LIMA — On Saturday, the little children got to greet Santa. On Sunday, the admirers had tails and paws.
The Lima Mall, once again, held its annual tradition of allowing pets and their families to have their picture taken with the big guy in the red suit.
“Pets are a big part of the family, so we’re excited they can participate in the traditional holiday photo with Santa Claus,” said Betsy Billingsley, Marketing Director at The Lima Mall.
If you thought getting kids to stand still for a picture was frustrating, it was doubly difficult for the furry friends as they fidgeted in an attempt to get as far away from Santa as they could.
“We’ve done it one time at a pet store and she didn’t like it then. This is the first time here as well. She did much better than the last time,” said Ashley McElroy, owner of Daisy, a Bebull (3/4 English Bulldog and 1/4 Beagle).
Santa’s elves did what they could to get the animals to cooperate, tempting them with treats and a squeaky toy to get their attention.
“It works every time. The treats usually work too, but we usually wait until after because we’ve had dogs try to jump up here and get the treats, but squeaky toys are the best thing, the bells work sometimes,” said Angela Bott, from Cherry Hill Programs, the company running the pictures with Santa booth at The Lima Mall.
The results varied, but in the end, it was just the activity, the excitement of capturing, at least for a moment, that perfect holiday moment with the family pet.
Kevin and Sherri Bishop brought Bella, an English Bulldog to get their picture taken with Santa.
“It’s our sons’ dog, his puppy. He does not know we’re here with her. It’s going to be one of his Christmas gifts. He’s going to get this in a frame. He found her before he graduated college and we agreed to go ahead and get her and he had her for two days and said ‘I’m getting no sleep,’ so we brought her home. He’s got a year left and then she’s all his,” said Sherri.
If you missed Sunday’s Pet Photo night, they’ll do it again from 6 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 9.
At that time members of Mercy Health’s Welcome Waggers will be on hand to showcase their therapy dogs and discuss the training required to receive your pets’ certification.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.