That funny-looking tree!

Seriously, people. 

You have pets and you also want one of those tree-thingys?

In researching this month’s Images of Interest, I found a BUNCH of funny pictures of pets tangling with Christmas trees.

I’m not going to glorify the ones where the animals appear to be in active danger (though the tree-topper cats are pushing it), but here’s a collection of assorted favorites. Happy holidays!

This was a much-re-posted favorite, all over the Internet.

Assorted critters

It’s not just dogs and cats who get in on the Christmas tree action.

Yes, it’s a rat. Don’t judge–rats make great pets. They are sweet natured and smart. Also take to trees pretty naturally.
Almost a “Hallmark moment,” if you’re a rat-lover.
Here’s another natural climber. Matches the pseudo-flocking pretty well, don’t you think?
Who knew Bearded Dragons made such good Christmas decorations? This one liked the warmth the lights created.
I thought this little guy was especially stunning. When better for a chameleon to show what it can do?

But the Cats rule

Dogs, lizards, rats, and ferrets may take the occasional stab at consorting with the Christmas tree, but the cats OWN this territory. Don’t believe me? Take a look:

This is my favorite Christmas Cat photo of all time.
What? You thought it needed something more?
it’s almost like the toy closet scene from ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, don’t you think?
Ruler of all s/he surveys . . . naturally.
Never doubt it.

So, then, are we who want Christmas trees defenseless?

Well, maybe. But we do still have a few options left.

We could take the “minimalist” approach . . . or is that simply how the tree looked after the cat got done with it?
I think this might qualify as “extreme cat-proofing.”
I actually did a variation on this “Fortress Christmas Tree” idea one year, when we had a puppy. Made it harder for the humans to mess with the packages, too!

Whatever pets you may have–and however they interact with your Christmas tree (if you have one), I hope you got a Christmas laugh from this post, and I wish you the best holiday season possible!

IMAGES: Many thanks to The German Shepherd Dog Community’s Facebook page for the “Oh Christmas Tree” German Shepherd; to Bonnie Cook’s Christmas Animals Pinterest Board for the Christmas tree Rat on a limb and the Christmas Ferret; to Michelle Nyree’s Pinterest Board for the red-package Christmas tree rat; to TikkiLink’s DeviantArt page for the ornamental Beardie, and to Harlingen Pets’ Facebook page for the Christmas Chameleon. As for the cat collection: a thousand thank-yous to: Emma Bruck’s “Emma’s Pics” Pinterest Page, via my own earlier post from Christmas 2015; to FunnyCatsGif’s “Christmas Cat” post, for the two mid-tree cat photos; and once again to Bonnie Cook’s Christmas Animals Pinterest Board for the tall “Tree-topper Cat” and “I’m the Star.” The three “cat-proofed” trees are all from i iz cat’s “6 Cat Proof Christmas Tree ideas to try out during the holidays” page. I appreciate you ALL!

Getting the season rolling . . .

. . . Or at least the ornaments rolling around everywhere. Sometimes there’s just no resisting temptation!

IMAGE: Many thanks to the Facebook page The German Shepherd Community, for this image.

Never too late to thank K9 veterans!

Well, darn it–I missed it this year. K9 Veterans Day was Monday, on the 75th anniversary of the founding of the US Army K9 Corps. A couple days off or not, however, it seems reasonable to honor the bravery and sacrifices of the magnificent animals who help keep our nation, and its human defenders, safe.

Dogs have been going to war with their humans for millennia, of course. Sergeant Stubby, of World War I fame, was very far from the first, although his story is pretty cool.

So is the story of Rin Tin Tin, arguably the most famous war dog of World War I, thanks to his subsequent acting career.

Rin Tin Tin was a German Shepherd Dog–still one of the most popular breeds for Military Working Dogs.

Dogs for Defense was an American Kennel Club-associated World War II program that slightly predated the Army K9 Corps, and helped supply its need for dogs. They accepted a wider variety of breeds than we commonly see today–including Alaskan Malamutes and Collies.

Today, most Military Working Dogs and law enforcement canines are German Shepherd Dogs, Dutch Shepherds, and Belgian Malinois, chosen for their intelligence, aggressive natures, versatility, and athleticism.

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s interesting that all three breeds were originally developed to herd and protect sheep.

Meet Cairo, the Belgian Malinois who helped Seal Team Six kill Osama bin Laden

The famous Seal Team Six dog Cairo, who helped in the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, was a Belgian Malinois. These dogs, which are slightly smaller and lighter-weight than, say, a German Shepherd, are often favored by Special Forces.

Liaka, shown here on the job in Baghdad, is a Dutch Shepherd.

What’s a Dutch shepherd? They almost didn’t make it through World War II, but now they’re one of the three top MWD and law enforcement breeds.

Like most MWDs who are retrievers, Cobo the chocolate lab is a tactical explosives detector.

I would be remiss if I did not also mention the many retriever breeds (especially Labrador Retrievers, as well as Golden Retrievers and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers), which are especially prized for explosives detection. Occasionally other breeds also show up, from Springer Spaniels to Pit Bulls. The onetime favorite breed of the USMC, the Doberman Pinscher, is far less often found on the front lines today.

Whatever their breed, however, we owe them a debt of gratitude! We can make our thanks more tangible by supporting organizations such as Save A Vet, which make sure that once their military service is finished, these magnificent dogs can enjoy their retirement in a good home.

IMAGES: Many thanks to QuotesGram for the “Veterans” image. I am indebted to Wikipedia for the photo of Sergeant Stubby and the poster featuring Rin Tin Tin. I am deeply appreciative to Josh Tannehill for the “I am the Sheepdog” image.

Many thanks to the Fedhealth blog for the photo of Cairo. Many thanks to Gizmodo’s cool photo essay on Military Working Dogs for the photos of Liaka, the Dutch Shepherd and Cobo the chocolate Labrador. 

And finally, many thanks to Rebloggy’s “Top Tumblr Posts” for the photo of the German Shepherd MWD with an awesome superpower.

What do you think? An Artdog Image of Interest

As for me, I vote YES. This photo inspired quite a lot of commentary on my Facebook page, so I thought you might find it interesting to see on my blog.

Allow Partner Dog in Hospital Bed?

IMAGE: Many thanks to The German Shepherd Dog Community’s Facebook Page for this Artdog Image of Interest.

Relative Alert Levels: Artdog Image of Interest

It’s important to discern what’s really worth the effort.

IMAGE: Many thanks to “Backpacks Got Jets” on The Subreddit of the Month.