I hope everyone's having a lovely day. This is the first Christmas in 20 years or so that Mary and I have been apart, as we drew the Comfort the Afflicted and/or Quadrupedal straw -- she's out in the desert looking after her bedridden mother, while I'm dog-sitting for my sister up in Portland.
I grew up with dogs, but it's been decades since I've owned one, and I'd forgotten how labor-intensive they are -- both emotionally and, uh, alimentarily -- but the companionship they provide is top-notch. However, like the Ethiopians that various British rock stars sung about in "Do They Know It's Christmas?", the dogs apparently don't, and since the house isn't decorated (there was no point since the family would be out of town for the holiday), I've been doing my best to pretend it's not actually the Yuldetide in order to modulate my self-pity.
But then Facebook decided to bombard me with memories of Christmas Pasts, and while I still don't care about the holiday, I do miss Riley, because nobody could get into the spirit of the season like she could: