The day I met Santa Paws
I still remember the day that Santa Paws wandered into Nature’s Pet backroom and we met for the first time. I immediately fell in love with jolly ‘ol elf and the twinkle in his eye.
I had no idea that after our first encounter this would be the beginning of a friendship that I appreciate so much and look forward to from year-to-year.
Why Santa Paws?
In the beginning, these sessions were my idea of a fundraiser to help local non-profit groups. I always had a dollar goal in mind to donate and with many thanks to this amazing guy, we’re still hitting my donation goal.
Changing things up
So every year, as soon as we’d finish one season, I start to plan for next year. I’ve done my best to have a different theme every year because Santa Paws is truly a special guy.
Year after year Santa Paws and I would meet in the back rooms of pet stores and delight puppies and kittens, dogs and cats. We laughed and created magic every where we went.
Moving Santa Paws to our gardens
In 2017, Santa Paws moved from a rainy damp Oregon winter to the southwest desert in true snowbird fashion. He promised to come back one more time, but he wanted a nicer weather than a December winter in Oregon has. So, we moved our dates up to September and opened up our gardens to host Santa Paws.
Best decision ever. Santa Paws loves the fresh air and now we call it the Santa Paws Magical Experience.
Our gardens are nestled on an acre surrounded by totally safe six-foot fencing. Santa Paws picks the dates that when he wants to come to Oregon and we do our best to make it look like Christmas.
The Santa Paws Magical Experience changes from year-to-year as we move around the acre. We always try to have at least three different photo settings for Santa Paws and pets.
2020 looked a little different
New to Santa Paws in 2020 is our hand-crafted sleigh built by a local wood craftsman for pet photos with Santa Paws.
Santa Paws and I went back and forth on whether or not we’d be able to even host Santa Paws, thanks to the pandemic. We changed the dates a few times, and then we set a date and held our breath. Turns out, it was a perfect time. We put all of the Covid safe measures into place and moved about the acre for our Santa Paws Magical Pet Photo Experience.
Santa Paws is the best sport, I moved him here and sat him down there and with grace and jolly, Santa Paws continues to make the Santa Paws pet photos ever.
And, a drum roll please… even with Covid safe measures in place and limited appointments, we were able to donate $1,000 to Oregon Weimaraner Rescue. I send my heartfelt gratitude to everyone that came out in the rain with their masks and their pets to have their photos taken with Santa Paws.
Merry Christmas to all and my forever gratitude to the best Santa Paws on the planet for going along with all of my crazy ideas.
One thing that has remained consistent over the years and are by far the most important to the success of this event are my supporting staff. Karen, Holly, Santa Paws, Nancy and everyone that has stepped in to hold a leash or a treat or jump up and down behind me. Somedays it takes a village to make one perfect photo and I appreciate all of you so much.
I am especially grateful to everyone that honors me to photograph their pets.