Line up my Angel friends. This is your first Christmas at the Bridge, and you need to fill Santa’s sleigh with your presents for the shelter dogs. Hattie Mae is double checking everything you put in it. I know it isn’t necessary but Hattie got her nails done yesterday, and she cannot risk breaking one. It’s a girl thing.
“Look at Ginger Lynn, she is just a little Yorkie like me, but she is carrying three animal toy planters. She knows when you are locked in the shelter you need some life around you. We have learned from Bishop that dogs need pets too. Since the shelter dogs can’t have toys, they can have a fern.
“Okay, Hollie, drag those personalized pet beds this way. Let me help you put them on the sleigh. You are so smart. You have learned from your DeWennie friends that people like things personalized, and if a shelter pup comes with a soft bed with the dog’s name on it, the humans can’t pass the dog up.
“Jasper the cat, so good of you to join us. We know there are lots of cats in shelters. Oh, warm blankets for them, good thinking. That will keep them cuddly this holiday season. Wow, look at Jasper jump right on to the sleigh. Good job.
“Shiloh, what do you have there? You looked up in the stars and navigated a new, faster, more efficient route for Santa to take? That is a great idea Hey, Santa, come here! Look at this new route Shiloh designed. Oh wow, Shiloh, what a big kiss you just got from Santa! I think you are blushing.
“Make way for Sully, dogs. He has a huge treat jar filled with natural snacks for our shelter friends. Natural treats will make their coats shiny and more attractive. Plus they taste yummy. Just because you’re a shelter dog doesn’t mean you are forced to eat tired old Milk Bones.
“Guinnevere from the Golden Girls what do you have in your mouth? Personalized shopping bags with the dog face on it? That is so cool. The dogs look cute on the bags. If you adopt a shelter dog, you get a bag? I think the shelters will be cleaned out by New Year’s.
“Prince, why do you have so many leashes attached to your collar? Oh, you have lots of multi-colored leashes. Those are pretty. I think the shelter dogs are going to feel so special being walked with such beautiful leashes.
“What are you rolling towards us Molly the Wally? Do you have barrels of all the best kibble? All dogs get over her and help Molly. She is going to make sure all the rescues have healthy food so they will look good for the new parents when they come to look at them.
“Cammy, is that new dry shampoo for dogs? This looks interesting. You are right; if you want to be adopted, you have to smell good. Let’s see what types you have. Hmmm, ‘things found in the backyard,’ ‘skunk’ ‘mud hole’ and ‘bacon.’ Those are some good scents. I think every parent would want a dog who smells like this. Get it up on the sleigh.
“Oh boy, something smells good. That must mean that Hannah Banana is here. Look, she’s got wheelbarrows full of treats. Let’s get them on the sleigh. They smell great. Guinevere, no sneaking treats, the same thing goes for you, Santa.
“What do you have Daisy? Wow, bag after bag of sweet potatoes, I knew a farmer like you would have something healthy to eat. Treats are awesome, but dogs need some good food too. I know you want all the dogs to be organic and not farty when their new family takes them for a trail walk.
“Hobo, what do you have there, it looks like I Pods. Oh, they are Hobo Pods. What do you do with them? Dogs put them under their pillows while they sleep and they can hear your best advice about how to be a great family dog? I agree that it is a much-needed item. You know about being rescued Hobo, so this should be a big help.
“Casey it looks like you have a pinata. Wow, a Full of Fluff pinata? A parent hangs it from the ceiling, and it gets dogs attention by spinning. Dogs then paw at it to play with it. That sounds like fun. If you have an extra leave it for me.
“Scooter, what do have there? These are cool. Perfect for small dogs. I know, you are a tiny dog like me, and you don’t want us left out. You are very sweet. What’s it called? A Wobblin Walter? Wow, it’s rubber, bounces, and tough to chew on. It even has a squeaker — good job Scooter.
“Thank for coming Stella Rose. I know you hate leaving your step where you can keep an eye on your mom. Wow, that a big toy for a little dog. I am sure they will love the bouncing tiger, it’s a nice pull and chews toy.”
“Hi Presley, wow you have a lot of frisbees. I know they are a great way for dogs who are in cages all day to get out all their energy, and good chew toys too. You run down by the fence, and I’ll throw you one. Good catch, Presley.”
“Lil’ Girl, are you riding a skateboard? Oh, you have Kong tires. Yes, they are great for the tough chewers. The big dogs will appreciate them. Go see Santa. He has a treat for you.
