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Tag Archives: Pets

Going to meet Santa at the mall is a ritual that some love and some hate, but most bravely do it anyway at some point. To set your kids on Santa’s lap and get that adorable photo that you can put in your Christmas cards to satisfy the grandparents, you have to stand in line with Christmas music on repeat and dozens of other families in the same situation while the kids are sick and tired of waiting (or literally sick.) But it’s probably nothing compared to what the job is like for the man himself.

Anyone who puts on a red velvet suit and plays the beloved role of Father Christmas must be a kind and patient soul indeed. You would have to be in order to spread Christmas magic to hundreds of kids in a row, including taming the ones who would rather be anywhere else. But here are some situations that probably weren’t in the job description, from people bringing their four-legged children to sit on Santa’s lap, to grown-ups who just love Christmas so much that they keep coming back year after year.

See how professional Santa performers deal with the unexpected in these pictures, and upvote your favorites! While you’re waiting for the big day, you can also look back on our lists of the best and worst Christmas decorations, and people whose Christmas wasn’t very merry.


While Waiting In Line To See Santa, This Baby Fell Asleep. When It Came Time For The Picture, Santa Told The Parents Not To Wake Him


I Took My Dog To Take A Christmas Picture With Santa And She Ate Him


My 92 Year Old Grandma Said She’s Never Been To See Santa. Change Of Plans This Christmas

Some things never change. That’s what some of these Santa performers must think when they get visitors who keep coming back even as they grow up. One pair of brothers has a whole slideshow of pictures with Santa over 30 years, eventually adding their own children to the picture!

Want to know another thing that never changes? A Canadian mall Santa who has been doing the job every Christmas season for 35 years says that although the types of presents that kids ask him for have changed with the introduction of more electronics, Legos are a classic that have stuck around.


My Santa Doesn’t Age (1997-2017)


So, My Dog Met Santa Claus


My Favorite Shot From Our Christmas Shoot This Year

Professional Santa performers⁠—and, yes, they say the job requires somebody who can put on a show⁠—who are really serious about their craft go to Santa training schools with whimsical names like “Northern Lights Santa Academy.” There, they learn not only lore about the role and how to accurately talk about reindeer, but the business practicals of self-promotion and getting private bookings.


Took The Kids To Meet Santa Yesterday And, As You Can See, It Went Amazing


My Friend Brought Her Dog To See Santa Recently


Mommy’s Lil Monster Meets Santa & Krampus

There’s also increasing demand for not just Santa performers, but also Mrs. Claus, say women who have stepped into the role in recent years. Maybe soon you’ll be able to choose which visitor from the North Pole you’ll want to take your kids to visit.


My Mom Said “Damn” In Front Of Santa. This Was The Reaction


Got A Pic With Santa… He Said I Was Too Big… We Compromised…


My Son Started To Cry When He Saw Santa, So I Decided It’d Be A Good Idea If We All Joined To

Performers say that while playing Santa pays well, it takes a large investment at the start for a quality costume. And, of course, a great love for Christmas spirit and children, not to mention a philosophy of kindness and wisdom that follows them all year round.


My Friends And I Got Our Picture Taken With Santa


Holiday Shopping Can Put A Smile On Even The Most Kvlt Person In Your Life! What’s Your Favorite Holiday Tradition?


My Dad Was Santa At Our Local Petsmart, Was Not Expecting This


Another Year, Another Photo With Santa

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This Woman Took Her Cats To A Department Store To Visit Santa And As You Can See It Went Quite Well


How Many Kids Do You See?


My Dad Is The Macy’s Santa In Seattle. Today He Got To Meet A Legend!


Nancy Reagan Sitting On Mr. T’s Lap

Mr. T was a surprise guest at the first day of the press tour of the White House Christmas Decorations.

She was standing next to him and my dad (who was friends with Nancy) said “How about sitting on his lap?”She looked at her press secretary for approval then said “Sure!” and sat down.

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong?


