The Unraveling

The Unraveling

Well, it happened. I knew I was probably jinxing their good behavior when I posted about the pups in part two of the Christmas tour mentioning that “we are keeping our fingers crossed that they are more civilized this year :).”

The Unraveling

Wouldn’t you know it, ON THE DAY OF THE TOUR, I turned my back for a minute and I heard a ruckus coming from the family room. And that’s when the unraveling began! Every year I set everything up all pretty and before we even get to Christmas, the ornaments are knocked off the tree, sweet little woodland ornament creatures are decapitated and skinned with their stuffing strewn about, garland is knocked down off the stairway and there are two guilty pups with bits and pieces of the aftermath hanging from their fur. Today I caught Lily in MID-AIR leaping into the tree to grab another little animal out. How? Why? It’s not like they don’t have any toys! I later caught her playing with a white woodland ornament and launching it from her mouth like a ball. Not okay.

The Unraveling

EXHIBIT A: The Remains of an Innocent Woodland Ornament

The Unraveling

The Unraveling

The Unraveling

The Unraveling

Exhibit B: Cedar Garland Torn Down from the Stairway

The Unraveling

The Unraveling

Evidence: Two Guilty Pups

The Unraveling

Update: This just in…

The Unraveling

And also, this unfortunate discovery today:

The Unraveling

The Unraveling

PS. These felt and bottle brush ornaments are on a great sale at West Elm right now, you can find them here! Just keep your pets far, far away if you get them! :)

You can read more about the situation in my post about The Gift in the Unraveling, today on (in)courage.

We seem to have real setbacks in our house sometimes before the actual holiday arrives. Feel free to reminisce on these gems:

This is {not} Glamorous – Thanksgiving 2007

The Unraveling {2011}

The Garland and Starfish Incident {2011}


  1. Christi {Jealous Hands} says

    I’m only laughing because, well, their faces! Never hav I seen guiltier looking pups! And also because I know how you feel! :-)

  2. The poor babies can’t help their wild ways! They say, “I sorry, Mommy! Well, but I not REALLY sorry. Can I have that back?”

  3. Uh oh….(im sorry that I giggled, but they are so, so cute!)

  4. I believe Jack and Lily have secured their place in Christmas traditions at your home. (: heehee

  5. Caught in the act! Oh my gosh the look on their faces. That little Woodland ornament didn’t have a chance, did it? Loved your post Melissa.

  6. Oh My their sad faces =) but cute….kind of like the kids that get caught throwing flour all over the living room but their faces are just too cute to scold.
    Merry Christmas

  7. You must’ve really given them the business to get such sad, guilty faces. (But maybe they are smirking to each other when you aren’t around!) :)

  8. poor pups are wondering why you are acting crazy-lol
    you mean you did not put those things for THEM? -kid,cats,dogs and klutzy people.-make up our loves and our lives.

  9. Nan, Odessa, DE says

    You can’t be upset with these two beautiful creatures!
    We have all had this experience and with love we get over it.
    Laugh, life is short.

  10. I LOVE how they are just waiting for you to give the “mangled” ornament a toss in the air.

  11. Those are like the cutest pups ever. What breed are they?

  12. Dog behavour classes right after the holidays!!

  13. Poor Jack & Lily! It is just too much temptation for them. LOL

  14. One teeny mouse did all the work (and more) that your two pups did. Opened up the ornament box to pull out any breakables before letting the grandkids loose on tree trimming. I found sad little piles of satin and sawdust … And I even have a cat who sleeps in the basement where the ornaments are stored. Alas, she has a vertical leap of about 4 inches …#nohelpatall.

