Sometimes Every year I have this idea that we’ll take this totally adorable “pet pictures with Santa” photo. I think, based on nothing but delusion, that my crazy, fun-loving, slightly spoiled, definitely untrained, beagles will sit all perfectly in front of whatever photo set we decide on, and voila! we will have the magical, beautiful, perfect Christmas card. I don’t know why I think this. There is no basis for this thinking. During the other 364 days of the year, Daphne Doodlebutt and Percy Pie are pretty much in charge of everything. They do not sit  on “command”–instead they command us to feed them, give them belly rubs, and basically do all their bidding. They do not sit still, all poised and pretty–no, they sprawl out, take over our bed and paw at us relentlessly until we rub their very exposed, very big, bellies, as they recline in the most unphotogenic poses you can imagine. This does not deter me. I still imagine that when “family holiday photo” day arrives they will turn into ….I don’t know…someone else’s dogs? Not surprisingly to you, but as an annual surprise to me, this does not in fact happen. What does happen is our wonderful, fabulous, patient, genius, dog portrait photographer, Kimberly Saxelby (see cover of “The Dogs Were Rescued (and So Was I)“)  sets up beautiful backgrounds, has perfect lighting, shows them treats, makes crazy noises, and, then well, crazy hot havoc ensues. Daphne lunges through the set for the treats, destroying anything in her way; Percival leaps into the face of the closest human and looks in any direction one will not find a camera, dog hair sprays everywhere and lodges firmly, irrevocably, and annoyingly, in  every crevice of the camera, the lighting begins to roast us all, human and beagle alike, and DDB and PP stomp, crush and basically annihilate every gorgeous set and all humans in a quarter mile proximity. And I run around apologizing, cleaning, setting up right, and trying to say “I’ve been working on “sit” with them for months!” with a straight face. Every. Year. 

But Kimberly is a genius. And within the first twenty minutes she’ll get a photo like this:

Daphne Doodlebutt and Percy Pie-- inquiring as to when the treats might next be available

Daphne Doodlebutt and Percy Pie– inquiring as to when the treats might next be available

And that’s what makes me believe. Every year. Every. Year. I think the magic will happen. THIS will happen. And it does. A moment of joy, of happiness, of “merry Christmas to all and to all a good treat!” And these two dogs, who’ve been through so much, who remain happy, content, and so confident they are loved, remind me that it all will be okay. That it’s good. Life is good. And it’s fun. And it’s funny. Life is so very, very funny. 

Funny, because I think this:

Happy Merry Everything

Happy Merry Everything

But it’s really a lot of this:


Which is to say, life is not perfect, but we’re having fun. Maybe too much fun. 😉

And so we wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year– may it be messy, and merry, and imperfect, and perfect, and funny, and fun, and everything in between.