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care in North Andover MA is a local pet care professional. She has been featured on local radio, tv and newspapers educating the general public on animal care and animal health & wellness. Tracey is a proud supporter of Police, Fire & Military K9 units. Tracey may be reached at