  15. Best thing about it? Great photo op. The looks on their faces are priceless.

  16. Thank you for the laugh! I once had a Yorkie that pulled everything off the Christmas tree (and he could jump amazingly high for his size) and unwrapped presents as soon as they were put under the tree. He also thought we had put the tree up to provide him an indoor toilet. We lost him two years ago and I still hang his stocking up. These are the memories that you will day..maybe not today.;)

  17. Pups are gonna pup……..
    (Poodles/labs are hunters/retrievers by nature)

  18. But Mom we thought we were helping decorate. ..please don’t tell Santa.

  19. I’ve really enjoyed looking at all the wonderful Christmas decorating ideas in blog land but yours is by far the best! Reality! Your pups looks are priceless! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  20. I love this, sadly I can relate but my guilty culprit is a fast bengal cat named Archer. I had to resort to plastic ornaments this year (thankfully) and don’t have nearly as much decorations since he manages to climb on/up everything possible. I even bought a bird sensor that is supposed to chirp loudly when he shakes the tree from getting inside but now he thinks thats his toy as well.
    Thank you for sharing the old articles as well. I love your blog.

  21. lol! My 2 year old Weimaraner Luna, while leaving the woodland creatures on my tree, has found a way to take down the stockings (hung by the chimney with care

  22. Nicole Fuller says

    Oh my, I have to have one of my own. What kind of dogs are those?

  23. Oh my gosh! I love it when you post pics of your dogs! They are so cute! You probably can’t stay mad at them long!

  24. Uh, oh, but they are so darn cute. Look at those guilty faces.

  25. Lol! They look so guilty! I had to read your post at incourage. Love the pictures!

  26. Denise Reilly says

    I’m sorry… But they are just tooo cute! They make me lol every time. Love them!

  27. What breed are they? So cute!

  28. Lol. Public shaming for naughty pups! They don’t look like they are sorry though… guilty yes… sorry no.

  29. hahahahaha…I guess that takes care of the fun and games part of Christmas! I did look at the past posts of fun and games; you’re all now highly trained in this sport. Just keep having fun and making memories! Best wishes to you all for more (manageable) fun and games.

  30. When I was growing up I had a cat that would leap into the tree and snag the white doves we had so meticulously placed,and promptly decapitate them! Other than that, she was as sweet as could be!

  31. Best post ever

  32. So, so, so guilty. . . and so cute LOL! Those faces, oy.

  33. Ahh so sad, but great pics! They look guilty, but also like they will do it again when you’re not looking! :)

  34. Madelaine Smith says

    A great big Christmas THANK YOU to you and your pups…I just finished super gluing my finger to a huge amount of sparkle powder…and the writing on my ornaments is heading uphill instead of being level but I’m still getting quite a giggle out of Christmas and out of your most recent blog entry. Yes, naughty puppies… But soooo much love!!! You can fix it all and it will be beautiful once again… And no one except the reindeer was injured so that’s fine, too. My advice: go to YouTube, search out Billy Mack version “love is all around us” from Love Aactually, play it while hugging your puppies!!! Merry Christmas

  35. They do look guilty in some of the photos. In others, you can tell they would do it again! :-)

  36. Just an idea: both dogs and cats dislike the smell of citrus. If you dab orange oil or lemon oil on something you don’t want to have destroyed, it might help. Might…

  37. We also have two goldendoodles, Rumple and Bailey. I’m convinced it’s a genetic trait, to investigate and undo any new or unusual display. Stuffed “anything” is doomed!! Love seeing Jack and Lily, and believe me, I can totally relate!

  38. Melissa,

    We have the same problem at our house. Unfortunately these cute Christmas ornaments resemble the stuffed dog toys you can buy. Three years ago when we had a new golden retriever puppy in the house we knew we would have to do something as she was into everything. So we ordered a Scat Mat which is a vinyl like mat that is battery operated and when stepped on gives off a slight shock. It’s not enough to hurt your pet but unpleasant enough to keep them away from the tree. Ours is slightly curved so it fits in front of the tree that is located in a corner of the living room which is really the only way she can get to the tree. She has calmed down a lot since three years ago so we didn’t think we would need it until about three days after the tree was up and we awoke to find several ornaments chewed up so out came the mat again.

  39. it’s hard to get mad at those cute faces!!!!

  40. Diane Cummings says

    As you know, we too have a GoldenDoodle! They are fabulous dogs, but they do like to “unravel.” :)

  41. Sounds familiar – had a mini schnauzer as a little girl. Came home one day during the holidays and found our sweet little, Gus with a mustache full of peppermint candy cane crumbs. He ate the entire gingerbread house!

