White Dog did not even put this one to a vote. "I AM going to be Santa's helper at the Habitat for Humanity Photos with Santa afternoon," she announced. She readied her red and white ribbon necklace and asked to be brushed...and we were ready.
White Dog is an amazing helper. She sat and pranced by the door to get attention. She performed her favorite tricks to delight the waiting kids. She helped sell our upcycled t-shirt tug toys by demonstrating their durability. She greeted the other pups who came to have their photo taken and offered tips to show off their best features.
Santa did his part too. He had a real beard and a genuinely jolly hohoho! Best of all, as White Dog noted, he had the heart of a Santa.
The man in red scored BIG points with WD with the kindness showed to Waffles, the senior miniature poodle in a Santa jacket, and his young owner. They posed with Santa as he asked them the usual questions. The girl was in her favorite dress and sweater (as she told him). He recalled that she always wore that dress for special occasions. "How did you know THAT," she asked wide-eyed. He spent lots of time with this girl who was so overjoyed to finally meet the REAL Santa. She and Waffles stayed by us as her parents shopped in the ReStore.
"You know when he won my heart," White Dog asked me. "No, Sweet One, when?" "When he never patronized her for being special needs but encouraged her in conversation. And when he read that story to her about Life at the North Pole, letting her turn the pages, even adults were stopping to watch and listen. I know that little girl so very happy."
And do you know when he stole MY heart?" I asked WD in return. "When, momma," she asked. "When that man and his son came back with their cat (when they left I thought they were just blowing us off). When they came back as Santa was packing up and Santa reset everything up to take photos (even though he had mentioned he had another appearance to make) with the kitty. And after when he patiently called the grandmother who clearly had severe alzheimers disease over to pose for a three--generation and kitty family photo with him...I could have hugged him. The Abuela loved the candy cane he gave her as much as the boys did and the father looked so grateful!"
"When humans talk about the Spirit of Christmas," White Dog said, trying not to yawn from he long day, "THESE are the things I think of." "Me, too, Little White Dog of My Heart. Me, too."