34 Years Photos With Santa – Annual Tradition


Santa Looking Like Hes Gonna Risk It All


Past Five Years Of Mall Santa Photos With My Brothers


Ho Ho Ho!


My Friend Is Santa At Bass Pro (Among Other Places). He Had An Unexpected Visitor


My 3 Month Old Son With A Look Of Shock Only He Could Pull Off At Being Sat On Santa’s Lap


My Mum Has Been Making Me Get A Santa Photo Every Year Since I Was Born. This Year I Had A Little Bit Of Fun With It

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Hey there! We are @Dogs_of_Vilnius – a project by Gabija Kavaliauskaite and Karolis Jonusas – a couple running street photography blog of dogs. Every day we explore streets of Vilnius, the capital city of Lithuania, with an aim to bring you a one-to-one with the cutest and the fluffiest doggos we meet. As a country obsessed with canines, Lithuania has 1 dog for 3.9 humans ratio which translates to approximately 730 000 doggos in a small Baltic nation of just 3 million.

We began this project as a way of stepping further from our usual approach when encountering some passerby’s dog, normally just asking to pet it and then bid our farewell. However, now we don`t settle until there are at least a few dozen potential pictures…Rather often it takes more than just a treat to attract the attention of a doggo: some are more interested in toys, some require commands from their owner (unless it`s a Husky or a Labrador, both breeds appearing to be designed for photoshoots).

Having recently visited a major animal shelter “Lese” we plan on bringing the spotlight social media provides us with to other less fortunate four-legged friends and their temporary (often – permanent) homes. Join our quest to spread at least some of that unconditional love dogs offer by finding us both on Instagram and on Facebook as @Dogs_of_Vilnius.

#1 Kukė (Cookie), 8-Month-Old, Mixed Breed

And this is 8 m/o Cookie, a mixed breed that looks like a little white dachshund with a labrador face. Loves to eat away wallpapers.



#2 Lapinas (Fox), 5 Y/O, Corgi

Meet Fox, he`s a 5 y/o Corgi. He`s very friendly and would do anything for a treat – even betray his own family. 😀



#3 Barsa (Barca), 3-Month-Old, Labrador Retriever

This beautiful little creature is a 3 m/o labrador retriever named Barca. Because of her, her home needs constant renovation.



#4 Railis (Rylle), 4-Month-Old, Samoyed

This is 4 m/o Samoyed puppy. Rylle is such a good boy that if a thief entered the house he would show him around.



#5 Shiba, Shiba Inu

This is a Shiba Inu named Shiba. Even though no one ever taught her how to walk on two legs, it’s her favourite activity.



#6 Kažu, 2 Y/O, Mixed Breed

“As well as people he loves other dogs and pigeons too!”



#7 Smala (Tar), 1 Y/O, Mixed Breed

“She has ears like a bat. Never raises her voice.”



#8 Hivi, 4-Month-Old, Chow Chow

“Still afraid of climbing stairs.”



#9 Arta, 2 Y/O, Akita Inu

“She’s a good dog, very calm at home.”



#10 Zara, 1.5 Y/O, Belgian Shepherd

This is Zara, 1.5 y/o Belgian Shepherd. She loves to play with a ball and frisbee. On the day we took this photo Zara had her first trolleybus trip which was stressful due to many strangers onboard.



#11 Malvis, 1 Y/O, Beagle

“Difficult personality – very hyperactive.”



#12 Natsu, 2 Y/O, Poodle

This is 2 y/o King Poodle named Natsu (“born in summer” in Japanese). Once Natsu didn’t like the design of a room, so he decided to show that by chewing away two pillows.



#13 Orka, 5-Month-Old, Border Collie

“She’s best friends with all the humans.”



#14 Betė (Beth), 8 Y/O, Chow Chow Mixed

She loves snow, therefore, she enjoys to stick her nose into it and keep it there until she starts coughing.



#15 Adonis, 10 Y/O, Russian Wolfhound

10y/o Borzoi/Russian Wolfhound. He doesn’t like both Pugs or techno music and is a sexist.”