  42. I don’t mean to laugh for so long but looking at that sweet face I couldn’t help wonder how you keep from laughing although I don’t see your face in any of those pictures. I can only imagine how lucky those pups are to live in a house filled with so much love and affection because if they didn’t they would be living some where else for sure. You no as soon as you say Oh it doesn’t look like rain I won’t need to take my umbrella, or the pups haven’t noticed the tree with the ornaments THAT’S when it rains and they discover the tree filled with ornaments it just happens that way. I am sure this comment is not helping but I tell you it just about made my day and afternoon. Dogs love them can’t live without them. Have a wonderful holiday season. LOVE YOU JACK AND LILY

  43. They look so sad…..and maybe a little sorry……

  44. Yours was the Unraveling, ours was the “unwrapping” of several presents :( Our daughter was a wee bit angry as these were the gifts her fiance bought for his brothers and she was sweet to wrap them up for him. Ugh…it was ugly and since one of the packages was 8 varieties of hot sauce, our home was filled with a unusual fragrance that day.
    Your pups on the other hand are so stink’n cute, I’m melting just looking at your photos. They are so precious. I’ve been telling my husband for years that God gave us dogs so we could maybe get a tiny glimpse of the grace God gives us. Can I get an Amen?

  45. Oh, I do love the Golden Doodles and their antics! Too bad for the wonderful ornaments however.

  46. Hi Melissa – Sorry that your ornaments and garland were enjoyed by two cute pups, but it made for an enjoyable post :-) I have a cat and a dog who do the same thing. So far this year – no casualties yet.

  47. Ok, I am not a huge lover of pets, but even I have to admit your dogs are adorable. Their little faces speak volumes, especially the one where you are holding the ornament in front of him.

  48. Oh, how familiar this all looks! We were victim to what we call the 2013 Christmas Origami Ornament Massacre when our Bernese Mountain Dog decided that each piece of carefully-folded paper on our tree was her required dose of fiber for that day. In fact, we’re still finding shreds of pretty paper. Ah, dogs. If we didn’t love them so much . . .

  49. I know to you it’s not funny, but I had to laugh. Their little guilty faces are so cute.nhard not to forgive them.

  50. I totally sympathize and commiserate with your pup problem. We adopted a 3-month old puppy in June. We think he’s really a goat disguised as a goat. Like your “amgels”, he has lots of toys, but prefers to grab the forbidden fruit. Hang in there, & Merry a Christmas!


  51. My dogs pulled some driftwood off of my coastal Georgia tree so I put the vacuum cleaner in front of it. They are terrified of the vacuum!!

  52. That’s hilarious and your fur-babies are so cute! We just got a new kitty and so far he has broken one ornament and he loves to tear up the tree skirt. And take naps on it. He hasn’t climbed the tree yet, but I fully expect it to happen one of these days

  53. Sorry about the ornaments, but your pups are so adorable!

  54. Oh my goodness… those sweet, fluffy things killed your innocent woodland ornament animals!? I can hardly believe that! =] Luckily my dogs are being good this year, they are even in the house all day by themselves and so far they haven’t touched a thing!


  55. This has to be your funniest post ever! Thanks for the early a.m. smile!

  56. Hilarious…their faces crack me up. I see no signs of remorse; just extreme cuteness. Thanks for sharing <3

  57. Look at those sweet, guilty faces!

  58. You are scaring me. We may get an aussie labradoodle in April and are empty nesters. am I up for this kind of craziness??????

  59. I feel for you. I have two doodles as well. The youngest will be 2 next month. We have nicknamed him STK (stuffed toy killer). I pick up stuffing off the floor everyday from him dismembering one of his toys. But he loves it so much, I keeping getting him more.

