Holiday Memory: All he wanted for Christmas was a puppy
This story takes place when our son James was 5 years old. We were baking cookies for Santa, and our son was firming up his Christmas list.
James had 10 items on his list, and those were all pictures of puppies. We were not quite ready for a feisty, turbo-charged puppy with continuous movement that could be in 100 places at the same time like our 5-year-old. As parents, we knew the great responsibility a puppy needs with care, and thought it would be best for him to be older before a puppy entered our home.
Santa is a good listener, and on Christmas morning, our son received a beautiful stuffed puppy doll. This was not a real puppy, but our son was happy.
Fast forward to three weeks later. Our son was outside playing in a big field at our house, and I was watching him climbing out of a bush. He came waddling up to me with the cutest puppy that I ever did see. It was very new with a pink, pudgy belly and pink feet.
Our son proceeded to tell me, “Look at what fell out of Santa’s sled!” Our son was convinced that this was his special gift from Santa.
Now 5-year-olds have their own concept of time and physics. Defying all laws of time and physics in my adult mind, what could I say? I said with pure confidence, “Let’s see what Daddy says.”
We ended up putting the new boy puppy in a box with blankets and water, and were waiting patiently for Daddy to come home from work. By the way, my son was completely amazed at the fact that I could turn a puppy upside down and tell if it was a boy or a girl by looking at the bottom of its feet.
Before Daddy even arrived home, our son gave the new arrival a name. It was Dusty as the puppy was all dusty from falling out of Santa’s sled and into the field.
Daddy arrived home and fell in love with this chubby, pink-footed little critter. We called the SPCA and put notices in the area newspapers just in case Dusty was meant to have fallen onto someone else’s property.
We adopted Dusty – and the rest is history.
James is now going on 22 years of age. We said good-bye to our beloved Jack Russell terrier mix, Dusty, six months ago. He was 15 going on 16. As tough as they are, dogs don’t live as long as humans. We had many years of love and companionship.
This was definitely one of our most special Christmas gifts ever. I have some words of wisdom to share at this season, and those are to never underestimate Santa Claus, a child’s wish or the power of love.