Santa’s House Stands No More – Five Photo Five Series Challenge – Day Three

Sheila, Sophie and Alex

I have been nominated by  my blogging friend, Mark Bialczak, to participate in the Five Photo Five Series Challenge.

Back when I lived in Colorado, way up in the mountains, I shared a house with my friend, two Great Danes and an Old English Sheepdog.  Those were simple times. Every Christmas, we would take the dogs to the Mall, so they could have their picture taken with Santa.  This was Alex’s first Christmas (she is the little Great Dane who looks like she has antennae, instead of ears – her ears were cropped – something I do not do with my Great Danes anymore – thankfully).  Going to the Mall was a huge deal for the dogs.  I don’t think it was seeing Santa that was so exhilarating, but the fact that they actually got to go into the Mall (with a Food Court) – that was the exciting part.

This one particular Christmas, we took all three dogs.  Sophie (the Old English Sheepdog) was beside herself with the excitement.  As usual, the appearance of these enormously large dogs, made quite a stir when we entered the Mall (Great Danes were not seen very much back then).  We heard the usual comments (Oh, did you leave her saddle at home, or How much do those dogs eat). We made our way to Santa’s house, which in itself was a slow process, as Sophie had to stop and smell every garbage receptacle along the way.  Waiting patiently in line, we stood and watched as all the little, tiny dogs took their turns sitting with Santa, and had their pictures taken.  Most of the dogs in line were small enough to be held, but obviously that was not an option with our dogs.

Our turn came.  We approached Santa, who sat in a big chair, under what was supposed to a rendition of his house in the North Pole.  Santa’s eyes widened, and a little glimmer of fear flitted across his face as he saw Sophie and Sheila (the black Great Dane) walk towards him.  I am pretty sure he was thinking to himself “Oh my goodness, I did not sign up for this.”   But he was committed.  He was in his Santa suit, ensconced in his Santa chair in the middle of his Santa house, surrounded by a picket fence.  A crowd had gathered.  They all wanted to see how the big Great Dane and the Old English Sheepdog would fare sitting with Santa or maybe they wanted to see if Santa was going to survive the attack of three cute a** puppies, all at once.

Things were going swimmingly well.  We had all three girls lined up.  Alex was on Santa’s lap, Sheila was at Santa’s side and Sophie was on the other side.  Somewhere amongst the crowd a child let out a blood-curdling scream, which reverberated through the Mall.  The shrill scream made Sheila (the black Great Dane) jump sideways, in turn causing Sophie and Alex to jump the other direction.  With Sheila’s little sideway dance, a most curious thing happened.  She managed to land on the picket fence surrounding Santa’s house, crushing it with her 170 pound mass.  And then the domino effect began.  The entire fence fell down, which in and of itself would not have been such a horrible thing, but apparently the fence was the stabilizing factor for the ENTIRE house.  And in slow motion the house began to crumble.  As the picket fence lay down flat on the carpet of fake snow, one side of the house tilted, the other side followed suit.  Santa, with his big tummy, successfully extricated himself from his throne after several attempts, as the house crumbled with a loud crash onto the raised platform where his Santa chair stood.  After the total annihilation of Santa’s house, the only thing that still stood amongst the rubble, was Santa’ empty chair.

Needless to say I was quite horrified, but I was also too busy trying to round up dogs, to really take in the enormity of what had just happened.  We did finally get the photo, with Santa, in Santa’s chair sans Santa’s house, but it just wasn’t the same.  Interestingly enough, Santa never came back to the Mall after that.

Rules of Engagement:

Here’s how this challenge works: You post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph that shares your insight or inspiration of or from the image.  I am supposed to nominate someone to participate, but I know it is the weekend, and people have things to do.  If someone would like to take part in this challenge, I will extend a nomination to them.

Photo:  Please appreciate the look of fear in Santa’s eyes.  Also note the ‘Yoda’ position of Sheila’s ears – that always meant she was really annoyed!

20 replies »

  1. That’s like a scene from some Adam Sandler movie or something. Haha. I love big dogs. I usually ask if I can grab my saddle and ride the dog. I’m very short. They’re about as tall as me. Do you still have Danes? I know you have the tuft-eared bird dog, but do you have more? Thanks for sharing this funny story. Hope you didn’t have to pay for any of that mess.

    • No. Luckily we didn’t have to pay for any of it. I think it just comes with the territory of taking picture of pets. I do have a Great Dane. His name is Mikey (he thinks he is a Golden Retriever – we are just letting him believe that).

  2. Oh, DEAR! That definitely made me laugh and only because I was not the dog owner or the Santa. What a horrifying moment that must have been for you, what is wrong with people for letting their kids scream! hehehe

    • Yeah, what was that all about, scaring my puppies like that, screaming and carrying on. People need to control their kids better. :))

  3. Merry freaking Christmas, Santa. Sit down, shaddup and roll over! This is the greatest story ever told, S.D., not that other one. Hahahaha. Wonderful for us dog lovers, you know? No lives were lost in the making of this Christmas card. Hahahaha. You and the doggie trio rocked it!

    • It was a circus there. Puppy dogs running all over, Santa looking forlornly at what remained of his house, the crowd roaring with laughter while simultaneously watching in fascinated horror as the events unfolded before them. I can tell you, we never went to visit Santa again after that fiasco.

    • Hee-hee. At the time it was really horrifying, the world (or at least Santa’s) just seemed to crashing around us and Sheila the Great Dane was mortified by the whole thing.

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