  60. I’m so so glad you share these stories. As the owner to two large canine trouble makers myself, I often laugh at photos on Pinterest, thinking “Ha, that wouldn’t last for a minute in my house.” Glad to see someone who mixes puppy love with beautiful decor while keeping it real. :)

  61. Best photos of my day, hands down. Had both my daughter and I laughing hysterically!

  62. Wicorel Koning says

    Hihi, I had a little smile about this. I am so sorry for you, real life kicking in this way!

  63. I laughed so hard at this story that I was crying. The pictures really topped off the whole story!
    Sorry for you but an EXCELLENT story!

  64. “I don’t know WHAT you’re talking about?!?”

    OMG, is there a more innocent face on the planet than the one on a guilty dog? Too funny! Thanks for this – – I needed it today!

  65. Oh my goodness…how can pets look so cute and be so lovable while they are standing next to something you like that they just shredded? :) I had two cats when we first got married and they knocked down our little Christmas tree, breaking several vintage glass ornaments from my Oma. I decided it wasn’t worth having a tree until we had room for a large one, which wasn’t for about six year! Oh, the things we do for pets…

  66. Has ever a guilty face looked so sweet? They are just too cute!!

  67. I’m laying in bed chuckling out loud trying not to wake my husband with each new photo. The look on their faces are priceless! This is one of your best posts ever!
    Merry Christmas⭐️

  68. I held it together (well, not really) until you said you found a white “foot”. Then, I had no choice but to give up & laugh out loud. I’m so sorry. But I really needed that laugh today & your dogs are so cute! Naughty, but cute. :)

  69. Chuck Smith says

    This is hilarious! I am amazed my golden doodle, Ginger, has not gotten to the tree. She does spread all of her toys all over the floor every day, and thinks any new small ball-shaped or animal shaped (or bone shaped or just furry object) is hers, so the fact that she hasn’t started grabbing ornaments is somewhat surprising. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures of your doodles, and I love the stories. Best wishes this holiday season!

  70. those are the two cutest guiltiest looking dogs I have seen in awhile. I’m sorry they ate your decorations, but you have done a fantastic job entertaining us! Thank you for the lovely laugh.

  71. Forgive me for smiling as I enjoy the looks on their faces…They seem to know (after the fact) that perhaps that wasn’t such a good idea. I keep thinking- yes! Christmas IS for EVERYONE! It must have been sweet as they were attacking! think positively- many a dog (and/or cat) have taken down many a Christmas tree- so be thankful they only damaged those few ornaments! As a dog/cat lover- please please please- let this be a reminder that not all things our pets can get into are just a nuisance to us- many can make them sick, or kill them and that would not be ‘cute’ at all…

  72. I think it was an accident and it will never happen again ;)
    Love them!

  73. Omgosh! Melissa, those faces of guilt are priceless, sorry there was loss in your ornaments, but love that you have a sense of humor and shared it with all of us. Merry Christmas xo Kathysue

  74. Susan in Katy says

    The funniest part it, they actually look guilty. My dogs have perfected the art of “Who me? No way”.

  75. Well, they’re too darned cute to be mad at. You can certainly see how very sorry they are by the look on their faces. Oddly enough, my Yorkies have never touched a Christmas tree, but wreak havoc in every other way.

  76. Oh I love this post and the look on the dogs face when we gets shown the evidence.

  77. I cant stop laughing!!

  78. Can’ t be mad long at those cute faces. The things we sacrifice for those we love:)

  79. This it too funny!!! HAHAH I have a Golden Retriever who had an entire branch of our Christmas Tree in his mouth the other day. It’s just a matter of time until it comes crashing down, I’m sure!

  80. Fabulous post….thank you for helping to make my day even brighter.

  81. MELISSA – I’m sorry your lovely decorations were destroyed, but your guilty dog pictures were precious! My 4 year old grandson Miles loves looking at the guilty dog pictures!

  82. Too funny! I totally get it. Our 6 month old whippet is obsessed with my gingerbread boy & girl shaped pillows. He has “stolen” the girl from our bed 3 times and torn off her buttons once. They really do think all cute fuzzy things are their toys.

  83. THIS has to be THE BEST Christmas post of the year from all over the blogosphere.

Join the Conversation