New Year’s resolutions for the dog

Dear Oreo, my loyal canine companion,

Christmas is over. I know it was a bit confusing, with all the lights and sparkly decorations. But you seemed to like your stocking, filled with treats and toys. And your new Planet Dog snowball chew toy? Minty and exceptionally bouncy, yes?

Oreo taking a new chew toy from his stocking on Christmas morning, 2013.

Oreo taking a new chew toy from his stocking on Christmas morning, 2013.

For it being your first Christmas, you did good. There was the whole incident with the gingerbread house, but to be fair, it didn’t need an attached garage anyway. And by the gurgling noises your stomach was making, I think you’ve already paid for the gumdrops you stole.

So, moving forward. New Years — another human holiday — is fast approaching. Since this will be your first New Years in this family, I thought I should let you in on a little tradition we have. Each Jan. 1, we start a resolution, and we try to stick to it for at least a year. The resolution can be big or small. One year I quit coffee (that was big), and another year, I resolved to floss every day (that was small and mostly to test my dentist). But we always think of some change we’d like to make in the coming year.

In the past seven months that you’ve been a part of this household, you’ve shown that you like to be a part of absolutely everything. So I bet you’d like to make a resolution, too.

The following is a list of suggestions:

  • Stop begging for table scraps. We can’t give them to you, and we feel guilty about it, but drooling on our feet won’t change anything. You’re just torturing yourself.
  • Make peace with the squirrels. Your hate is wasted energy. You can’t climb trees.
  • Think before you bark — similar to the human idea “think before you talk.” Sometimes silence makes more of a statement.
  • Make friends with fellow pets of the house. Bo and Arrow are house cats, meaning they belong in the house; They aren’t leaving any time soon. You may as well work on the bumpy relationship you have.
  • No more eating cat poop. While clearly you find it delicious, it’s not good for you — too much fat. Plus, have you ever noticed that no one wants your kisses after you partake in such a snack?

Don’t worry. One resolution is enough, and those were just a few to consider. No matter what you decide, Oreo, I look forward to spending 2014 with you — bad habits and all.


Aislinn, your loyal human companion

Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the Outdoors pages, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. Visit her main blog at