Ah, well, everybody's got to be afraid of something.
As many of you know, Jack is my stubborn and bossy, brave and loyal three-and-a-half year old Pem. He's a bold little guy, and from the time he was a puppy he would run barking towards anything that might be alarming. Quick to be on guard, he'll bark and growl fiercely at the door if anyone dares walk by the house in the middle of the night.
He's a therapy dog and he's everybody's friend. Everybody's, that is, except for the Man of the Season himself.
This evening we put on the dogs reflective vests and no-slip martingale collars and headed for a nice long walk through a holiday light show. Near the end, there was Santa, in all his Christmas finery, waving at little kids in passing cars.
Jack saw him from the back and thought "Oh look, a new friend!" and trotted cheerfully right towards him until.... Santa turned around!
Oh, the horror! The big white beard! That crazy red cap! Those full white whiskers!
Jack ran backwards, growling and huffing. Santa bent down and made cheerful "Hello puppy" chirpy noises, much to Jack's dismay. Maddie didn't seem bothered (perhaps she's met him before??), but Jack jumped up at my legs as if to say "Danger, danger! Get back, get back!"
Good ol' St Nick made one more effort at being friends, but Jack would have none of it. It's funny because when we go to the nursing home, there are people in wheel chairs and wearing oxygen and all sorts of things and generally he's fine, but the big red suit and (probably more importantly) the face-hiding whiskers and beard were just too much.
So I guess Jack won't be getting a part-time job as one of Santa's helpers this year.