Jan. 5th – Jessie meets Crystal & Alba Frost

“Hello, Mr. & Mrs. Claus. It’s truly inspirational to meet you. May I introduce you to my French Poodle Alba? Alba was born in Tuscany, and travelled first-class from Rome to come and be with us today. I wasn’t sure if I should bring my treasured child, but Great uncle Jack assured me that it was perfectly fine for her to eat with us at the table. ” Crystal, cleared her throat and extended her hand to Molly.

Molly hesitated before she shook the woman’s hand and jumped back as Alba snarled and moved forward to protect her mistress.

“Alba, you naughty child. Mrs. Claus wouldn’t hurt us. She’s our friend. Come pumpkin. Let’s move into the living room and put you down for a nap.” Crystal lifted the plump dog into her arms. Dyed pink pompoms on her ears bobbed along as Crystal struggled to carry the animal into the next room. She took the dog and plopped her on Molly’s antique sofa.

Jessie sighed and put her paws over her nose. Even she didn’t get on that couch and she lived here. Jessie had been so excited about meeting another dog that she had barely slept the night before. But now, she wasn’t sure she wanted to spend any time with Alba at all. But one look at the distressed look on Jack’s face made her determined to make Alba her friend.

Jessie got up and shook her coat. She slowly approached the couch with her ears down. As she got closer she could her a low rumbling coming from Alba’s throat. The rumbling rose to a crescendo of yaps as Jessie reached the couch. Jessie stopped just short of Alba’s pillow and sat on her haunches. She wavered her head from side to side curiously. How could any self-respecting dog be scared by that high pitched garble she thought.

Jessie stood up, walked up to Alba, and licked her across the face. Alba seemed surprised. She stopped in mid yap, shook her delicate ears, and tried to wipe her face on the seat of the sofa.

“Uh oh,” thought Jessie looking at the red color on Molly’s face. Molly stammered and  threw several tea towels onto the table. She held her breath for a minute and  with a quavering voice spoke. “Let’s eat. We have business to do Crystal. If you’re going to help your great uncle then you will need to work out a contract with Santa. Let’s finalize the arrangements over the dinner table. And… bring that thing you call a dog with you and get it off of my mother’s sofa.”

Molly stormed out to the kitchen leaving an unease in the room. From the kitchen Jessie could hear pots and pans being slammed on the marble island. “Better not upset her further,” thought Jessie. She obediently rose and went to her bowl in the dining room.  She quietly sat in front of it. She took a gulp of water and watched Crystal.

“Humph,” said Crystal. She picked up her dog and staggered into the dining room. She went to place her at a place at the table when Santa interjected. “Better let her eat with Jessie if you don’t want to upset Molly further. I know your dog usually eats at the table but the bowls on the floor are made from the finest china, and she will be eating the same food as us. Besides, it will give us time to talk about our arrangements for the year . If things work out than maybe in the future when Jack feels like retiring you can replace him.”

Jessie didn’t hear any more of the conversation as Molly came out from the kitchen carrying two bowls. One for Jessie, and one for Alba. The bowl for Jessie was noticeably larger but even so Jessie gulped down the food and it was gone in no time.

Jessie licked the bowl clean and looked over to Alba. Alba was watching her out of the corner of her eye and taking small dainty bites of the lasagna. Between bites she washed her face with her paws and looked woefully at Crystal. She sighed loudly and then continued eating the food presented to her. After only four bites she pushed the bowl away from her with her nose and knocked the food on the floor. She stood up and turned her back on Jessie .  She stomped over to Crystal’s side.

“Does my wuvy not like her supper,” said Crystal to the dog. “I’ll get you some proper food when were done talking here.” Crystal returned to the table and addressed Santa. I believe Mr. Claus we have agreed on a price and a date and time that you require my estimations. I will be pleased to provide you with my meteorological services but I must be going now. My Alba needs attention.“

Crystal roughly shoved back the chair  and pulled out a silver chain from her purse. She gently clipped it on Alba’s collar and walked towards the door.

Jessie glanced at Molly. Molly’s eyes bulged and her neck was red. She was stammering and glaring at Santa.

