Easter is one of my favourite times of year. It means school holidays, fun times with friends, footy season starting, hot cross buns and plenty of chocolate. I know it’s also about lots more than that, but whilst I’m curious about Jesus my family isn’t religious so I was never taken to church or made to sit down and understand it all. It’s probably something I’ll look into when I’m older.

This Easter was pretty great. Like really great. And then it wasn’t. Great I mean. Because it got kinda serious.

You see Howie ate some Easter eggs.

Yes, my dog, Howie.   He found one of my secret stashes under my bed – it’s where I hide all my treasures and secret stuff. Mum doesn’t dare look under there because she thinks it’s ‘gross’ which means it’s the perfect hiding spot for things I don’t want her to find!

I hid some chocolate under there because I got extras from the Easter hunt at school (bonus!), even though I told Mum I didn’t. I didn’t want to miss out on getting treats from Mum due to the fact that she thought I already had enough, so I hid these ones. And it worked! I got heaps of great eggs both from the Easter Bunny and from Mum and Dad AND I got new footy boots too. They usually give me new pajamas or socks or something, but this year’s present was awesome!!

Now I know that not telling Mum about the extra eggs was lying… and I really don’t like lying to Mum…but it wasn’t a terrible lie that got anyone else involved or hurt anyone, was it? It was only about me wanting more chocolate, and that’s not a crime, right? Ok. Enough justification. It wasn’t a cool thing to do. It was greedy. And it got me in more trouble than I could have imagined. I get that now.

You see, the lie ended up being the reason that my best mate Howie got sick. So, it really wasn’t a cool thing to do at all.

You see, Howie got under my bed and found my stash. And he ate a lot of chocolate – like LOTS! In fact he munched through pretty much all of the eggs I had under there, or at least partly slobbered and nibbled on every one of them. And there were 20.

I knew he was up to something bad because I couldn’t find him for about an hour. He always comes when I call him, especially after I’ve been away all day at school or at a friend’s house, unless of course he’s up to no good. I searched everywhere for him for ages but no luck. Mum hadn’t seen him either and we were starting to get really worried. Just as we were about to head out and talk to the neighbours he appeared….with silver and pink and blue shiny confetti in his hair and a smudge of chocolate across his beard and nose. Uh-oh. He was looking really wobbly and not at all happy to see me, and then he vomited on my foot. Gross. And he vomited again and again. Disgusting.

Poor Howie. I felt so bad. And Mum made me feel worse. I got seriously told off – for lying and for not caring enough about Howie. The last part was pretty unfair though, because I love that dog more than anything in the world. I care SO much about him it hurts. I just didn’t know that dogs can’t eat chocolate because it makes them really sick. And it’s not like I purposely gave it to him anyway.

So, after my serious telling-off we took Howie straight to the vet. I was really worried I’d poisoned my dog and I would just die if anything happened to him, especially if it was my fault. Thankfully the vet saw us straight away. She said that Howie had been ‘lucky this time’ – he had vomited all the baddies out of his body and after lots of water and rest he would be ok. But I also got another good ‘telling off’ from the vet. She told me I need to be more responsible for my pet and that I should know the dangers for dogs so I could keep my little mate safe. She even gave me a booklet on ‘Responsible Dog Ownership’. Man, did I feel bad.

Lessons learnt this Easter: Dogs can’t eat chocolate; don’t lie to your Mum. Oh, and Easter eggs ‘second time round’ look like zombie brains.

(Animals, p.8., Lessons, p. 47., Responsibility, p. 66, A for Attitude)

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