“Hi, Felix. Wow, you have some great home baked treats. The gingerbread men are tasty. I don’t know if the shelter dogs have ever had treats like these before. Tasty treats make for happy dogs, and happy dogs get adopted.
“Wow, look at all the Kongs Kaizer. You have all different ones for every kind of dog. This will be very much appreciated. You want one for yourself. Well, it looks like you have a lot of here, I don’t think it will hurt. And here is a squirt of peanut butter to keep you busy.
“Jewel, I never took you for a hunting dog. Those squeaky ducks you have look like the real thing. I know there are a lot of hunting dogs who will love them, and they are nice to sleep with. Jump up and put it on the sled.
“Lucy, that stuffed rabbit of yours should be a big hit too. The two of you know how to satisfy dogs. No, sorry, we can’t give them real rabbits. We did one year, and it was messy.
“Here comes Wishbone, wow, look at him running. Wow, what are those? Kurgo running shoes for a dog? I didn’t know they existed. That is awesome. It will really help dogs get adopted by people who love to hug. You are such a good boy. Let me kiss you.
“And what do you have here Summer? Life jackets for dogs? Well, those will go together swimmingly. People who love being on the water would be ecstatic to adopt a dog who comes with their own jacket. I love when pups take their life experiences and turn it into good gifts for shelter pups.
“Hi, little Moose. Wow, a stuffed moose with squeakers. And they have really tiny little antlers? Wow, they are the real deal That is awesome. We are going to save these for the best dogs.
“Welcome my fellow New England dog, Sully. Wow, a stuffed lobster. That is cool. Little dogs could chew on the claws. I wouldn’t mind one myself; they remind me of home. I don’t like real ones. They freak me out.
“Hi, Bailey. What do you have there? It looks like a little ball of rope. But it smells good. Wow, you mean there’s a treat inside? Did you invent this? What a great idea. They can spend hours with it then, when they get it open, there is a treat inside. You are brilliant.
“Oh my gosh, there is an avalanche of tennis balls. Jake, did you bring all of these? Oh, you spilled them, that’s okay. Everyone help Jake put the balls in the sleigh. Hey Jake, go chase this one. He is such a cute pup.
“Mia, good thinking. All these dental bones will help the dogs. One of the things that scare a prospective parent off is bad breath. And all dogs need clean teeth. I know they will be appreciated.
“Fallon, I knew you were a smart dog. Puzzle balls are great when you are stuck in a cage all day. It is also good to get your food in a treat ball, both for the mind and the digestion. These are wonderful gifts.
“Hi sweet Muffin, oh, I thought we said there could be no alcohol. Or it is a squeaky bottle that looks like a beer bottle, well isn’t that special? I know the shelter dogs are going to love it. Do you have one other bottle? Oh, that’s your own beer bottle. We have to have a conversation about drinking on the job Muffin.
“Welcome to the dog side Madi, I know there is a sled for cats too but you can put your cat presents in here, and we will make sure it goes where it is supposed too. Oh my, look at all these cat trees. They are huge. Well, I am sure we can find the room. They will be loved.
“Hi Axel, wow, those are a lot of chew bones. That is very generous of you. I am sure the pups will have a grand time chewing.
“Harlee cat, I didn’t see you. What do you have there? Wow, that is a lot of catnip. Make sure it is down the bottom of the sled. We don’t want Santa to mistake it for his pipe tobacco and go off course.
“Here come Chase and Gucci. They are never apart. What do you have here? You wrote love letters to all the shelter dogs that they can read when they are alone at night and not feel lonely? Well, that sounds like the sweetest gift. Come here so I can give you hugs.
“Butkus, how appropriate that you brought footballs for all the dogs. Yes, they can chase, or they can chew on them. Good boy. Of course, you can tell your mom that you miss her and love her.
“Jake the Rake, you always look so good. You have a collection of smoked sausages. I know they will be loved. We will put them in the dogs’ stocking, but they are going to have to eat them fast before they go bad.
“Is that everyone? Good, the sled is full. Come on up Santa. Are you going to let me hold the reigns? That is cool. Now it is time for our two new superstar angels to pull our sleigh. Come on Koda and Josie, let’s head off to the shelters. I know the two of you know the way you are smart dogs.
“From all the angels a Rainbow Bridge a Merry Christmas to you and to all a good night!