#16 Aiga, 5-Month-Old, Husky

“She still finds everything interesting and already managed to rip a few socks apart.”



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#17 Artas, 5 Y/O, Jack Russell Terrier

He taught his owners how to not sit on the couch and play with a ball.



#18 Ula, 2 Y/O, Bernese Mountain Dog

“Ever since not long ago when she became a mother, Ula has become calmer.”



#19 Beili, 2 Y/O, Australian Shepherd

“Grew up to be very obedient, but once, she chewed off a sofa and a pair of headphones.”



#20 Sausis (January), 3 Y/O, Jack Russell Terrier

He’s super hyperactive and has some troubles concentrating outside. 



#21 Sniegė (Snow), 1 Y/O, Golden Retriever

“Sniegė is like a real hippy from the 60s. She loves everyone unconditionally and she would even love a thief who would try to break into her house and try to kill her. She’s a real Buddhist!”



#22 Luna, 7-Month-Old, Mixed

“If you don’t hold her watching TV, she will start to cry.”



#23 Rendžiro, 1 Y/O, Akita Inu

“Half a year ago, when the baby arrived in our family, Rendžiro felt very neglected. Now they are best friends.”



#24 Afra, 8 Y/O, Husky

“She’s a true introvert and doesn’t require any attention.”



#25 Flambė, 7-Month-Old, Border Collie

“He can’t focus well unless you have a snack.”



#26 Kuosa (Jackdaw), 5 Y/O, Mixed Breed

“Until the age of 2, she walked around with a muzzle even at home – she chewed everything, even the curtain ends. Even so, we never thought of giving her away, because she’s the cutest and calmest pup ever.”



#27 Tera, 4 Y/O, German Shepherd Mixed

“She waits for me the whole day to pick her after work at dog grooming salon.”



#28 Kenzo, 4 Y/O, Yorkshire Terrier

“Larger dogs are afraid to play with him because he is always trembling. And in turn, he’s afraid of other dogs, because due to differences in size, they tend to hurt each other while playing.”



#29 Mūza (Muse), 2 Y/O, Papillon Dog

“Since I play, she goes to every orchestra rehearsal. Knows martial arts. Each evening, she guards by the window.”



#30 Two Sisters Tėja And Luna, 1.5 Y/O, French Bulldogs

Tėja was born deaf. Both of them are affectionate, however, they fight like real sisters!

Sometimes pop stars have all the time and money in the world to make a high-production video, with all the bells and whistles.

And sometimes all you need is a tiny pig.

Ariana Grande’s newest release from her album Sweetener, “Breathin'” comes paired with a new music video starring the pop star’s tiny adopted pet pig.

Piggy Smalls is front and centre for the whole clip, and my giddy aunt he is all you need. Grande mentioned in an Instagram post that an official ‘Breathin'” video could be in the works, time permitting.

We think it’s already perfect.

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Philippa Perry on her struggle with total devotion to her cat, Kevin

Pets can highlight your mental health issues. Ask my late dad how he was, he would tell you, Fine. If you wanted more information, it was best to ask him how the dog was. Oh, the dog is depressed. My dad was doing what Freud described as projection. This is when you split off a part of you that is too shameful for you to own and project it on to someone else and you believe your stuff is their stuff. My father could not own his vulnerability, but he could dump it on his dog. I hope I would be far too self-aware to project on to my pet. Id hate to think I was that dotty, but the magazine has just asked if they can send a photographer round. Kevin isnt too keen on photos, I said.

Our cat Kevin had been a stray and came to us from Battersea two years ago when he was around six months old. His body was the size of a can of extra-strong lager. That tubular torso would press against me all night, sometimes stretched alongside me, sometimes curled up in my armpit. In the evening, he would start on a lap but his thin body would elongate itself from your ankles to your thighs like a furry tube. He was playful, affectionate and excellent at being a cat.

