August 5th – Work Like a Dog Day

Every morning Santa browsed the news and surfed the Internet.  His elves worked hard all year long and Santa liked to reward them for their excellent service so always looked for holidays to celebrate. This morning Santa  found out that the day was officially Work Like a Dog Day. 

 

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Husky Race
Image By Wolfgang Hägele (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Santa stroked his beard and gently pushed his wire rimmed glasses up his nose.  The dogs at the North Pole delivered packages, rescued stranded elves, and ran general errands.  They worked just as hard as the elves did.   Santa thought that it might be a good idea to celebrate the dogs in the town.

Santa looked down at Jessie who was chewing on a bone .  “Happy work like a dog day, Jessie.  How would you like to help me plan a surprise for Angel and the other dogs of the town?”

Jessie looked up, wagged her tail and barked.  She picked up her bone and trotted over to the table pushing her head under Santa’s hand.  She wagged her tail furiously.

Santa laughed and pulled out his cell phone.  He called his head elf and talked for half an hour making arrangements.  By the time he was finished talking the celebration was ready to go and the dogs were to arrive at the town square in an hour.

“Come on, Jessie. Let’s go celebrate.”  Santa clipped the lead on Jessie’s collar.  He whistled as they walked out the door and past the brightly colored shops.  They passed the bakery, the department store and the post office stopping at each building to greet the merchants.

By the time the pair  reached the square there were hundreds of dogs milling about with their owners.  Jessie’s ears perked up and her tail beat the ground furiously.  Santa smiled at the dog and led them into the park. They walked down the path dodging elves and their dogs until they came to the center of the square. Here Santa had arranged for sled dog games.

A number of sled dogs were attached to their harnesses and were racing down and around the length of the park .  Jessie recognized Angel at the head of one of the teams and barked a greeting.  She would have gone to see the dog but Santa held her back as her heat had started.

Jessie barked and urged Angel and her team on.  The dog team rounded the corner and just came in first.  But it didn’t really matter who won because all the dogs were given steaks as a reward.

Santa let Jessie and Angel visit for a few minutes and then called his dog.  “Jessie, come please.  We have other places to visit.”  Jessie’s ears went down but she followed Santa.  The pair moved through some trees and came to a clearing where ropes,tunnels and balls filled the area.  Several dogs were happily running agility exercises.  Dogs ran over ramps, through hoops, dribbled balls and barked excitedly in the arena as they competed for fun.

Santa led Jessie by and down the lane further until they came to a sign.  Jessie looked up at Santa quizzically.  “It’s a fundraising dog walk, Jessie.  Everyone has to pay twenty dollars to go on the walk.  The money goes to shelter dogs.  I thought we’d join in. What do you think?”

Jessie barked and headed up to the front of the line. Jessie loved to walk and sniff the ground around her. Santa normally took her on walks in the morning but in the past month he hadn’t been able to and Jessie had missed their time together.

Santa and Jessie moved to the front of the line and took off when a whistle was blown to start the walk.  Walking with Santa Jessie felt like a puppy again.  She trotted, sniffed, rolled in the grass and enjoyed the summer sun.  When Santa and Jessie reached the end of the walk the dog slowed down and took a drink from the fountain.  She flopped on the ground  as her teeth shone in the sunlight in  a silly grin.

Santa smiled and his face softened.  “I’m glad you enjoyed the walk, Jessie. You know, there’s a man named Roger Caras who once said ‘Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.’ and that’s how I feel about you.  You make my days whole.  I hope all the dogs enjoyed the day but you especially.  Now, let’s go and finish our celebration with Molly’s special roast beef.”

Santa and Jessie walked away from the park together. Man and dog.  Complete together.

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