This weekend I took Bear to meet Santa because I wanted him to have a real Christmas experience.
Bear loves Christmas. I mean, I'm not sure how much he really realizes it (I still like to believe animals have talking capabilities like my favorite show "The Wild Thornberries"), but I love for him to love Christmas. We've only celebrated it once before, and it was full of Christmas cookies, opening presents and sweaters that were too tight because he ate too many Christmas cookies. This year I wanted to add another tradition to our calendar. He had to meet Santa.
Now, I wasn't going to drag my sassy Rottie through the mall (though he would enjoy the smells of Cinnabon), so thankfully I found out that the Concerned Citizens of Animal Welfare group was hosting pet photos with Santa. All he needed was an outfit.
I dressed him up in his own red suit Saturday morning, complete with a fuzzy hood and a unescapable front clasp. Bear, excited by the simple fact that we were getting in the car, was eager to leave.
The ride to the Save the Animals Store, 757 S. Nova Road, was decently close, so Bear didn't have time to nap in-between. Actually, he's energy levels were unusually high that day. Maybe he really can think like me and had an extra dose of Christmas spirit. Also I don't think this theory has been scientifically disproven yet, so don't make fun of me. And if Bear could talk I'm 80% sure he'd sound like Fat Albert.
As we walked into Save the Animals Store, I had half-expected everyone who passed us to gush over how cute my dog was in his Santa outfit. They did not. No one said a word, and I was started to feel less excited and more embarrassed.
When we arrived to the store, two young girls were getting their photos taken.
"They're my pets," said Joan Aguanno with a grin. Her granddaughters, Natalie Aguanno, 7, and Lyndsey Aguanno, 4, were in the middle of telling Santa what they wanted for Christmas. It was a good time to ignore Bear sighing out of impatience and listen in.
"I want a kitten," Natalie said, firmly might I add.
"Me too," her younger sister quietly chimed in.
"Oh no," Santa said. "I think Grandma is in trouble."
I turned to Joan and asked if they were really getting a kitten that day. Apparently Papa had to approve that one.
Finally, it was Bear's turn. Unfortunately during that five minute wait he lost interest. So I had to drag his pudgey 'ole body over to Santa who was happy to see him.
"Twins!" he shouted after seeing Bear's attire. Finally someone was taking notice of his cuteness. Bear, though slightly stubborn in the beginning of his photo shoot, eventually relaxed enough to get what could quite possibly be the best picture ever taken in the history of mankind — and I swear it's not because I was also in it. Side note: if you don't see the picture in print it's because my editor thinks I post too many photos of myself.
The people who printed the photo agreed, it was super cute. As we went to leave, Bear had one of his typical weird dog encounters, this time with a similarly dressed pup named Sebastian.
Sebastian was at least a fourth of Bear's size, but apparently had twice the amount of confidence. He walked right up to him and started sniffing that part of the rear that dogs love to sniff. Bear was immediately taken aback and started to cry. Sebastian was confused and probably called Bear a wuss in their secret dog-talking code before walking away.
Though I was slightly interested in meeting the only other person who dressed up their dog, I thought it was best for Bear to go home to renew his Christmas spirit with some more cookies.
But not too much to make that front clasp pop open. Lesson learned.