The door slammed and Jack spoke. “I’d like to apologize for her. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe she doesn’t represent the Frosts well enough to take over for me. She certainly is besotted with that pampered pooch. I’ll start searching for another replacement Santa.”

“No Jack, she’s a good meteorologist. Perhaps, we can help her to see that there is a better way to share love with a companion animal. What do you think Jessie? Do you think we can do that?” The look in Santa’s eyes pleaded with Jessie to confirm his words.

Jessie was not at all sure that she could help but she barked and jumped forward in agreement. She would try to help Jack. She may not be successful but in the coming months she was going to try to help Crystal and make a friend of Alba.

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Jan. 6th – Jessie makes a friend at the beach

Jessie, Molly, and Santa were visiting Molly’s cousin in Australia for the weekend. Santa had flown them down overnight and they had spent the day in the cottage playing games, laughing, and having fun.

Jessie had never been to the beach before but as soon as they reached the shoreline she fell in love with it. On the sand she sniffed a myriad of wonderful smells. She had also met several children and had played a game of Frisbee with them and built a sand castle.

Jessie sniffed the air. The smell of water, sun tan lotion, and cooking fires filled her nose. She sniffed contentedly in the sand until she heard Santa calling.

“Lunch time Jessie. We’re having a BBQ. Hurry, let’s eat! ” Santa smiled at the dog. He looked strange today to Jessie Santa’s large stomach protruded out from underneath a purple and lime Hawaiian shirt. His belly button jiggled above his khaki shorts.

Jessie’s ears quivered and her ears shot up when she heard the word BBQ. Her mouth salivated as she trotted over to Santa. He had set up with lawn chairs, a tent, the BBQ, and a beach blanket on the sand.

Santa pulled a hot dog off of the barbecue and put it on a plate for Jessie. She raised her hand in thanks to Santa. He smiled, and bent down to shake it.

As Santa shook her hand, a grey and white bird swooped down from above, and grabbed the hot dog off of Jessie’s plate. The bird ziog-zagged up, and away with Jessie’s meal.

Jessie barked and whined. She chased the bird down the beach as it swooped up and down above her. She ran until the gull swooped out into the water and landed on a sand bar out in the lake. When the gull landed Jessie paced back and forth until the birds pecked at her meal. Defeated, Jessie walked back to the camp fire with her tail between her legs.

Jessie reached the campfire, pushed Santa’s legs with her nose, and whined.

Santa laughed. “It’s okay Jessie. I made extra. I should have known better to put the food down unguarded. Gulls will eat anything.”

Santa pulled out another plate and plopped a sausage on it. “With all that exercise I thing you need something more filling. Don’t you?”

Jessie barked and wagged her tail furiously. She liked her lips and waited for Santa to cut up the food and put the plate on the ground. Jessie watched every move that Santa made. She was not going to have her meal stolen this time.

As soon as the food had been placed in the sand, another gull swooped down and tried to grab the plate. This time Jessie was ready. She jumped and snapped. In an instant she found her mouth was full of a frightened gull.

Jessie opened her eyes wide in surprise. She hadn’t meant to grab the bird. It had just been instinct to snap when the bird flew by. Jessie very gently lowered her head and placed the gull in the sand. She backed up towards the plate and pushed it towards the gull.

The gull sat silently staring at the dog. When Jessie did not move towards it, the gull walked back and forth a few times. Then,hesitantly, it came forward and pecked at a piece of the sausage.

Jessie wagged her tail and gently began eating from the other side of the plate. She ate most of the food but left enough so that the gull had something to finish. When she was finished her portion she licked the bird across the head, backed up and trotted over to Santa looking for more food.

Santa greeted Jessie with a smile. “Such a kind, and smart animal you are Jessie. I think that deserves a reward don’t you? “This time Santa pulled out a piece of steak from the BBQ, and held it out for Jessie to see.

“This time girl why don’t you eat it in the tent. The gulls won’t bother you there.” Santa put the plate with the steak in the tent and Jessie sniffed. Her mouth watered and she could barely wait for the food. If all trips to the beach were like this then she hoped they could visit more often.