Jessie whined as Santa opened the big set of steel doors. She could smell the scent of fear in the building. Jessie shook and tried to dig her feet into the walkway as Santa tried to lead her into the building. Jessie could smell that they were in a dog pound. She had lived in one in Thunder Bay before her previous friend had adopted her and didn’t want to be anywhere near another pound.
“Come on, girl. We need to go in. What’s gotten into you?” Santa tugged on the dog’s leash and frowned. Jessie was shaking so hard that her ears jiggled from side to side. He opened a door and gently pulled the dog into the lobby of the building. He walked up to the counter and rang a silver bell that sat on the desk. “Hello, is there anyone here?” called Santa.
A door down the hall scraped open, slammed shut and then a young woman approached the desk. She grabbed a pile of papers off of a table as she passed by. “Fill these forms in. I’ll need them in duplicate,” she said.
The woman came around the counter, leaned down and patted Jessie on the head. “She’s older. She’ll be harder to adopt out. If we can adopt her that is. What’s her medical history.” She blew a bubble and popped it as she looked up at Santa.
“Er.. I’m afraid there’s been a mistake,” said Santa. “She’s my dog and I don’t want to give her up. We’re just here to make a donation to the pound.” Santa walked over to the dog and put his hand protectively on her head.
Jessie’s ears perked up and she stopped shaking. Santa wanted her and she didn’t have to stay here. She yipped, wagged her tail and kissed the woman on her face.
Santa looked down, studied the dog and his face brightened. “You honestly didn’t think I was going to leave you here did you, Jessie. I’ve been wondering why you’ve been acting so strange. We’re just delivering the money we raised from the Halloween dance.” Santa leaned down and kissed the dog on the top of her head. He stood back up and handed the woman a wad of cash as thick as a brick.
The woman looked at the money. Her eyes went wide and she smiled. The woman stammered a thank-you but Santa was too busy petting and talking to Jessie. “You’ll always be my best friend, girl. Now, let’s head home.”
Without saying good-bye Santa and Jessie quickly left the building . Jessie almost skipped as she exited the door. She had a home to keep and Santa as her best friend. What else could a dog ask for?