We followed the Battersea instructions of keeping him indoors for a month and then only let him out accompanied until he knew where to come back to. When he was ready for unaccompanied roaming, I tried to get a collar on him, but however tight I made it, he could spring it off. Even if he left the house with a collar on, he came back without it. Then one day he did not come back at all. The first time he went missing, he turned up at the Blacksmith and the Toffee Maker, a gastro pub half a mile from our house. He was returned to us swiftly by the landlord, who had taken him to the vet to get his microchip read. Getting Kevin microchipped was a very good idea. My fantasy is that he had chased the pubs resident cat all the way home and then did not know how to get back.

How to describe how you fall in love with a cat? First, the softness of their fur and their choice of your ankles to rub around makes you melt a bit. Secondly, you get used to their presence in your home and come to rely on it for company; and thirdly I think we project our love for ourselves on to our animals and believe it is coming back our way. I like to think Kevin really does love me. Whether he does or not, I love him. For most of my adult life I have lived with a cat, sometimes two, and once I lived with three. I came to appreciate their individual characters and the different ways they kept me company, amused and comforted. But my love for Kevin seems more intense.

There is a type of interaction adopted by cults and abusers when they want total devotion from you, called intermittent positive reinforcement. They start the relationship by heaping praise and appreciations on to you and then gradually begin to mock you, or ignore you, or dish out other types of cruelty so you try harder to win back that approval that you became addicted to. Kevin, having got me smitten, now occasionally ignored me, or bit me if his food bowl got as low as half-empty. Oh, sorry Kevin, Id say, and do his bidding. People who are susceptible to intermittent positive reinforcement tend to be those who have an insecure attachment style. This means they feel insecure in their relationships and compelled to work extra hard at adapting, being too nice or too paranoid, and check up on their significant other as they cannot assume, like a secure person does, that their partner will not stray.

I have been in a loving and stable relationship for 30 years I believed myself cured; thought I was now secure. My unhappy youth, when romantic attachment was about the pain of longing rather than the joy of love, was, I thought, truly behind me, yet Kevin had reignited the feeling of longing.

Kevin reignited the feeling of longing. Photograph: Pal Hansen for the Observer

After the pub incident, I tended to check up on Kevin more. If he had owned a mobile phone, I would have broken into it. I followed him about. I may have scared away the wildlife he was stalking and he may have got irritated with me. People with an insecure attachment style can be annoying. He strayed again, this time he got himself stuck in a rear light well the other side of the square and was not discovered for two nights. His absences made me long for him more.

Kevin loved it when we went to the country. We followed the Battersea code again of not letting him out alone until he knew where to come back and where his food was and all was good. Well, it was fine for me not so much for the local rodent population but I love Kevin so much that even watching him crunch up the heads of mice, upsetting though it is, is wonderful because I am in his presence. Those with an insecure attachment style can feel they are nothing without their love object. I overheard my husband telling someone, Philippas mental health depends on where the cat is. He was probably not projecting either.

My daughter had taken a weeks holiday to spend with me in the country. On the morning of her arrival Kevin had still not returned from a night out. We were supposed to be enjoying a time of picnics, bike rides and swims but here was I miserable and ruining my daughters break. She and I asked everyone within a miles radius but no one had seen him. There was only one house we did not visit because the owners were on holiday. They came back the day my daughter was leaving. When they opened their front door, a speedy Kevin shot out and came straight back home. He was remarkably fit after his week living off flies and toilet water but I was a wreck. Next time, I told myself, I wont worry: a difficult resolution to keep because when he sees an open door he shoots through it into anyones house, shed or car. I have a dread of supermarket delivery vans those are his favourite.

