Jessie watched as Santa climbed on the scale and grimaced. He had been trying to get back to a healthy weight all month, but several business meetings had been eating meetings and Santa had eaten too many desserts.
Jessie sighed and plopped down on the ground. She had learned in the past month, that when Santa looked funny after climbing on the machine, that it meant no more sugar cookies until he climbed onto it again. Jessie was disappointed. If Santa didn’t have sugar cookies than she didn’t either.
Santa put away the scale and led Jessie down to the kitchen. He rummaged around in the refrigerator and pulled out carrots, celery and an apple.
Jessie looked on in dismay as her tummy rumbled. She was hungry and she didn’t want vegetables or fruit. It wasn’t that she didn’t like carrots and apples. It was just that she had shared an apple with Santa every day for the past thirty days. Jessie wanted something sweet for a change.
Jessie walked behind Santa and went to the cupboard. She stared at the cupboard containing cookies hoping that Santa would notice. But Santa didn’t. Instead, he hummed along to a Christmas carol as he grated the edges of the carrots.
The dog stole a look at Santa. She had to take desperate measures. She raised her paw and used her nails to scrape against the door. she pushed the door hard with her nose until it slammed against the edge. It made a small noise but when Jessie looked at Santa again he hadn’t heard her. He was now cutting and washing the celery at the opposite end of the room. Santa danced in time to the music.
Jessie dropped down on the floor and placed her head on her paws to think. She watched as Santa cut the apple into wedges and moved to the table to have his lunch. When he sat down at the paper and put on his glasses he finally noticed the dog. He frowned. “What’s wrong with you Jessie? It’s lunch time. Come have some apple.”
Jessie sighed loud enough that Santa could hear it from the table. She stared at the cupboard beside her and then looked back at Santa.
Santa initially frowned but his expression changed to amusement. “So you want a treat do you? Are you sure you don’t want some of my apple?”
Jessie sighed even louder, stood up and turned around looking away from Santa. She rested her paw on the door and whined.
“I guess it has been some time since you’ve had a cookie and you’re a healthy weight. I tell you what, Jessie. You can have one sugar cookie and then it’s back to apples, ok?”
Jessie barked and wagged her tail furiously. She stood up and then carefully took the cookie Santa offered her. She relished the sweetness of the crumbly texture. She swallowed and then happily moved away from the cupboard. Jessie sat down by the table and stared at the apple on Santa’s plate.
Santa laughed. “So, now my apple is good enough.” He scrunched up his forehead and looked down at the dog. “You know, Jessie, you are one very smart dog. Treats in moderation are okay. Now, if you could just teach me that then maybe I could get back to a healthy weight. You’re in charge of the cookie cupboard, girl. When you want a cookie I’ll have one too but I won’t have one unless you do. Just not too many okay?”