I just received this American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Holiday Safety Alert:
"Attention, poinsettia-loving pet owners! You need not fear this festive holiday plant — rumors of its toxic potential are greatly exaggerated, say ASPCA experts.
"As our toxicologists at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) explain, poinsettias were first brought to the United States in the 1820s by J. Robert Poinsett, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico at the time. The myth of the plant’s toxicity began when the two-year-old child of a U.S. Army officer allegedly died from eating a poinsettia leaf.
"Says the APCC’s Dana B. Farbman, CVT, ‘In reality, ingestions typically produce only mild to moderate gastrointestinal tract irritation in pets, which may include drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.’ So while it’s still a good idea to keep this plant out of your pets’ reach to avoid stomach upset, you need not banish it from your homes."
For additional holiday safety tips, there’s lots of good information at http://www.aspca.org
You can also check the ASPCA Poison Control Center at http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pro_apcc
See you in a week (on Dec. 18):
I’m taking my annual Christmas Present Shopping Break (aka vacation) next week so I can go Christmas shopping with my wife. We also hold hands and go for lots of long walks together (my present). I’ll meet you back here for our usual morning cup of coffee on Dec. 18. See ya. /Gary