A year later, hes missing again in London. I go to the pub, they havent seen him. I trudge about calling him. Days pass, nothing. My entire life is Operation Kevin. We tweet about his disappearance and the London Evening Standard picks it up. Hes on the front page (slow news day); I do posters; house-to-house enquiries; leaflets through letterboxes. Eventually the phone rings. Kevin had been spotted, stuck on a flat roof by someone who had a leaflet put through her door who had not realised he was trapped. I wept with relief. On getting him home we saw he had a nasty bite on his tail and required antibiotics for that to heal. Keep him in for a week, said Dale, our vet. Music to my ears. I hoped Stockholm syndrome would make Kevin love me. Stockholm syndrome is where a hostage develops a bond with their captor. Humans are pack animals and naturally create attachments and they may do it with whoever is around even when that someone is holding them prisoner.

Perhaps Stockholm syndrome is relevant to cats as well. To some extent, it seems to work: I am the recipient of many friendly head butts and sitting-on-lap sessions during his captivity. Can I keep him in for ever? I asked Dale when it was time for a check-up. That would be cruel, I am told. He is a wild animal that chooses to live with you. So Mr Kinky Tail, aka Bonzo Boots, aka Kevin (one cat can attract a lot of names) once more roams free.

Since the flat-roof episode, he has been relatively good. It is not that he is a reformed character, he will still make a dash for any open door. But Im delighted because in the night it is me he chooses to wake up so that I can admire his latest kill; it is my feet he wants to practise his biting on, and its my lap he needs to stretch out his tube-like body on when he is soaking wet. I weaned myself off indifferent men in my 20s and found a loving one, but a cat I adore whose affection and approval I must work for is a force I cannot resist. Now if youll excuse me, I must get the chicken livers to room temperature in case he comes home for lunch.

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A possible plan to move the citys dogs onto a plant-based diet has the backing of prominent vegans such as Moby, but others warn it could get messy

Proponents say it will make Los Angeles the worlds progressive capital. Sceptics say it will mean diarrhea, lots of diarrhea.

The proposal, which has divided scientists and animal rights groups and inflamed social media, is to put dogs in the citys public shelters on a vegan diet.

The Los Angeles animal services commission is considering the idea after lobbying by prominent vegans, including Moby, the dance music pioneer.

The commission unanimously voted earlier this month for a feasability study and analysis of the benefits and risks. A report detailing pilot project options is expected in February.

Roger Wolfson, a commissioner and television screenwriter who is driving the initiative, cites ethical, environmental and health reasons to switch dogs to plant-based food.

Currently more than 20,000 chickens, 10,000 turkeys and 1,000 lambs die each year in order to be churned into food for the 33,000 dogs in LAs public shelters, he said.

We are the department of animal services, not the department of animal companion services, he told the Guardian this week. So we need to start from a place of avoiding unnecessary killing of animals. We already shelter pigs and chickens and turkeys and we wouldnt think about killing them unnecessarily. So if dogs can get their needs met without killing animals we owe it to the citizens of Los Angeles to try.

Wolfson, who was a political speechwriter in Washington DC before moving to LA and writing for shows such as Fairly Legal and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, also cited the impact of meat and dairy consumption on deforestation, greenhouse gases and ocean dead zones.

Several high-profile allies endorsed Wolfsons proposal at a public hearing in November, including the musician and DJ Moby, who owns a vegan restaurant in LA. If we adopt this, its just one more thing that proves to the world that Los Angeles really is the progressive capital of the world, he said, according to meeting minutes, which used his real name, Richard Hall.

Musician and vegan restaurant owner Moby is a supporter of the plan. Photograph: Kris Connor/WireImage

However, the citys chief veterinarian, Jeremy Prupas, cited clinical nutritionists, a veterinary toxicologist and other experts who advised against a vegan diet. In addition to health questions, workers at the understaffed shelter would confront canine diarrhea, a big issue, Prupas said.

Armaiti May, an LA-based veterinarian who supports the proposal, told the Guardian that abrupt changes in diet can lead to looser stools but that a gradual transition would avoid major problems. Its a small issue in the grand scheme of things. May believes meat-based kibbles have fuelled a cancer and allergy epidemic in dogs.

