Light-chewing corgi de-twinkles family tree

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Scarlett, the Welsh corgi

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Schuyler, the tiger cat

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Emma, the Gordon Setter

O Christmas tree! O Christmas tree! — I love to gnaw your branches ...

Scarlett O’Hara of Tara, our rambunctious 6-month-old Welsh corgi puppy, discovered what a great chew toy the Christmas tree makes.

Within minutes of assembling our pre-lit tree in the family room, Scarlett began sniffing around. Moments after our backs were turned, the lowest branches lost illumination.

I’m sure our dwarf dog thought, "how convenient these branches are — just within nibbling range."

Until counseled to stop, Scarlett used her little front teeth to pluck off the wee lights. Teething toddlers can be such a pain. Sigh. Good thing she’s cute.

And don’t believe the tree doesn’t shed with such attention. Fabricated as it is, Scarlett managed to leave a sprinkling of artificial needles on the floor.

Our tree provides entertainment for the whole family. The bi-peds enjoy gazing at the lights and decorations.

Schuyler Charnley Eveland, our 12-year-old Siberian tiger-striped cat, feels right at home lurking under its branches. For our feline, the tree makes a perfect indoor lair.

And Emma Charnley Eveland, our reserved, much more mature 3-year-old Gordon setter, pole bends around the tree while in hot pursuit of the naughty corgi.

Always on the lookout for new entertainment, Scarlett also deshamrocked the live shamrock plant my husband and I have had since we married on March 17, 2000, by jumping on the couch next to the plant stand and nibbling all its leaves off.

In this case, Scarlett did the plant a favor. Turns out it needs to rest about once per year, according to several Web sites online.

Many growers trim back its leaves and stems when it begins to look tired or turns brown. The plant should rest for a few weeks to a couple of months, then it will welcome water and light fertilizer. Shamrock plants are so low impact and sprout little white flowers several times during the growing season.

Scarlett is not neglected. She does have plenty of toys for entertainment. She’s a good chase-the-tennis-ball-and-bring-it-back dog and she loves to play keep-away-from-Emma. She’ll grab one of the eviscerated (read de-stuffinged) toy ducks or other once-plump stuffed toys and rip through the house with Emma right behind. Good exercise for them both.

•••

Steven M. Moss, chief executive officer with Blue Mountain Action Council, said the recent Feast of Carols was fruitful in several ways.

In addition to the event, Steven said many attendees donated much more food than was required to attend the concert. The yield for BMAC’s Food Bank was 2,302 pounds of food and $127 in cash. It "demonstrates the great generosity in our community. Food donations are especially important at this time of year." In a letter to Jay Brodt, U-B advertising director, Steven expressed appreciation for the newspaper’s support. "The Union-Bulletin’s facilitating of and advertising support of this marvelous event is key in making the fundraiser a success. This type of event really brings the community together to focus on needs." Steven cited U-B management and advertising staff for "being vital partners in this and other charitable endeavors."

•••

Former Touchet resident Justin Richards wed Alisa Gordon of Lacey, Wash., at Thurston County Expo Center in Lacey. Chaplain George Albertson officiated at the Sept. 19, 2009, ceremony. A reception followed at the center.

The son of Brad and Lisa Richards of Touchet, Justin graduated in 1999 from Touchet High School and earned a civil engineering degree from Walla Walla Community College. He is a civil engineer at the Washington Department of Transportation’s Lakewood, Wash., office.

The daughter of Mike and Karen Gordon of Lacey, Alisa graduated in 2007 from River Ridge High School in Lacey. She is completing a bachelor’s in business through University of Phoenix online. She is employed by the Washington Department of Social and Health Services in Olympia. Now of Lacey, the couple honeymooned on a week-long cruise to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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