Monday, December 12, 2022

Dear Santa Paws

Dear Santa Paws –

We’ve heard from our humans that if we’re good all year you’ll reward us with whatever we want, and it really made our tail wag! We put a lot of thought into our wish list and thought now would be a good time to send it off in the hopes of getting just a few things. We’ve been really good, Santa, honest! Ok, so maybe we pulled Mom off her feet a few times and didn't want to go back inside when Mom was frozen, but there are just so many great smells outside! We’re sure you have some sort of forgiveness plan in place, right Santa?

Anyway, like we said, we’ve put a lot of thought into what we want and it came down to three things:
  1. Endless balls for Cam and lots of chicken nuggets for Azul.
  2. Warm homes and lots of love for all the puppy paws touched by Yooper Paws of Love.
  3. Healthy humans with warm hearts so they can go out and play with us.
That’s not too tall of an order, right Mr. Paws? Like we said, we’ve been on our best behavior in the hopes of getting these things – and it’s not really like us to be selfish. (We promise to share the balls and chicken nuggets! Well, maybe.)

We really hope this letter gets to you in one piece, Santa (the mailman is a bit afraid of Cam!) Give our love to your reindeer crew and let them know we are always down for a game of chase if they are. Be safe flying around the world, be sure to stick your tongue out and let the wind hit your lips – it’s our favorite.

Love,  Cam & Azul
Yooper Paws of Love Top Dogs

Azul's Visit with Santa

Azul went to visit Santa with my granddaughter Violet. It was not really planned, but Santa wanted to meet them even though he wasn't technically on duty yet.  Azul rushed right in to greet him, then laid by the fire place while Violet chatted.

Santa told Violet that instead of saying "cheese" to have her picture taken, at the North Pole they say "Rudolf!" Azul was totally confused by this and kept pushing his ears back to listen to them while I was trying to take pictures.

Body language and facial expressions make it look like Azul is uncomfortable or annoyed. But he chose to lay day there and could get up and move any time he wanted to. Which he did shortly after the heater in the fireplace turned on and he got warm. I got a about 10 picts of Azul sitting or laying in front of Santa but they all make Azul look mad or unhappy. 
(It's important to know your dog's body language!)

Azul really loved socializing with Santa's Elves because they were outside in the cold and Azul was ready to cool off. I can only image Azul's nose turning red like Rudolf's if he had stayed by the fire much longer. 

Tips for introducing your dog to Santa

Visiting with Santa can be scary for many dogs, even dogs who generally love all people. Crowds tend to gather around Santa, the extra decorations, strong scents of Christmas, and lots of boisterous laughter can be unsettling to the calmest of dogs.  These tips can help.

  • Choose your location for greeting Santa wisely! It's always important to set up the environment for success by picking a location where your dog is most comfortable. Some dogs may prefer indoor settings while some prefer outdoor settings. The most important thing to look for in an environment is one where you can observe from a distance and slowly move closer as your dog feels comfortable.
  • Choose your time of day wisely! Some places will offer dogs a chance to visit with Santa before or after the scheduled time for kids to visit. Since COVID, many places still are taking appointments to help keep crowds down. Pick a quiet time of day where your dog can more easily focus on you without being overwhelmed with all the distractions.
  • Have realistic expectations! We all love to get that perfect photo of our dog sitting on Santa's lap or posed right between Santa's feet. But it's not worth causing our dogs stress to get the perfect photo. Let your dog choose how close they want to get and what position they are most comfortable in. Azul chose to lay down with his back to Santa which put him further away and trying to listen to Santa talking behind him.  I could have tried to reposition Azul for the perfect picture, but he really was following his Service Dog training by picking a place out of the way where he could more easily focus on me. Azul stayed calm and happy with the interaction so we can try for a better picture the next time we see Santa. Azul's happiness is most important to me.
If you need additional tips for helping your dog remain Calm, Safe, & Happy during visits with Santa, feel free to reach out to me at or book a virtual session using my Calm Christmas Special.

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