Today was the second day of my Pet Smart Santa stint. It has been a little slow, but busy. Also Judy and the grandkids came to help out. They walk the dogs that are up for adoption, help clean the puppy cages and help with the photo process.
Those of you who know me and/or have followed me these few years know that I don’t talk about myself in any positive way what so ever. But the store managers have been coming back and telling me the customers are complimenting me on being such a great Santa. Even my step-daughter, who doesn’t care too much for the human race, tells everyone that I am ‘a kick ass’ Santa. That makes me wonder what kind of Santa’s they have had before…work-release felons from the Federal Pen, ex-druggies from a half-way house, Democrats? I mean it is such an easy and fun job. I get to pet and love on some of the cutest animals in Georgia. What’s not to like? Well, there are the owners…
I ask that, while waiting on a set of pictures to process from one dog that the next owners bring their dog (or dogs) over so they can get a good sniff of my hand and get use to a man with more hair on his face than the have. That pretty much goes okay. But some will try to put the dog in my lap or get it to pose before the photographer is ready. Dogs have an attention span almost as short as mine and you cannot pose them and expect them to hold it for a minuet or two. I tell them as nicely as I can to just walk away from the dog and let us get to know each other first.
Then when the photographer is ready I have them place the dog in my lap, or the front paws across my lap, or have it set between my legs, etc. I ask them to do it because if I try the dog can panic. But the feel more comortable it the owner does it. And I ask that they back the dog into my lap. Having his face coming toward the big red asshole can upset them. Anyway, they insist on giving baby talk and smooche kisses and pep talks to a fucking dog. Then I tell the owner to go stand BEHIND THE FUCKING PHOTOGRAPHER so the dog will look in that direction. Don’t stand on the side and give encouraging phrases so the dog looks over that way instead.
And the Christmas clothes they put on the dogs. Now look, the coat, sweater, wrap, what-ever is on his BACK and you want the dog looking at the camera AND see his back? The Exorcist comes to mind. And there was the one little old lady who had a small female dog. I had to hold the little thing with my left hand under her chest in a sorta raised up sitting position. She ask me to put my right hand over the little dog’s hind legs to ‘hide her private parts.’ Lady, the fucking dog is sitting on her private parts. All you will see is belly. But I did so she wouldn’t be scandalized.
And the cheapskates. Our store, as far as I know, is the only store in the country that has a well trained photographer who has thousands of dollars worth of camera, lights, filters and printers for the endeavor and he volunteers his serviced for free, as all of us do. The cost is $9.95 for a picture and a plastic frame. And he takes several shots and lets the customer pick out the one he/she likes best. And people will ask for better shots. We are not professionals, and it is a fucking dog. Get a grip people. We have had people walk off and not pay because they didn’t like the picture of a dog that was constantly moving and scared shitless with it’s ears pulled back, and one even left because I wasn’t looking at the camera to his satisfaction. It’s not about me, asshat, it’s about your precious dog. But, hey, 99% of the people are great and most of the dogs are very behaved, thought a little nervous.
Here are a few pics of the folks today:
The back left is the manager, Bill. The lady in front is Dawn, a volunteer, and Rick, my photographer.
This is Dr. Amber, my step-daughter.
And this is J-Man and Bug, my grandkids.
However, everything did not go smoothly all day. Judy and I have a few angry words between photo shoots. It seems that some young couple who adopted one cat a few months ago had to turn him back in because they were moving into a pet free apartment. He is a chocolate cat and is totally lovable and easy going.
His name was Jude and he was one of several kittens we fostered for a few weeks till they could be adopted. Judy fell in love with him then, but I wouldn’t let her get another cat. I mean we have the best cat in the world in Chaplin, so what do we need with an inferior specimen? But Amber said we could have it for free since he had already been adopted and the cost was covered. No fucking way will we have another cat in our home. I was firm and no way was that cat coming home with us. Period! Ever! I have spoken!
So meet the newest member to our family, the cat formarly named Jude. We changed the name (or rather Bug did) to Oliver. So Oliver is now Chaplin’s best friend - or will be as soon as the get tired of hissing at each other.
I love it when I am forceful and rule the roost with an iron hand; firm but compassionate.