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Santa reads all his letters

By Rita Van Fleet

Elsa had only one—maybe two—wishes for Christmas
Photo by Bonnie Plikaytis


Santa tries very hard to bring gifts to everyone who asks, especially if she sends him a letter. Like the feisty pit mix that was found in the woods last October with her three pups that were only a few months old.

Imagine a young pup, only 15 months old herself, abandoned in the woods with little ones to feed and defend. She provided for them as best she could, using her remarkable sense of smell to hunt food for them all. She was hungry most of the time and scared too, but she was brave and bold and up to the challenge. When the strangers caught her pups, she wouldn’t leave them. The men, though, were kind and took them all to a warm place and gave them lots of good food. She heard the name of the place was BCAR and they gave her a name: Elsa.

A trip to the vet made her feel a lot better and insured there wouldn’t be any more pups, which was okay with her. She was very tired and needed to rest. She needed to put on some weight, too. Most of what she could find, she had fed to the pups.

Elsa watched everything. Strangers visited and took the other dogs away. She heard that they were going home with their furever families who would love and care for them, but no one took her or her pups home. Then one day her boy Bandit got the call. A family wanted him. She was happy Bandit would be settled, but the two girls were without families.

When she heard a child who was visiting talk about writing a letter to Santa who would give her everything she asked for, Elsa decided to write a letter to Santa also. She knew just what she wanted. She dictated her letter to one of the BCAR volunteers.

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is a home for my pups. The boy is spoken for, but my girls need good families. They’re about 20 weeks old and weigh around 30 pounds. Both are on a leash and learning their commands. My Sydney is a wiggling buddle of energy and SO smart. Dakota is the sweetest of my litter and loves to cuddle with our BCAR family.

Elsa sighed, satisfied with the letter. She paused. She wondered if Santa might be very generous, so she added a final note.

BTW, if you happen to know a family looking for a more mature addition to their family, I’m available. Although my lineage is uncertain, I’m very friendly, in good health, and have been spayed.

 Prospective families can visit us every Saturday from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Big Canoe Animal Rescue across from the recycle facility at the North Gate. For info about adoptions see    

 Hopefully yours, Elsa

Elsa was very happy when Sydney and Dakota soon found fine homes and loving families, but she spent Christmas at BCAR alone.


It’s a happily-ever-after for Elsa and her furever family

Elsa’s fate? In her heart, she’d chosen “the one” soon after her arrival at BCAR and had waited patiently for the BCAR volunteer to accept they were meant to be together. In April, Bonnie, the volunteer who took the dogs to their families, put Elsa in the car and drove her away from BCAR. As they turned into a driveway, Elsa saw who awaited her. With her tail wagging fiercely and her heart filled with joy, she jumped out of the car and ran into the arms of her “one.” Elza finally had her happily-ever-after with her furever family in her furever home.

The ASPCA estimates that 6,500,000 animals enter shelters every year. Approximately 3,200,000 are adopted and 710,000 are returned to their owners. Sadly, about 1,500,000 shelter animals are euthanized each year. Fortunately for Elsa, BCAR is a no-kill shelter operated entirely by volunteers, but it’s very expensive to operate a shelter. Contributions are always welcome at BCAR and the local shelters.

Pet ownership is a huge responsibility and should not be undertaken lightly. Rather than buy a pet at a store, consider adopting an animal from a shelter. If adoption is not an option, consider donating to a shelter or shopping at the county resale shops. Local shelters include:

BCAR - 7506 Wilderness Parkway Big Canoe, Ga, 30143; 706-268-1346;

Dawson County Humane Society & Animal Shelter - 633 Martin Rd, Dawsonville, Ga 30534; 706-265-9160;

Pickens Animal Rescue - 401 Old Whitestone Rd W.  Talking Rock, GA 30175;  

706-692-2772;;   Donations/Memorials: P. O. Box 45 Jasper GA 30143


Pickens County Animal Shelter - 3563 Camp Road Jasper, Ga 30143; 706-253-8983;

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