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.

Jan. 4th – Jessie Goes to the Polar Prom

Jessie stared  at at the flashy silver ball that  turning around and around on the ceiling. It was sending waves of glittering light around the dance floor at the Polar High Prom.  Jessie thought that the room looked like one huge strand of Christmas lights sparkling in the night.

Jessie was bored. Santa had gone on a fishing trip with his friend Constable Joe and Molly had insisted Jessie come to the prom with her.  Molly was chaperoning the young students and had insisted Jessie come with her.

Jessie panted and shuffled away from a pair of young Elves who were dancing towards her. Jessie didn’t understand why humans liked to dance. It must be very uncomfortable to stand that close to each other on your back legs, she thought. She was fascinated by the different kinds of dances though. There seemed to be some sort of code to the moves and  Jessie didn’t understand them.

When some music started for something  called “The chicken dance” Jessie was startled by the young elves flapping their arms up and down.. She personally thought that they had had too much mulled wine at dinner.
It was getting late and Jessie was getting hungry. Molly had not made what Jessie considered to be a proper dinner. She had busily fussed with her hair and clothing and forgot about of dinner. Instead,  Molly had put down a bowl of dog food for Jessie. Jessie had taken one look at the bowl and pushed it away with her nose. Molly had laughed and ignored Jessie’s pushing of the bowl around the kitchen floor. With a sigh Jessie had flopped down on the floor and woefully looked at Molly.

It was almost midnight,and Jessie hadn’t eaten since lunch. Her tummy was rumbling and she almost wished she had eaten some of the kibble. She decided it was time to head to the kitchen to see if the chef would give her any scraps before the midnight buffet.

Jessie trotted over to the swinging doors to the kitchen and waited until a server with a tray of glasses came out. When the door swung open she slipped inside and raised her nose to the air. The most wonderful scents of roasting meat, potatoes, gravy and stuffing was waffling down through Jessie’s nose. She took a deep breath and wagged her tail furiously.
A young chef stood at a table placing salad daintily onto silver and red plates. He took a look at the dog, grunted, and turned his back on her.

This was not the reaction Jessie had hoped for. She lowered her head and whined several times. After her third cry she looked out of the corner of her eye to see if the chef was paying attention. But, to Jessie’s dismay, he seemed not to be interested in her plight.

Jessie flopped down on the floor beside the table. Her long feet sprawled across the floor. She stared at the chef’s back hoping to make him uncomfortable. This did not work either and Jessie’s stomach rumbled even louder. She decided that there was no longer time to be polite. Jessie stood up, shook her coat, and walked up behind the chef. She shoved her cold, wet nose into the chef’s arm and pushed as hard as she could. She then sat back on her haunches and wagged her tail.

The chef grunted  again and stared down at the dog. He looked across the room. “Zingle, come and get this dog out of my kitchen. There is no place for dogs in a fine eating establishment.”

Zingle was a small Elf woman with rosy cheeks and dimples. When she saw Jessie she smiled and clapped her hands together. “What a lovely creature. She must be starved. You can’t just throw her out of the kitchen.”

“Yes, I can. Feed her if you must but make sure it is out in the hall and not in my kitchen.” The chef turned his back on her. He began to grate cheese on the plates of salad he had so carefully assembled.

Zingle shrugged and walked over to a rack of plates. She grabbed a really big plate. It was so big it reminded Jessie of a turkey platter. Zingle walked over to the stove and cut up some roast beef. She put potatoes on the plate and poured several ladles of gravy over the food. She smiled at the dog and motioned for her to follow.

Jessie couldn’t believe her luck and hurried as quickly as she could out of the kitchen through the door that Zingle was holding open. She excitedly jumped on her back legs and wagged her tail as Zingle laughed.  She placed the food on the floor for the dog.

Jessie zoomed forward and gulped down the meat and potatoes in huge chunks while Zingle watched. It did not take long for her to eat the food and lick every drop of gravy from the plate.

Zingle petted Jessie on the head. “I need to go girl and I think you’ve had more than enough to eat. Go, and have fun at the dance.” She walked back to the kitchen.

Jessie looked for Mollie.  She was across the room confiscating a bottle of ginger beer from an Elf couple. Jessie trotted over to Mollie and sat at her heels.

“What have you been up to Jessie? I’ve been looking for you. Supper’s almost ready, and I’ve arranged for you to sit with me and eat as well. Would you like that girl?” She winked and stroked her back.

Just as Molly’s hand left the dog’s back Jessie belched. The sound could be heard several tables over.

“Ew,” said several of the girls. “Disgusting”

Molly frowned and leaned down towards the dog. She moved close to the dog’s nose and sniffed. “Gravy!  Jessica, have you been in the kitchen without me?”

Jessie lowered her eyes and belched again.

Molly looked at the dog sternly but the corners of her mouth twitched. She tried to look stern but after several moments she laughed heartily. “Well, at least I know you’ll never starve. You are a resourceful one. Since you’ve already had your dinner why don’t you come with me and we’ll teach you how to dance. What do you think Jessie?”

Jessie barked and jumped up. She didn’t understand dancing but Molly wasn’t angry and if Molly wanted her to learn to dance she would. She wondered if she would be dancing at future Polar Proms. Just maybe she woul, and if she did she would be sure to look for Zingle again.

January 3rd – Jessie goes to a museum gala

The building contained hundreds of trees decorated from Christmas. Each tree contained a theme. There were trees  with birds, trees with dogs, and trees with every other theme that the curators could think of.

The trees reached high up to the glass ceiling. In the sky, the skyscrapers of the city of London were visible. Small flakes of snow drifted down from the sky and melted on the  glass panes.  Rivulets of water from the melting snow slid down the glass. Continue reading January 3rd – Jessie goes to a museum gala

One dog's Chronicles of a year in Santa Claus's life

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