Santa brought Jessie to meet Angel, hoping that Jessie could make a new friend. Angel was the head of the dog sled team that carried cheese from the local creamery to an airfield close-by where the cheese was carried to markets in the south.
The problem was that Angel was skittish around new people and animals. She tended to run and hide, or depending on her mood, tear up the husky housing area when she encountered new dogs.
Because of her behaviour, the huskies were located in a separate barn a little away from the main reindeer area. In the husky barn there lived around twenty husky families.
Because Angel was the head husky, the rest of the dogs would accept Jessie as a friend if Angel accepted her. So, Santa took the day off to bring Jessie out to the Husky pens and introduce her to Angel.
From the start it did not go well. Jessie, always friendly, grew excited seeing the other dog. She walked up to Angel, licked her across the face, and jumped backward inviting Angel to play.
Angel growled and jumped straight up in the air. She landed on a table that was in the middle of the Husky keeper’s home. She tore at the placemats on the table, jumped down, and raced around the room. She slid into the pile of wood stacked beside the fireplace. Somewhat stunned, she sat looking cross-eyed at Jessie.
Jessie didn’t know what to do. Jessie thought that Angel was the most beautiful dog she had ever seen. She had grey and white fur, one golden eye and one blue eye.
Jessie tried walking up to Angel with her head lowered. She sat directly in front of Angel with her ears down and her head on the floor waiting to see if Angel would play. She bumped Angel’s nose with hers and backed away.
Santa sighed and looked curiously at Jessie lying on the carpet. He wondered what type of dog she was. She was obviously a mix of some kind. With floppy ears, a black and brown coat, but the size and strength of an Australian sheep dog she was quite a mix. In any case it didn’t matter. He wanted Jessie to be able to spend time with the other dogs without being in danger of getting in a fight. If that happened, Jessie’s good nature would most certainly cause her to lose and get hurt.
Santa rubbed his temple. What could he do to help Jessie? His only hope was that Angel would get used to Jessie in time. He picked up a ball that was lying on the table and called Jessie. He threw it across the room. Jessie perked up her ears, stormed across the room, and grabbed the ball.
Instead of returning it to Santa, she trotted in front of Angel where she dropped the ball in front of her face. Jessie sat down with her head on the floor, and nudged the ball towards Angel’s paws.
Angel sat up and looked at Jessie. She sniffed the ball, and pushed it back towards Jessie. She then got up and walked to the other side of the room. She sat down with a thud and began licking her long white paws.
Jessie picked up the ball, bounced it a couple of times, and caught the ball. She pranced over in front of Angel again, and dropped the ball. She sat down again, and pushed the ball to Angel again. Angel looked at Jessie, and once more got up and moved to another location in the room.
Santa was entranced with the activity. Although Jessie couldn’t see it, Santa knew Angel well enough to know that she wasn’t as bothered by Jessie’s presence as she had been when they had come in. Jessie certainly was doing everything she could to become friends.
Santa watched the process repeat another five times. Then, unexpectedly, when Jessie rolled the ball Angel picked it up and rolled it back to Jessie. Jessie grabbed the ball, wagged her tail, and then rolled it across to Angel. Angel jumped up, grabbed the ball and ran across the room with Jessie trailing. Jessie did not try to grab the ball she just trotted behind Angel. Eventually, Angel turned around and bounced the ball in Jessie’s direction.
Jessie grabbed the ball and then sat down as she saw Angel approaching. She lowered her head and stared at the ground. Angel came forward and nudged her with her nose. Jessie hesitantly wagged the tip of her tail and waited.
Angel licked Jessie’s face, and then yipped. She moved towards the door, and looked back at Jessie. Jessie wagged her tail and jumped up. She followed Angel out the door and across the yard.
The dogs trotted across the yard to the barn. Angel led Jessie past the older dogs and down to the corner where the younger dogs were romping and playing in under the LED lights high above. Angel turned and gently pushed Jessie into the room. Jessie was swarmed with puppies climbing on her.
Santa came running into the room, stopped and stared. Jessie was having a marvelous time. She was rolling around with the other dogs, barking and wagging her tail as fast as she could.
Santa sat down and watched Jessie play. Eventually, Angel, who had been cleaning her fur, joined the playtime.
Santa was delighted. Ever since Jessie had come to the North Pole, he had worried that the dog would have no canine friends. Now that Angel had accepted the dog, he was sure that the other animals would accept her as well. It would now be easier when they had to travel to the outlying communities to send supplies. He generally used snowmobiles or dog sleds depending upon the weather. Now he could safely take Jessie with him.
Santa whistled and both Angel and Jessie came running. “Jessie has to come with me now Angel. We’ll be back though. Perhaps next time you can introduce Jessie to the rest of the dogs. For now, thank-you for being a good host. Jessie, time for dinner. Let’s go.”
Jessie rubbed her head against Angel’s and then trotted away with Santa. She was so happy she’d made friends. She loved Santa and Molly but it was nice to have dog friends again. Jessie’s heart soared. She’d loved Thunder Bay, but she was having so many new adventures at the North Pole that she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Three meals a day, and good friends. What more could a dog want?