Tracy Reiman, executive vice-president of the animal rights group Peta, said a vegan diet was healthier and more ethical than feeding dogs factory farmed animals who have endured miserable lives and gruesome deaths and whose dead, dying, diseased, or disabled carcasses are found in most commercial dog foods.

Other voices urge caution. Lisa Freeman, a veterinary nutritionist and Tufts university professor, told the New York Times earlier this year there were no long-term studies on the effects of veganism in dogs. We know a lot about dog nutrition, but there are unknowns as well it isnt easy to formulate a high-quality diet for dogs, and its particularly difficult with a vegan diet.

Social media has bristled with arguments for and against, the latter insisting dogs need meat.

Owners who have put their dogs on vegan diets say diarrhea fears are overblown and that health benefits are tangible. Winky had been plagued with recurring ear infections which disappeared permanently after I phased the meat-based food out of his diet, Karen Dawn, an author and activist, wrote in an LA Times op-ed.

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The world isnt divided into cat and dog people, but pet and petty ones

To celebrate International Cat Day this week, Facebook put its best and brightest to work on this groundbreaking study: cat people are single; dog people like horrible movies.

As I read through the descriptions of things cat people like reading The Hobbit alone in a basement, apparently I was like, Thank god Im not a cat person. And as I read through the things that dog people like watching Duck Dynasty in a group I was definitely like, Dogs are the worst. I am, as scientifically confirmed by my dislike of all the things cat people and dog people love (including cats and dogs), not a cat or dog person. But try as I might, the cat v dog debate is not one Ive been able to avoid.

Ive always been a little surprised how often it comes up. Yes, I know its supposed to be lighthearted fun, but its still everywhere. Ive been asked if Im a cat or dog person in job orientations, on online dating questionnaires, at cocktail parties. My answer has usually been, Im whatever type of person doesnt ask pointless questions.

And as I was rolling my eyes in judgment of the tastes of both types of people as described in the Facebook study, I realized there are two types of people in the world, but they arent dog people and cat people: they are pet people and petty people, and Im the latter.

I scorn both cat and dog people alike. I wrinkle my nose in disdain at your pet pics. I judge your movie choices whether you are a cat person who loves Alien or a dog person who loves the Blind Side. I laugh inwardly at whatever music it is you listen to (which this study didnt cover, but Im going to go ahead and be petty and assume its awful, whatever it is).

I dont want your dogs slobber on me, and I dont want your cats hair on me. I cant tell if that picture you posted on Facebook is of a new cat or an old cat because all cats look like cats to me. I will not attend your pet weddings. I will not celebrate your pet birthdays. And unless your pet has learned how to tell some great jokes, I firmly believe it has no place in dinner party discussion.

And, petty as I am, Im really sick of this cat v dog discussion excluding people like me. So, using Facebooks ultra-scientific information on cat and dog people (pet people) and my own personal knowledge (petty people), Ive decided to reframe this data in a way that includes me and my petty brethren. Youre welcome.

Books and movies

Cat people tend to like sci-fi and fantasy, while dog people like books about love and animals, according to Facebooks data wizards. That is: pet people like books and movies. Petty people like Twitter beefs, Instagram fights and YouTube response videos.

Photograph: Facebook.

TV shows

Cat people like anime and cartoons, while dog folks like shows with oddballs, like Duck Dynasty or One Tree Hill. To which petty people say: Lol, seriously One Tree Hill? In 2016?

Relationship status

Cat people are more likely to be single, and dog people are more likely to be paired. That is, pet peoples relationship status: they have one. Our relationship status: petty.

So the next time youre at a dinner party and you feel the urge to ask about cat and dog people, instead ask: Are you a pet person or a petty person? A pet person will answer you by immediately digging their phone out of purse or pocket to show you 500 pictures of their cat laying on various surfaces, like all other cats in the entire world. A petty person will blink at you slowly and sigh.

Because whether a pet person likes their furry house animals to crap in a litter box or prefers that they crap out in the yard, they are being judged equally by those who do not like animal crap at all.

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