I wonder, since there is probably no Santa Claus for dogs, if it is okay for me to write to my person’s Santa Claus? She told me you deliver toys, goodies and even grants some wishes for all the good boys and girls, all over the world, on Christmas Eve. Oh, Santa . . . there’s even a tree that seems to be growing in my new home and I noticed lots of gifts wrapped in beautiful, shiny paper. They all have bows stuck on the tags that tell who sent them—many from “Santa” so I guess it’s okay. That tree fascinates me with oodles of red, green and gold balls on its branches. There are lights too that must be pieces from a summer rainbow and twinkle like the stars on a frigid winter night. I admit I got curious and tried to taste one of the bows. I guess that was wrong for I was then scolded – even learning my first command—"NO, BAD PUPPY!” Ah, still think the balls should be played with. Next time, I will just make sure no one is watching, because my person told me that bad boys and girls – and bad little puppies, too – get only a lump of coal from Santa in their stockings. I’m confused about that for coal would not taste very good and surely be painful for walking if it is in a sock. But, my person must have forgotten to tell you, because she hung a stocking with my name on it and on Christmas morning it was filled with toys and treats, fit for a good little puppy, anyway.
Okay, Santa, I will confess . . . I let the cat drink the milk left out for you and I ate the cookies. However, I am sure there were plenty more in the kitchen and surely you knew where to look and help yourself.
I have another reason for writing you, Santa. For a little while I was worried that I would not have a warm, loving home or even a cage with a nice soft blanket for snuggling into rather than being left outside or in some cold barn, shivering and hungry—like my mother and the other dogs from the place where I was whelped. I am the luckiest puppy ever for I got found by a kind person who bought me and brought me home, tucked inside her coat, which made it possible for me to write my letter to Santa.
If you can, Santa, will you check on my mother? Will you tell her that I was chosen and have a new home where I am sure to be loved a lot. I am nice and warm with good, nutritious puppy food. Oh, and check on my brother and sister that were left behind in the dark box. We were all huddle inside it, taken away barely weaned from our mother and only eye-ball-sized holes that let air and only dim light. We heard the car motor, felt the vibration as it took us away . . . far from the cold barn kennel where our mother and father remain. My sister and I were first to be taken out of the box and found ourselves in a pet store full of people of all ages, shapes and sizes. I wonder what happened to my other two brothers and a sister, who might still be in the box, for all I know. I was frightened at being taken from my warm mother’s side and dropped in a cage in a place that gave no comfort that it would all be alright. I suppose it was a pet store and the lady seemed kind, but I was in a pen where people stared or wanted to pick me up and examine every inch of me or spoke critically about me. No one seemed to want me, that is, until a few days later when things changed as I was picked up and held by a person that cuddled me, nicely and I sensed somehow that it would be okay. Oh, I was worried that I might never find a place to feel safe or loved, but it must have been you, Santa, that sent this person into the store on that fateful day. I just knew she would not be leaving me behind. For that reason, I am sure that you orchestrated our meeting and she would fall for my cuteness once I turned it on and wriggled happily in her arms—yes, Santa, it did work, perfectly and quickly. She was the first person that made me feel wanted! For that reason, I am sure you sent her to find me, so you wouldn’t have to put me in your sleigh and deliver me to her house on Christmas Eve. Indeed, before I knew it, I was tucked in her coat and leaving the store to be taken to this new home, chosen happily and loved right from the start—and barely any need to have turned on my cuteness to get her attention.
I can remember my mother telling her puppies, that all we need to be happy was a person who we could trust with our unconditional love; thus, expect that it will be returned, in kind. I cannot be sure if you sent my person into the store that day, but I am grateful forever that you did. I am now happily exploring every inch of my new home—including, things that my person tries to insist are only for Christmas and NOT for a puppy. Oh well, what can a lucky little Christmas-puppy say or do about that rule?
Oh, Santa . . . how my mother whimpered and shivered that icy morning. She was terribly thin, her coat coarse and thinning. I think she was sick, even though she provided her puppies with plenty of rich milk—at the cost of her health. As we were taken from her, her breathing sounded ragged, so will you please check on her for me? I fear she might not survive another winter, especially if she is forced to have another litter of puppies right away, as she did with us. She is getting older and cried as we were taken away. The last thing she told us was to make her proud by finding a home where we might return the person’s love with our favor of loyalty, protection and eagerness to please.
Oh, Santa, too many animals are left to die by the neglect of uncaring, unfeeling persons. Can you inspire them with the gift of caring that they will stop the mistreatment of innocent animals—domestic and wild, alike. Can you inspire their hearts to change from hateful and filled with ignorance of what they cause by their deliberate or unintentional cruelty? I think Christmas must be the best time for doing such things as reaching the hearts of those who want to care for the animals who cannot change their fateful situations on their own. I heard people at the pet store say, I came from a place that might be a puppy mill and anyone that purchased me should be ashamed for supporting it. But, is that fair? I wonder, Santa, for is it my fault that my mother was owned by such a place with that stigma? Do I not deserve to be loved and live a long, happy life as any other puppy? Either way, I don’t know. I feel lucky to have avoided being another victim of such a fate as my mother. I think my mother was without fault for out whelping nor are we any the less for it. Nevertheless, I am grateful that you did orchestrate my person coming into the store and finding me or it might have been a very different outcome for me than becoming my person’s Christmas gift-puppy.
I have a question, Santa. If you cannot tell me why persons are cruel to animals, then could you do something else? How about collecting all the homeless and hungry puppies (and dogs or cats) and delivering them as Christmas gifts to homes that WANT them and will love and care for them well? We dogs are a forgiving lot; if persons will just give us the chance, a warm bed, nutritious food, clean water and a few squeaky toys or balls to chase. Yes, Santa, that and their true capacity to love us is all we need to be happy Christmas-Puppies.
And so, Santa, I shall leave the carrots and apples for the Reindeer; the elves can have the cookies and, before you go off for a long-winter’s nap, I ask just one thing more—instill persons with the same sort of generosity and mindfulness as you show to all and let it be applied to my fellow puppies, regardless of where from which they are whelped. I am grateful for the toys and treats you left me, but I would not mind if you were to take it all and give it to other dogs that have nothing to keep them warm, well-fed or happy. I would gladly give my warm blankets to other dogs that are shivering and starving in the cold. It must be such negative attitudes that breed the darkness and ill-treatment of animals, but if Rudolph will shine his red nose into the fogginess of ignorance to the situation, perhaps things would more quickly change for the better, raising awareness into the light of compassion and generosity like a flare to enlighten all toward fixing the problems for animals that cannot do it for themselves.
Yes, Santa, I know that my request might seem complex; but I think the solution is simple: comprehending how the heart is more than an organ pumping blood, but the seat of truth and unconditional love and a beginning for the elimination of disrespect and judgement of all kinds. Like all dogs, I intend to become a teacher of my person and can barely wait to tell you all about my year of growing up when you come back next year.
Blessings to You, SANTA, for all that you inspire and bring to the world
& A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Love from a Christmas Puppy.
My Disclaimer: I did not intend to sound like I am condoning the purchase of puppy mill dogs or buying from pet stores, which knowingly obtain their puppies from such sources. This letter was inspired by both the advertisements of the SPCA (an organization I support and respect) over the Holidays and to give voice for my own Christmas puppy, Skye, who wished to have his story told as it was learned post-purchase and sans any desire to return him.