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It's Christmas time & there's no need to be afraid.

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

Based on a true story ๐Ÿ˜‰๐ŸŽ…

It was Christmas eve and Roe & Sox trotted along happily. They had been out for over an hour on a chilly evening walk with their friend the walker,the grass was still frosty from the morning and as they walked their footsteps left a trail of where they had been. Sox loved this and smiled to himself as he looked back at the random zig zag pattern his pawprints had made as he sniffed with his cold nose close to the ground. Roe was more reserved, she walked next to her friend the walker and took in the evening scents and sounds with the dignity of a mature lady.

Roe & Sox were beagles, they had the distinctive look and style of their breed, the high tail position let people know they are confident and alert, their big floppy ears hanging down the side of their face, gave them an cute and lovable look, that so many people commented on.

Their patchy brown and white coats with their white legs and paws completed the look of these two happy dog, oh! and don't forget those big black wet noses that could smell a squirrel from a mile away!

Sox turned to Roe and said in an excitable voice "Wow, that's been a fun walk, I'm looking forward to getting home now, my feet are cold and i'm rather tired"

"Yes" Roe replied "when we get home it will only be one more sleep until Christmas"

She smiled with the thoughts of sitting in front of the fire all day with her beloved owners, getting sneaky tip bits of turkey as they eat the afternoon dinner.

They turned a corner and walked through a small park on the straight path to home. Their walker was chatting nice soft words as he saw a group of young people playing football knowing balls weren't a favourite of Sox. The thudding sound and random bouncing always made him nervous and even now his tail had tucked underneath his legs as he flinched at the noise.

One of the youngsters had a naughty glint in his eye,he squinted as though looking down a scopefor accuracy as he took aim and launched the football towards Roe & Sox. The ball hurtled at speed and hit Sox in his side. Although it didn't hurt him, he pulled in fear at the shock of what had happened. The lead snapped out of their walkers hand and bounced to the ground make a sharp "crack" sound as it hit the pavement.

That was enough to make Roe jump a little but for Sox, he was petrified and started to instinctively run. His pace turned from a run to a full sprint as he tried to get away from this horrible situation. Roe called out along with their walker " SOX, STOP, SOX STOP"

But he was already out of the park and sprinting away into the distance with his long lead bouncing along behind him, scaring him each time it hit the ground making him go faster and faster without looking back.

Roe pulled to try and keep up with him but before long he was out of sight heading to the fields from which they had just come from.

Sox's heart was pounding, how could he one minute be having a fabulous Christmas eve walk and now be running into the unknown all alone, scared and not daring to slow down as that banging noise was right behind him and keeping up with his pace.

After what seemed ages he slowed down and then found himself tangled in a bush, the long lead snagged on its branches, he frantically tried to keep going but got to the length of the lead and stopped, pulling with all his might but it was no good he had to stop. As he took in deep breathes filling his lungs with the cold air the late evening was bringing he started to calm down and think to himself " I need to get home"

By now Sox's owners were frantically out looking for him along with Roe and their walker and friends and family. They retraced the earlier walk and local parks and fields but had no sightings of their beloved dog, he was gone!

It was by now getting dark, Sox was still caught up and had decided to settle down until he could get himself free and work out his way home.

Suddenly he heard a noise coming down the path, a man was stumbling along, speaking and mumbling to himself in an angry manner. Sox lifted his head and nose and took in the scent of this person coming closer. He could smell the grumpy, boozy & sweaty man and tried to lay low but the man stopped and looked down at him with a startled look on his face, he strained his eyes to see what was on the ground as the darkness had set in making the branches of over hanging trees cast shadows that moved like creepy monsters lurking and dancing around.

He soon realised that it was a dog, and a good looking dog too, staring at Sox's handsome features and soft ears he had an idea. It was Christmas eve and he had spent most of it in the local pub - The drunk tank, so he hadn't spent any time shopping for Christmas presents and knew his family would suffer another Christmas with no presents or joy.

"Haha!" he chuckled to himself with a sinister cackle , "an easy present and free". So he untangled Sox's lead and started to drag him home. Sox dug his paws into the ground as much as he could to resist this nasty man from stealing him but the more he resisted the harder he was dragged. His paws stung from so much running and now the ground scraped his paws even more, so he gave up and walked reluctantly with this stranger to see what was next on this horrible adventure.

They arrived at a dark house, the huge wooden gate creaked open as the man tried to quietly sneak into his own house without waking up his family. He wanted to keep this mutt as a surprise for them as they got up on Christmas morning. It would stop his wife from moaning and telling him off for being at the pub all day and night and distract her and the kids from realising he hadn't bought anything again.

Sox was dragged into the kitchen of the unfamiliar house. The scary man who he could now see, staggered around the kitchen, clicking the kettle on to make a cup of tea. He wore a scruffy blue shirt that hadn't seen an iron in a while, his trousers baggy with scruffy muddy shoes. Sox knew he didn't want to be here and just wanted to get home.

The man unbuckled the harness and lead attached to Sox and took his little name tag used to inform people who and where he lived off and tossed it into his bin with a clang as it hit the bottom, hiding the evidence that this beautiful little beagle already had a loving home who were going frantic with worry as to where he was.

The man scowled at Sox and said " don't you make a sound" as he shuffled away going to his front room to sleep off the drink on the sofa.

Sox flopped to the cold kitchen floor, feeling the chill of the ground seeping through his fur onto his his skin making him shudder, exhausted and trapped he felt his body shake and as he battled to keep his eyes open he nodded off, dreaming of his home and owners enjoying Christmas with Roe his beloved doggie sister and the warmth he always feels there.

A tear slowly slid out of the corner of his eye and rolled down this face onto his long nose and faded into his fur. He sighed, a deep sigh that was full of despair.

