We are blessed in our family to have a precocious bundle of joy Minnie. Minnie is a ten month old Newfoundland which means she hasn’t looked like a puppy since she was a month old. We shower each other with love and attention but some days she tries my patience like only a large puppy with an even larger personality can.

Due to her size she is capable of very inconvenient things one of which is how happily and easily she can steal from our kitchen counter.

Many a brunch, lunch and supper has fallen prey to our cheeky insatiable pup. No back is turned in our kitchen for more than a second anymore. We have learned to fiercely guard our food. To name a few Minnie has consumed countless sausages and rashers, a whole stick of butter, scrambled, boiled and poached eggs, delicious salads, a whole Terrys chocolate orange (panic ensued) and a full plate of roast dinner loving prepared for my brothers return home.

Depending on our mood (and hunger levels) we’d laugh or cry at Minnies increasingly daring pursuit of our food until it all came to a climax this Christmas.

Every Christmas Eve my dad prepares a full christmas dinner feast, a man who up to recently could barely cook porridge on the stove.

We arrived in time to open presents before dinner which he promised was almost ready. Through the excited unwrapping Minnie slipped from the room unnoticed by any of us. When it was time for her presents (she’s spoiled rotten) She was nowhere to be found.

I discovered her in the utility room with the remains of the most enormous christmas ham between her paws. She was wagging her tail and looked up at me with her large innocent eyes as if to say “look how clever I am mommy”. I stared in horror and disbelief at our beautiful ham.

Everyone pretended to find it funny for my sake for which I am grateful. “We’ll never forget Minnies first Christmas anyway” my Dad said. Sure wasn’t it our fault for leaving the ham out anyway? I’m not sure but I do know despite everything she is worth it, though we will be keeping a closer eye on her next Christmas.