Jessie turned her tail towards her body and curled in a ball. She was so cold that she no longer felt the soft snow falling down on her matted fur. She shivered, whimpered and thought back to her old home. The elderly woman she had lived with had been kind to her. She had always had a bed by the fire, fresh bones, and a warm lap to sleep on. When the woman died suddenly Jessie had wandered into the streets of Thunder Bay looking for a new friend and a warm place to stay.
Jessie had been alone for several month. She had attempted to make friends with some people but had not found a home. Most people had been kind. Some had petted her. Some had given her donuts and meat, but no one had thought to give her shelter. Now that the weather was turning colder it was too cold to live on the street.
Jessie’s stomach grumbled. She forced herself to walk to the nearby trash and rummage through the scraps for something edible. She had her back turned to the street when a shadow appeared over her. She took a sniff and looked up. A man came towards her with his hand held out. Jessie sniffed and then gingerly moved forwards.
The man held a plate filled with the turkey and mashed potatoes. He placed it on the ground in front of the dog, smiled and then backed leaving the plate for the dog. He backed away and walked over to a pile of old tires where he sat down and waited.
Jessie bolted forward and gobbled up strips of meat and gobs of mashed potato. She wagged her tail as she circled the plate licking every drop of gravy. When she was done the plate shone.
Jessie wagged her tail lowered her head and walked closer to the man. When she reached his outstretched hands she licked the man’s glove in thanks.
The man looked kindly at the dog and chuckled.
Jessie cocked her head curiously as he laughed.
“You must be wondering who I am,” said the man to the dog. “I’m Santa Claus. Would you like to come to my house? I run a toy warehouse way up north. We could use a fine looking dog like you to help keep our toys safe. So what do you say girl, will you come live with me?”
The man put the tip of his finger against his temple and scrunched up his nose. “I believe that my rattled old brain tells me that your name is Jessie. I once had a great aunt Jessie. She used to disco dance in the streets. But that’s a story for another day.” He smiled at the dog and motioned slightly for her to follow him. “Jessie, will you come live with me?”
Jessie cocked her head once more and turned her head from side to side. She thought about the offer. A warm warehouse to sleep in and tasty food to eat. Was this man as kind as he seemed to be?
Jessie looked Santa in the eyes. A man’s eyes revealed what was in his heart. Santa’s were a bright blue and they twinkled with good humour. They softened when they stared at each other.”
“Please come girl. Mrs. Clause and I could use a good companion.”
Santa stood up and slowly walked towards a jeep several metres away. His shiny rubber boots squeaked as he moved.
Jessie raised her ears. She walked over to Santa and nudged his leg. She raised a paw and waited for him to shake her paw. Santa leaned down and gently pumped her paw up and down. He opened the door, lifted her into the seat and pulled a blanket out from behind the seat. Santa draped the material around the dog and closed the door.
Jessie sighed contentedly and settled into the seat of the car. She was finally warm and now had a home with Santa Claus. She drifted off into a gentle sleep as they headed towards their new home.