He awoke some time later to a bump in the other room, he thought the man was coming back to him and felt fear, but as he put his nose into the air to read the situation, he breathed in a relaxing, joyful feeling, something he thought he had felt before, but only once a year...

Sox started to whine and wimper in the dark unfamiliar space, he thought to himself "Is this going to be my home for the rest of my life, I don't want it to be, I belong at home with my family and Roe."

He began to whimper louder which drew the attention of the person quietly bumping around somewhere in the house. The door to the kitchen creaked open, slowly it widened and he could see the outline of a large figure, it looked like he was wearing a red suit!

Sox felt a familiar feeling as he strained his eyes to see more, was it? no it couldn't be! was it ...Santa, Father Christmas!

suddenly Sox's mood lifted, maybe just maybe he would be rescued from this place, but how could he let Santa know he was stolen?

The door was now fully opened and Father Christmas was standing in the door frame, He was a very round man and took up the whole width of the gap, He had a lovely smile as the light from the hallway illuminated & lit him up from behind, his beard was as white as snow and a big red floppy hat sat on top of the long white flowing hair cascading to his shoulders.

Father Christmas gazed at Sox with a confused look on his face, "something isn't quite right here" he whispered to himself.

He crouched down low and went almost nose to nose with Sox and looked right into his eyes.

"Chief Elf" Santa whispered.

"Yes Santa" a small creature with a big smile came into view. he was about 3ft tall and was wearing a green outfit with red trimming, he carried a clip board and was half way through ticking off items on the list and looking through naughty and nice names.

"Is this little dog supposed to be here in this home?" Santa said in a low but happy and joyful note.

The elf hurriedly shuffled notes and lists on his large chunky clipboard, making him look even smaller as it eclipsed his body and he even flicked through the wish list too.

"Santa, I can't see anywhere on the Christmas lists where the children here have asked for a dog and I know this address doesn't own one, as we haven't left any doggie presents under the tree!"

Sox knew this was his chance to be rescued, so he jumped to his feet and ran to the bin, nudging it with his nose and knocking it over with a crash, the lid spinning off across the kitchen floor. The dog tag that had been thrown away came rolling out and landed at the feet of Santa. He scooped it up in his big chunky mitten covered hands and looked at the writing on it through his gold rimmed round glasses hanging on the end of his nose.

" Well, well well" he said. " I think I need to get you home you poor thing".

He scooped Sox up in his arms and cuddled him tightly, sending a reassuring wave of warmth through him. He felt himself smiling.

The crash had disturbed the house and Santa heard noises of excitement upstairs, he had already delivered the presents to the children here as they were on the nice list, and left a lump of coal for the dad as he had fallen onto the naughty list that very night.

"Santa, we need to go before..." the Chief Elf whispered.

"I know" Santa cut in, "We don't want to be discovered, let's keep the magic alive"

And with that, a cloud of gold dust swirled around the kitchen, the area around the cooker turned into a fireplace and Santa, the elf and Sox swept up it with a rush of wind and were gone.

They were sitting together on the sleigh when the Elf tapped Father Christmas on the shoulder. Santa turned to him.

" I have just seen a late request on the wish list Sir" he pointed to the clipboard and showed it to Santa.

John, Sox's owner had, in his despair called out and wished Sox would come home.

"Ho Ho Ho, we can fulfil this wish this very night" he joyfully shouted as the sleigh, pulled by dasher, dancer, prancer, comet, vixen, cupid, Donner & Blitzen his trusted reindeer lurched into the sky picking up speed as they went from house to house delivering Christmas presents to sleeping children and adults the world over.

Sox could hardly believe his eyes as he watched the world speed by him and Santa and his elf team work their socks off to bring joy over the world. Before this, he had been to the park, the woods and occasionally a holiday with his family, but now he was the most travelled dog in history! He opened his mouth and let the cold air and bits of snow swirl in his mouth, his ears flapped behind him with the speed of the sleigh and he just couldn't stop wagging his tail with excitement in the knowledge of being safe and getting home.

The nights adventure was drawing to a close but Father Christmas had one last place to go. He pulled the sleigh to the left as he sped over Paris in France and shouted "Colchester here we come, Ho Ho Ho!"

The reindeer flew in silently and landed in Hakewill drive, Colchester, pulling up outside a house which Sox knew all too well.

Santa scooped him up and tied a beautiful bow around Sox's neck and put a red with white trimming hat and dog coat on him. Then the magic came again and before Sox could blink he was in his front room and incredibly sleepy, as he nodded off he heard a loud "Ho,Ho,Ho" in the distance.

The sun came up at dawn and shone a bright light into the bedroom of Roe & Sox's house waking up their owners with a start, how could they have fallen asleep when their beloved Sox was missing. They and Roe got up quickly and had only one thing on their mind, getting dressed and going out searching on this cold Christmas morning for their beloved pet.

They went downstairs with sad faces and no Christmas joy, but as they opened the front room door they saw Sox curled up in a tight ball under the tree, dressed beautifully in a Christmas outfit. They all shouted with glee and jumped about with happiness as Sox opened his eyes.

He was home, was it all a dream? No he remembered every moment of the night. His tail wagged so fast and hard as he looked up at his family. He was home.

They all shouted as they danced around the room, "It's a Christmas miracle, the best present ever!"

After lots of love and treats, Sox lay on his back with his legs in the air, overjoyed at what had happened to him with his Father Christmas rescue. He had tried to tell his beagle sister Roe the whole story but he felt she didn't believe him, but was still mystified how he got home.

" I guess this little Santa secret stays with me" he thought to himself as he stretched, smiled and enjoyed his best Christmas ever.

ยฉPaulDungey

Sox the Christmas beagle

Merry Christmas to all my readers.

until next time...

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