OK, so every year I like to have my dog Bingo photographed with Santa. I know it may sound excessive to some but most dog parents would agree that these magical moments with your pet captured in time are priceless. I usually go down to the Petco in Tribeca as they are always so nice and accommodating but this year I just couldn't make it down during Santa's hours because of work. However, I located a Petsmart on Broadway and Houston that had Santa today only until 4:00 but naturally, as luck would have it, I had to work until 4. Yesterday I phoned them and simply would not take no for an answer. Always polite I begged Santa to stay until 4:30 when I would have just enough time to run home, grab Bingo, stuff him in his bag and run over to Petsmart. He kindly agreed and everything was set UNTIL nature decided to deliver a blizzard today. I was late getting out of work and when I got home I had to rummage through my closet to find my boots and THEN stuff Bingo into his bag and head out. The wind was in my face all the way as I walked across town (not a cab to be found). I could feel Bingo's bag vibrating as he shivered inside but I didn't care, I HAD to get that photo. I run into Petsmart only to be told Santa had just left but might still be in the store so I began to run up and down the aisles calling "SANTA, SANTA...." until someone took pity on me and located him by calling his actual name which was Mark. He put on the suit and took Bingo in his arms and only then did he inform me that I was supposed to bring my own camera!!! Of course I had forgotten my phone in my frantic rush to get there on time but this very kind Santa offered to let me take the photos with HIS phone and email them to me. I admit that he may have been motivated by fear of this maniacal dog mother with wet and bedraggled hair and a wild expression in her eyes ready to burst into tears if she did not get that photo but I prefer to think it was just good old Christmas spirit that was at the heart of his kindness. I felt so satisfied with myself for keeping up my annual tradition that walking home too quickly and smiling benevolently at the snowflakes I slipped on the ice and literally fell right on my bum, feet up in the air! Thankfully Bingo was secured in his bag and sustained no injury but I am going to have a lovely bruise tomorrow. It was all worth it, I got my damned photo against all the odds and Bingo got a new Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer toy so we are now filled with CHRISTMAS CHEER! Merry Christmas everyone!
Bingo came home the other day feeling sad because the other dogs in the neighborhood were telling him that Santa doesn't exist. I tried explaining to him with the old "Santa lives in your heart" or "He exists as long as you believe in him" stories but he still seemed uncertain. So today I dressed him up and took him down to Petco in Tribeca to have his photo taken with Santa! I think the visit did the trick because he seemed to walk home with an extra spring in his step!
Just to follow up on my Christmas Inspiration post of a few weeks ago where I showed some of the vintage rubber and plastic christmas figures that I had collected. The most important one was Squeaky Santa which is a squeaky rubber Santa that my Mother always put out as a decoration. A few years ago my Sister re-discovered it and upon seeing it for the first time in so long I was filled with such nostalgia. I just had to do a portrait of him and show all his old fashioned, simple charm.
I finally finished painting my Christmas card and am ready to send it out, miraculously ahead of time! I usually use a dog portrait or do a special Christmas themed painting of Bingo but this year I thought it was finally time to immortalize my courtyard squirrels. This is Daisy on the left and Pip on the right enjoying some holiday cheer!