Last night my wife and I brought my 15-month old daughter to the mall to get her picture taken with Santa. My wife had been hounding me for over a week, so after putting off it as long as I could, I finally said, “We can go on Wednesday night.” Of course I didn’t know that it was going to be freezing rain and slicker than pig snot outside on Wednesday night, but my word is my word, so we piled into the car and headed out to the Temple of Consumerism.
We got lucky when I pulled in the parking garage and found a space right away. We unloaded the stroller and got the girl out of the car, made sure she was bundled up, and headed through the mall toward the chaos.
When we arrived to where Santa was sitting, I was surprised to see that there were only three children standing in line. The freezing rain must have kept everyone at home. But it must have been Bring Your Dog to the Mall Night because there were nine dogs in line to see Santa; six more than children.
There was a 6’ foot 4” man in front of us holding a fat Doberman pinscher by his thick leather collar. His wife, a manly looking woman, was holding a Toto dog on a leash. Toto started getting up in this Black Lab’s business who crept up behind us. Toto was sniffing and smelling the crotch of this Lab while his big brother Dobes sat and watched over his handiwork.
I thought Toto did a fine job, but Dobes looked at him when he was finished and nodded. Toto took that to mean he better sniff again, so he started the whole process over. Meanwhile my kid was getting a very good lesson on exactly what not to do when she meets a boy.
Since when did it become normal to bring your dog to the mall? I know it’s Christmas and you want family pictures, but you shouldn’t bring a dog to the mall unless you’re going to bump into things without one.
I kept looking around for signs that said, “No Dogs Allowed,” but didn’t see one. I wanted to ask one of the not-so-little elves about it, but they seemed like it was just another day at the mall. By the time we got to the front of the line, there were literally a pack of dogs behind us, who were barking away at another pack of dogs that were behind them. Apparently the second group of hounds was trying to butt-in line and the first group wasn’t having it.
Last year our girl did really well with Santa. She smiled right away and we got an awesome picture. This year it was waterworks. She cried as soon as Santa took her out of my hands. I took the girl back from Santa and sat on a little white stool next to him. I placed her on my knee and then I tried to lean backwards as far as I could to stay out of the picture. We never did get a very good one. The picture we settled on you can see her sitting on my knees and my hands are holding her around her waist.
Oh well. Next year I think I’ll just take the dog.