The Holiday Visitor

It’s a few days until Christmas and Doc is scurrying around like a mouse looking for the last wedge of cheese. She has lists posted all over the house to help keep her focused, but quite frankly I think it makes her more anxious to see the long lists of things that still need to get done. As for me, I am chilling on my dog bed by the fire place, resting up for my yearly visit from Santa. After all, one of us needs to remain calm and it sure ain’t gonna be Doc.

While waiting for Doc to get done with her chores I decided to take a nap and I must have slept for hours because when I woke up not only did I think someone had been quietly calling my name, but it was also dark outside. I got up and wandered around the house looking for Doc and after not finding her anywhere, I decided that she must have run to the store, so I hopped up on the couch to wait. Suddenly I saw a large shadow move across the wall toward me. Frightened, I let out my most ferocious low growl to ward off the intruder when I was interrupted by a familiar voice calling my name. ” It’s me Grover” he exclaimed with some concern in his voice. As I turned toward the shadowy figure, I was surprised who appeared. It was my friend Santa arriving a few days early this year.

” Santa !” I exclaimed with joy, “What are you doing here so early?” As he sat down on the sofa next to me to rest his weary bones he responded. ” I just needed a break from supervising the elves and when I looked in my magic snow globe that lets me watch over you I saw that Doc had stepped out and I knew we could have some special time together. So, what’s on your mind my friend?” he asked softly. “I have been noticing how extra hard you have been working through out the year taking care of everyone and wanted to see if you are ok.”

After I moved over and put my head in his lap he gently patted me on the head and I poured my heart out to him. ” Well Santa, where should I start. I do feel very grateful. Doc provides me with everything I need but that’s not what is on my mind. As you know, its been a tough time for everyone over the past year because of COVID and just when things started to look better, it feels like they may be turning for the worse again. Even if you have everything you need, people are struggling emotionally because the world feels like it has been turned upside down. Although I try to comfort everyone I meet, I don’t know if I am doing enough and frankly Santa that is what weighs on my mind. I just don’t know what to do.”

Santa and I sat there quietly together for the longest time before he spoke. ” Grover, did it occur to you that maybe your biggest purpose right now is for you to take care of Doc?” It was like a lightbulb went off in my head. Why of course, it didn’t occur to me that if I felt this way, then Doc must feel that way too. ” It is so obvious Santa, why didn’t I see that?” “Because Doc has taken care of you since you were a puppy and you see her as a surrogate parent, but sometimes she needs you just as much as you need her.” Santa said with a sparkle in his eye. ” You are doing everything a good therapy dog needs to do. You are such a good dog Grover, don’t ever doubt that. And now that you know who you need to focus on, I really need to get back to the North Pole. I can’t leave the elves alone for too long or they loose focus and start playing with all the toys,” he said with a jolly laugh. Slowly, he got up from the couch, went over to our fire place, lay his finger aside his nose, gave a nod and poof, up the chimney he rose. I ran to the window just in time to see Santa in his sleigh being pulled through the night by none other than Rudolf. What a sight!

Before long, I heard Doc coming in the back door. I ran down the hall to greet her and said with excitement, ” Doc you will never guess who came to see me while you were gone! Santa Clause!” ” Oh Grover, you probably fell asleep and were dreaming again, now come on in here and eat your supper.” ” And that’s not all, I said, he told me I need to take care of you.” ” That’s sweet Grover, thank you. Now after we finish supper lets wrap some presents, after all Christmas is almost here.”

Doc and I wish all of you a joyous and peaceful holiday.

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