Does this ever happen at your house? You have selected what you think is the perfect gift. You have wrapped it in pretty paper. And then the recipient ends up playing with the wrapping paper or box more than the gift itself. Yes, kids, dogs, and cats can be like that.

We don’t go overboard, but each of our dogs has one present to unwrap on Christmas morning. Kaldi is really good at unwrapping presents. You could say that paper is one of her specialties. We occasionally play a game wherein she is asked to transport and deliver a piece of junk mail across the house between us. (If I’m in the kitchen, I will send her to Alex in the living room, or vice versa.) She usually delivers this mail, but it is often a little bit wet by the time it arrives. The game ends with her ripping it up. Good fun, and it costs us nothing.

So we weren’t surprised when she ripped open her package eagerly, but then the actual present (a glow-in-the-dark ball) rolled out and she kept shredding paper. Pretty funny. Of course, she was busy with the exciting climax of the mail game. The ball could and would wait. After all three toys had been freed of their wrapping, the dogs continued to rip wrapping paper. We let them make a big ol’ mess before we cleaned up all the paper. Only our presents and a few boxes remained on the floor.

The next morning, while drinking the day's first cup of coffee, I slowly became aware of a vague ripping sound. It seemed to get louder and louder: rip rip RIP. I looked up to see one of the dogs standing over a pile of presents and tearing at the paper dust cover of a new book. A present, but not his present.

My first thoughts: He has never done anything like this before! He is ten years old; he should know better! What is he thinking? But then I realized that he was just resuming yesterday’s game.

There was no reason to be upset or worried. All we needed to do was 1) pick up any paper items from the floor, and 2) in the future be a little more thoughtful about how we play. A dog can’t be expected to distinguish between paper that’s off limits and paper that’s within limits. Junk mail, wrapping paper, and a new book of short stories all have a similar mouth appeal. We live and learn.

How about a quick KV-POP year end wrap-up? (Get it?)

We are extremely grateful for a recent donation from Field of Dreams. That group (a foster-based rescue) has been issuing spay/neuter coupons through its pet food pantry for the past three years. But after seeing how well KV-POP works, they have decided to discontinue their program and donate the money they would have spent on it to us. The entire amount ($1500) will go to fund our spay/neuter vouchers and coupons. We appreciate this vote of confidence and the opportunity to help more people fix their dogs and cats.

KV-POP has applied for federal 501(c)(3) non-profit status; we expect to receive a confirmation letter from the IRS any day now. In the meantime, donors should save receipts and canceled checks. Once non-profit status has been granted, these donations will be tax deductible. Our address is P.O. Box 173, Kirksville, MO 63501. You can also donate online at Please consider making a year-end gift.

Finally, Pawsitive Animalworks (901 S. Baltimore), a KV-POP Business Member, is offering dog obedience classes starting in January. Registration starts on December 27th. Call them (665 7297) for more information. Contact KV-POP (660 988 6885) if you would like to be considered for a need-based scholarship.

Thanks for your interest and support! Happy New Year!