Picture this. . . It's Christmas Eve (2010) in Minnesota. Ed and I have Jahzara, our Greyhound, and Romeo, our Vizsla, settled in at my parents' house. It's cold outside, there's a lot of snow on the ground, and their yard is not fenced in. This means very little opportunity for Romeo to burn off energy outside.

Now, add to that my brother, his wife and their ten-year-old son. Add to that my sister, her husband and their three boys, ages seven, five and two-and-a-half.

Romeo loves kids, but he rarely gets opportunities to interact with young kids. For some reason, parents don't seem to want to offer up their young children for my experiment to see how Romeo would actually do if he were let loose with them. My sister's three young boys were up for the challenge. They were looking forward to meeting Romeo – they think they want a big puppy for themselves. So this was a good test for them to see what they'd been missing – and if they might change their minds!

If only we could harness the energy within that household – I'm sure it would power our houses for years to come! When I think of Romeo's energy level and enthusiasm and multiply that times all those young boys, I can only imagine how long I would last in that house before having a nervous breakdown.

I'm sure you're waiting to hear about the chaos that ensued, but I will have to disappoint you this time. Romeo was better behaved than I could have hoped! He was fascinated by these young people who shared his tremendous energy – and whose faces were close enough to swipe kisses without having to jump much at all! The boys thought it was great fun to have him chase them, but Romeo was very good about not being too rough with them. Who knew he had it in him to use that degree of self-control?

Probably the most amazing thing to witness, however, was Jahzara. As the boys were winding down before heading for their own home, they were fairly quiet. Jahzara, who has always been afraid of kids and would never let them pet her, laid down next to me for some petting. The seven-year-old sat near me. While as energetic as any seven-year-old boy, he has a very quiet calm side to him. Jahzara allowed him to pet her for a good fifteen to twenty minutes. When he finally got tired and stopped, she lifted her head and gave him that “hey, why did you stop?” look of hers. I was delighted that she was calm and enjoying some petting from someone so young. She really has come a long way.

Overall, both Romeo and Jahzara did amazingly well with our visit. Perhaps they will garner an invitation back after all!