Santa Paws Came to Town

Santa Paws Came to Town

Each year our Kaibab Bernese Mountain Dog family, under the stewardship of Mary-Ann Bowman, comes together with Secret Santa.

Today, when I came home from school, a brown box was resting next to the gate. Bernie M. Dog (Secret Santa from Salina) addressed it to The Hooker Horde.

Faith, the REAL Dog and Puppy Whisperer, exercised all of her patience, and sat surrounded by packages wrapped in holiday dog paper. Then, she posed with her loot.

Wrapped Prezzies

While Faith’s family tracks, shows, and wears costumes, Faith nurtures her rescued furry family, listens to the secrets of the little girls who live across the street, snuggles with me, leans on everyone, and hears, “She’s beautiful,” all day long. Like all families, everyone has unique personality traits and gifts. The Kaibab Family celebrates what everyone does well.

Secret Santa Paws does not always visit, but when he does, The Hooker Horde makes out like bandits! Thank you BERNIE M. DOG!

Faith & stash

We are super paw-cited to make cookies with our new cookie cutter. Then, we will dry the mixing bowls with our festive doggie dishtowel.

Booker, Faith, Gus, Betty White, and Houston can hardly wait to taste the treats. The Fish Skin Chews and Ginger Bit Men look delicious.

Gus claimed the hedgehog in the Santa hat and took it straight up to his spot. Gus & Hedgehog

Houston loves Santa and Rudolph. (Santa squeaks, but Houston cannot hear it.)Houston & Santa

Since Houston is a puppy, The Hooker Horde is not putting up a tree this year. Instead, we hung the Kaibab Family ornament on the baker’s rack next to the cards. Receiving an ornament that called us “family” meant everything. As an adopted child and a single 44-year-old woman, it felt nice to be included.

Family ornament

Then, I opened the Berner soldier. When my mom and dad would “jinx” and say the same thing, she would add, “Great minds thing alike.”


As part of the Berner family, we know the importance of soldiers. Back in April, Mary-Ann wrote about our little soldiers. We each have 100 Little Soldiers to handle the details of our lives.

She explains, “The Little Soldiers are not fighters but rather they are more like the National Guard, dispatched to handle disasters and emergencies as well as just keep order in the camp, so to speak. You can think of them as your Resilience Team or your Coping Resources — it works for me to imagine them as 100 Little Soldiers.

A member of our community recently suffered a big heartbreak. It is so big that 85 of her Little Soldiers have been dispatched to hold together all the shattered pieces. So 85 of her 100 Little Soldiers are working overtime to keep her together — that is all they can do right now and they are exhausted.”

That was me.

My Kaibab Family made sure that The Hooker Horde survived 2014. When my soldiers were exhausted, Barbz sent an extra. Tony and Brody sent an icon. Tiffany became my friend on Facebook. Kathy made me laugh. Mary-Ann sent ElizabethAnne to check on Faith.

Now, at the end of 2014, I am looking forward to moving into 2015 with The Hooker Horde.

Tears drop onto my keyboard. I am grateful.

Thank you, Bernie M. Dog, our Secret Santa

Thank you, Mary-Ann.

Thank you, Tony and Brody.

Thank you, Barbz. (The Hooker Horde resolves to wear more costumes in 2015.)

Thank you Kathy, Marti, and ElizabethAnne!

Ho, ho, ho!

I love our Kaibab Family.

About Julie Hooker

I'm a teacher, writer, and editor. In addition, I'm an animal rescuer, yogi, and friend.
This entry was posted in faith, Friends, gratitude, Kindness, life lessons, love, soldiers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Santa Paws Came to Town

  1. Barbz says:

    Awesome pictures!! Proud to be part of your family!! And I am especially partial to your New Years resolution! 🙂


  2. Tony & Brody says:

    I’m glad we have become friends. Wishing you all the best and beyond in the new year! ❤


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