Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Bedtime Story (20/12/2017)

I live with a much-loved Labradoodle and this time of year, he inevitably gets rather spoilt by all of us, because we just can't resist buying him Christmas gifts.  So, this week's last story before Christmas just had to be about a dog!

If you want to listen to me read this story, simply check out the podcast!

Please be aware that the Bedtime Story feature will be going on hiatus for the month of January.  I typically write these stories a month in advance, so this is to allow me to spend Christmas and New Year with family, without needing to take any time to write.  The weekly bedtime stories will return in February, but there'll still be a final story next week, before my month off begins!

Waiting For Santa Paws...

Denver was still just a puppy.  He'd never seen Christmas, before.  The big tree in the living room, the coloured fairy lights and the delicious smelling mince pies he wasn't allowed to eat, were all brand new to him.  He didn't quite understand why he wasn't allowed to nibble on a mince pie, when everyone else was, although Mum said it was something to do with raisins being bad for dogs.  He didn't fancy being poorly, so he tried to just sniff the pies, whenever they came out.  He was only allowed to sniff the chocolate treats hanging on the Christmas tree, too.

But just the same, Denver was excited.  How could he not be?!  The children - Rosie and Sam - were so enthusiastic about Christmas, that it was impossible not to be carried along with them.  Everyone seemed so happy and there was such a sense of anticipation in the air, that Denver found himself wagging his tail and jumping about even more than usual.

Of course, that meant he was knocking things over a bit more than usual, too.  And Nan hadn't seemed all that impressed, when his claws caught her fuzzy Christmas jumper and he pulled a long, glittery thread out of it...  In fact, everyone had shouted at him to get down.  But they'd soon gone back to smiling and laughing, so Denver was sure that Christmas must be a very special, very good thing, if it made people so happy and so quick to forgive.

One evening, whilst Denver was curled up in his basket, sulking after being told off for digging in the garden again, he overheard Rosie and Sam talking about someone called Santa Claus.  He crept over to where they sat on the sofa, their eyes shining and their mouths curled into big smiles.  Santa Claus sounded amazing!  He was apparently very jolly and kind and he came to every house on Christmas Eve, bringing presents for everyone!  Denver wondered if that included dogs.  He pricked his ears up and placed a paw on Rosie's lap, by way of asking.

"Santa Claus will bring you presents, too," Rosie confirmed.  But Sam cocked his head to one side and looked the young puppy straight in the eye:

"He only brings presents to people who are very good," he told him.  "You have to be on your best behaviour."  He chuckled to himself, adding: "Then maybe Santa Paws will come, for you!"

Santa Paws?!  Denver was over the moon!  He hardly dared to imagine what Santa Paws might bring him: A big, juicy bone to chew on, perhaps?  Or a bouncy ball that he could have Rosie and Sam throw for him in the garden?!

There was just one problem.  Denver was only young and he felt like he kept making mistakes.  How could he be sure he'd be well behaved enough to get a treat from Santa?

Denver decided to try his absolute best, in the days leading up to Christmas.  He only chewed Dad's slippers if his teeth were really hurting.  He only sniffed around the dinner table when he was really hungry.  And he only jumped up at people he really liked the look of.

But every time he did those things, people still told him off.  "Bad dog!  Don't jump up at people in the street!"  Mum chided.  But Denver was confused; he was only being friendly!

By Christmas Eve, Denver was worried.  He really had tried his best, but he just wasn't sure it was good enough.  He'd wagged his tail so excitedly when Rosie and Sam were getting ready for bed, that he'd knocked a glass of milk off the table.  Rosie had been sad, because that milk was for Santa.  Denver was sad, because surely Santa Paws would be cross, too.

That night, he sat in his bed and watched as everyone disappeared upstairs for the night.  Soon, he was alone in the dark.  He stared out of the kitchen window, at the black sky, lit only by stars and the silver moon.  He blinked his sleepy eyes and waited for the sound of jingle bells, that he'd heard Rosie and Sam talk about.  But no sound came.

Denver curled up in a ball and tried to hold onto the Christmas excitement that everyone else had been feeling.  But he didn't feel excited, anymore.  He hadn't been good enough.  Santa Paws wasn't coming...

The next morning, Denver was awoken by the sound of shrieks and laughter coming from upstairs.  He opened one eye.  It was still dark.  It felt like everyone was up even earlier than they were on a school day, but he knew the children didn't have to go to school that morning.  He sighed and tried to go back to sleep, but then his nose twitched and he realised he could smell something...different.  Something he couldn't usually smell.

Very slowly, Denver yawned and stretched, blinking against the blackness all around him.  He could hear giggles and gleeful chatter coming from upstairs, but more importantly, he could smell something just on the other side of the kitchen door.  He jumped up, pawing at the wood, but it was no good; he was much too small to open the door.  Then, there came a clattering and familiar voices, as Rosie, Sam, Mum and Dad all came hurrying down the stairs.  They flung the kitchen door open and flicked on the light.  Suddenly, Denver could see something hanging from the handle, on the outside of the kitchen door.  It was a stocking!  Just like the ones he'd seen in the storybooks Rosie and Sam had been reading, the night before!

To Denver's amazement, Rosie tugged the stocking from the door handle and brought it to down to Denver.  "Santa Paws came!"  She grinned.  "I wonder what he's brought you?!"

Denver was overjoyed!  His tail wagged faster than it had ever wagged before.  He jumped up at everyone, licking their hands and faces, as they bent down to stroke him.  Santa Paws had come!

"You're a good dog," Mum told Denver, scratching his ears.  

"A very good dog," Dad agreed.

"The best dog ever!"  Rosie and Sam laughed.

Denver tugged at the stocking and out came a brightly coloured bouncy ball, a big, juicy bone and a packet of his favourite doggy treats!

But before Denver could play with anything, Sam cried: "Come on, everyone!  Let's go and look under the tree!"

Denver followed everyone as they darted into the living room.  Beneath the Christmas tree was a huge pile of presents!  There was even one for Denver!  

As wrapping paper was excitedly torn off, Denver was allowed to shred it, playing with empty boxes and running around the room, wagging his tail.  He had to agree that his first ever Christmas had been a brilliant one!  In fact, he could hardly wait for next year!  And now he knew for sure, that even when he did silly things and made mistakes, his family still loved him.  

He was a very good dog.



  1. Very cute story, I'm a cat person so I wonder what Santa would bring my cats, maybe catnip balls! I know some dogs in my neighborhood, like this little Yorkie that is over a year old but still gets jumpy and excited!

  2. My sister and sister in law will be bringing their cat home for Christmas and I reckon Santa Paws might have something up his sleeve for her, too! ;-)


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