As the news sunk in, I fought back tears and wondered how on earth we would tell John-William

Jill Thorp whose Christmas was saved by Boo the dog suffering no ill effects from eating mince pies.
Jill Thorp whose Christmas was saved by Boo the dog suffering no ill effects from eating mince pies.
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This Christmas has proved a bit of a mixed bag for us, lots of ups but a fair few downs.

Unlike previous years, when we all binged on stollen, mince pies and gallons of mulled wine, we’d vowed to eat less and avoid the misery of January dieting. However, as neither of us have much willpower, the luxury deep filled mince pies slowly crept their way into the house.

As it turned out, I needn’t have worried about their effect on my waistline as I never got to sample any. On this occasion it wasn’t my “I’ll wait till the wife has gone to bed and then I’ll eat everything in the house” husband. Instead, it was a far greedier individual named Boo.

By morning, the unopened box of mince pies had made its way on to the kitchen floor and the contents had vanished.

Bits of part-chewed cardboard and discarded crumpled foil cases lay scattered around the floor with a trail of slightly muddy paw prints across the worktops.

I hope that people, when they sat down to enjoy their Christmas dinner spared a thought for those who put it there - Jill Thorp
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I picked up the empty box and after threatening to hit the now uncomfortably full dog with it, breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn’t my waistline that was doubled in size.

After evicting the thief with a boot to the backside, I started to clean up the floor, whilst a niggling worry began to grow.

A brief conversation with my mum, a frantic search on the internet was followed by devastating news from our vet – the raisins and sultanas in the mince pies were highly toxic to dogs and could potentially leading to acute kidney failure and death.

It was too late to flush her stomach of the midnight snack and only time would tell how her body would cope.

As the news sunk in, I fought back the tears and wondered how on earth we would tell John-William. Some Christmas we were heading for.

Over the following 48 hours we watched Boo’s every move. Was she drinking too much? Should she be eating? Was she looking lethargic?

Paul phoned the vet twice more, unable to believe there was nothing we could do for her.

Twenty-four hours passed and she was showing no ill-effects.

The following day she seemed quiet and disinterested and we began to fear the worst.

When someone came to the house later that day, however, she was back to her usual savage self.

We got lucky – or at least Boo did. She proved to be the tough, bolshy little madam that drives me to despair on many occasions and breezed through her mince pie ordeal with no issues.

By 7am on Christmas morning I could bear it no longer.

The lights were turned on, covers yanked back and John-William was prodded, poked and tickled until he woke from his slumber.

Bleary-eyed, he asked what day it was and when I told him Santa had been, he suddenly sprung to life.

Amidst the piles of wrapping paper and toys, Boo sat wagging her tail and sharing his delight. Christmas wasn’t ruined after all.