The Infamous Holly Tales
Merry Christmas from the MRM
.I don't get to use the computer much, but I have much MRM activity to report over the last few days so I thought I'd better sneak in and send this message off. The High Desert MRM contingent has been hard at work bringing holiday cheer to our family. Most of the credit, in fact, can be given to my protege Private Kwest.

Every Christmas day Mom takes us over to grandma and grandpa's house to celebrate. The whole family turns out, some 25+ people to admire us, pet us, play with us, and sneak us goodies all day long. It's one of our favorite days of the year. Of course we always have to get cleaned up well before hand so that we are at our best. Not fun, but worth it I guess.

Mom took Christmas Eve day off work so that she could go down and help Grandma get ready for the big party. This year we had been hard at work looking for a suitable Christmas gift for mom (she always gets us gifts after all) but we had run out of time. Christmas Eve morning, Pvt. Kwest had a great idea. We went out in the yard for our morning duty while mom fixed breakfast and he spotted a Kitty. Mom likes kitties...we have two of them that she won't even let us play with for fear of them breaking. That's what
we would get her. Well, we all tried anyway...Kwest leading the way. The stupid thing dove under the fence however. Drat. Interestingly, those black and white stripy kitties smell really funky. And they make you smell funky too. NO FAIR. Mom made us all take baths again. We had all just had one in the last week and now she made all 5 of us take baths all in one day. And of course since Kwest and I got the smelliest and have the most hair (we are EXTRA fluffy Mals) we had to spend the most time in the tub.  Mom didn't seem too happy, I guess she really wanted that Kitty. We will have to try harder next year.

Along about the time all of us got done getting clean and fluffed the REALLY big kitty that has been stealing our birds came back. Mom says this kind of kitty is called a "mountain lion". We all thought mom might keep that kitty, and she even called all sorts of people out to help her catch it. We had to leave for grandma and grandpa's house before they did of them must have stolen it since it isn't around anymore. Mom said between us and the big kitty we made her 10 hours late. Well, if she hadn't made us take extra baths she wouldn't have been it's her own fault and she shouldn't be blaming us.

At Grandma and Grandpa's house we have to stay outside, but that's OK. We always find fun stuff to do. They put a whole big pond in their yard when it was hot this year, and just in the last couple weeks since we had been to visit the grass has suddenly come back and flowers are growing. The new grass is on nice soft ground so Kwest got right to work. We have always needed a connecting set of tunnels and  bunkers leading to our house...and Pvt. Kwest didn't let the opportunity go by. I did my best to provide
distractions while he did all the grunt work (that's what Privates are for isn't it?). It worked fairly well for a while, but when Grandma brought out some Christmas eve goodies Kwest's cover was blown. Mom had much to say about clean dogs and muddy paws. Grandpa on the other hand kept talking about "new sod" and looked kind of unhappy. We have a good start on our new tunnel system however...we will work on it more during future visits.

Christmas morning dawned bright and early. We each got to unwrap our very own toy...and each of us got a great big meaty bone. YUM! Kwest had to wear the silly red hat, and the collar with bells on it to go visit all the kids in the neighborhood. He thinks that's fun so we let HIM get dressed up and look silly.

When all the guests started arriving Kwest started plotting out his biggest project yet. It's very obvious there is huge amounts of food around, of which we NEVER get our share. This year Kwest insisted that we could correct this issue. He had a plan for which we needed the help of the little human co-conspirators who come along every year. They will often open doors, move things, and help out in other ways the big humans would not approve of.

Around 11:00 he put his plan into action. We got the little humans to open the door wide enough for me to sneak through. Once inside I made a big deal of throwing myself on the ground making it very difficult for the little humans to move me back outside (and incidentally getting me all sorts of belly rubs while I was at it). While everyone was busy looking at me Kwest snuck in the open door behind them and into the Kitchen. What luck, Grandma was busy doing something to the big bird that they always lock in that metal safe that gets hot. Grandma was distracted by me as well, so Kwest made his move.

Mom has always said Grandma has eyes in the back of her head, and it must be true because she turned around and caught Kwest before he could bring the big bird out to us. When mom got me outside she did a quick nose count she realized someone was missing. Gee, how did mom know to look for him in the Kitchen?? Mom thinks it's just the funniest thing...she walked into the kitchen to find Grandma on the floor trying to very quietly pry the big bird out of Kwest's mouth without letting anyone know what was going on. Kwest was doing his best "I'm so cute and lovable" eye batting and head tilting in hopes that she would let him keep it. No such luck once mom found him, but grandma was quite impressed that she got her bird back so quickly. Kwest isn't stupid enough to ignore a direct order from mom in THAT tone of voice.

Mom says Grandma proved herself to be an honorary dog person...apparently she just had the one big bird and since Kwest only touched the leg they got the bird straightened out and put back in the hot safe without any of the other 25 people in the house being any the wiser. We did get to eat that leg when it was all done (just the meat...they wouldn't give us the whole leg to play with). Still, that's better than we have ever done before. Perhaps by next Christmas we can come up with a plan to feed the whole MRM while we are at it.

Before everyone leaves the party they always open up even more presents. This year one of our favorite cousins brought out a big bag after all the unwrapping was over. Much to our surprise he left it for us instead of putting it in the big can with the lid. YIPEE, lots and lots of beautiful colored paper. Since all the humans were occupied we had  time to do a real good job of decorating the yard. We all got into the act, including the non Malamute troops. Kwest and Dee did most of the shredding while Kiva and I
carefully decorated, and our veteran Fang supervised us closely. What a festive holiday surprise our human family had when they turned on the lights to see what we were up to. We did a good job too, ribbons in the bushes, confetti in the flowers and all over the grass, and festive foil floating all over the pond.

Mom decided at that point it was time to pack us all up and head for home. I guess she can only take just so much excitement in one day.

From our pack to yours we would like to with all the MRM troops and their Human families the very happiest Holiday Season, and a fantastic new year.

Capt. Holly
Pvt. Kwest
Dee and Fang from the Siberian Husky Branch
and Kiva from the Korean Jindo Corps