If you think Christmas is crazy with kids — let me tell you kids aren’t nearly as crazy as Christmas with nine dogs when treats are involved.

We’re not the kind of family that always involves the dogs in the holiday. Usually we don’t give them a gift because there’s not much left over after spoiling my son and his three cousins. But Mom decided to get a stocking of treats for each of the dogs for Christmas because she didn’t want to leave them out.

First she gave the biggest treats to the boxer Val and the young mutt Arbuckle in hopes that these treats would keep them occupied and they would leave the other dogs alone. That lasted about 5 minutes— about as long as it took for them to realize that other dogs were getting treats too.

For the old dogs Chester, George and Sunny — all siblings — she gave softer treats they could chew easily. Chester especially liked these and kept coming back for more. I hoped he was just eating them quickly, but it’s more likely he was stashing them for later consumption or another dog was taking them from him. Chester might act tough, but he’s really just a big weenie.

The little rascals Leonard, Bella, Pete and Snuggles all got bite sized pieces of rawhide perfect for them.

Even though they were given treats especially for them, no dog ended up with the treats they started with. As soon as one dog would steal a treat from another dog, the dog who lost the treat would find another stashed or abandoned by another  dog or beg for a new treat. There were so many treats hidden around the house by the dogs that Mom kept tripping over and otherwise coming across them for days afterwards.

The most impressive snatch of the day was done by Leonard — impressive because everyone picks on poor Leonard, from the big dogs to the pint-sized mini-Yorkie Bella. The sneaky Shih Tzu  waited until Val had chewed a piece of rawhide until it was softened up and then stole it right out of her mouth. I don’t know what impressed me more — his gall or the fact he got away with it.

Because Val didn’t even try to get it back — she just stared at Leonard as he hopped away with her treat, as if she was so surprised that it caught her flat footed and wondering what the heck just happened. I laughed at her and asked her, “Silly dog, are you going to let him get away with that?”

She wagged her tail and looked up at me with a cocked head, like she was saying, “Well, it is Christmas.”

So I patted her on the head, told her she’s a good dog and Mom gave her another treat.