Many kilometers away, among huge icebergs in the midst of the wild snow flurry, a tall man with heavy boots trudged through the snow. His long red coat blew in the icy wind, icicles had formed in his bushy beard. But who was it who was struggling through the deserted winter landscape of the North Pole at these temperatures? It could only be one: Santa Claus. His arduous journey was soon to come to an end. A few huts, decorated with a thousand colorful lights and smoking chimneys, became visible in the distance. Santa's town lay as isolated in the Arctic landscape as an oasis in the desert, or a desert island in the Mediterranean. Fir trees as tall as houses hid the little Christmas village from prying eyes. For some years now, it was not only inquisitive researchers who were drawn to the almost deserted North Pole, but also huge cruise ships, with tourists on board. Once, on his way to the water, Santa Claus almost walked straight into a group of passengers who were studying the tracks of a seal. Fortunately, his head was so full of snow and frost that the excited people mistook him for a walking polar bear. Not only had it become harder to keep the secrets of Christmas, this year misfortune had befallen the residents and hard-working workers of Christmas Town. And just a week before Christmas. Part of Santa's reindeer - Thunder, Dasher, Dancer and Blitzen - always traveled to the distant cities of man just before Christmas to get an overview for Christmas Eve. The route had to be newly and meticulously planned every year due to urban changes. But on the way home of the reindeer then the shock - Blitzen complained of dry cough - he had been infected with the Corona virus of the people. So it happened that the four reindeer, who had been traveling together, had to go directly into quarantine and could not pull Santa's sleigh with the others on Christmas Eve.
Hope from the envelope
Desperate and worried that he would have to disappoint the many children's hearts waiting for their gifts, Santa Claus had gone out into the blizzard to look for support for the remaining five reindeer and substitutes for Donner, Dasher, Dancer and Blitzen. Unfortunately, to no avail. The polar bears had enough of their own to worry about this year. The snow hares were afraid of humans, having once seen a fur collar on a tourist's jacket that looked remarkably similar to their fur. The musk oxen were too heavy and would scare people with their noise. So now, while Santa was trudging through the snow, stressed and frustrated at his failure, he was straining to think of a way to save the people's Christmas after all. Finally he had reached the village and his hut, dropped into his favorite chair right by the fireplace and warmed his icy feet. Lost in thought, he opened the last wish lists that had reached him. Suddenly a small picture fell out of one of the envelopes, it was a little boy with bright blue eyes on it, hugging a big black dog. On the back was written in childish script, "I would like a new collar for my best four-legged friend, Rufus." Then the scales fell from Santa's eyes: how often had he, on his descents into the chimneys of this world, met the most amazing dogs. They were not only clever, sensitive and courageous, but also had sensitive ears and fine noses with which they could orient themselves, perceive other animals and even feelings. Besides, Santa Claus knew one thing for sure: dogs loved people! They would not leave him hanging. Especially since the Corona virus didn't seem to be able to harm them. Since Santa Claus knew that an infinite number of lonely dogs were just waiting for a chance like this, he started his search in the animal shelters of this world.
Santa Claus and his new companions
High in the north, in a small animal shelter in Reykjavik, Santa Claus soon found what he was looking for. He recognized a loyal and clever companion in the large Eurasier mix Anuk. She was alert and had a strong body, ideal for pulling the heavy sleigh. Santa felt that she was special. Satisfied, he traveled with Anuk to Sweden to search for more dogs. An animal shelter in Gothenburg brought Erik, a somewhat aging male mixed breed, into Santa's life. Erik's life experience and level-headed nature would prove incredibly important to the togetherness of the sled team. Just several hundred miles away, in Tønder, Denmark, Santa Claus adopted Otto, a husky mix. A young, agile, nimble fellow, with turquoise blue alert eyes. He was bursting with energy and couldn't wait to get on with his new big job.
Now only one dog was missing as a reindeer substitute to save Christmas. In the north of Germany, in an animal shelter in beautiful Hamburg, Santa Claus found the Golden Retriever William. He had been at the shelter for some time. He had been given as a puppy for Christmas 5 years ago. In the beginning he had brought great joy to his family, but the bigger he got, the more overwhelmed they felt with him. They left him at the shelter without looking back. They did not see in him what Santa now recognized through the bars deep in William's beady eyes: A heart of gold, unconditional love and unwavering loyalty. The two had sought and found each other. With his four new companions, Santa hurriedly returned to the North Pole, for there was still so much to do.
The Christmas adventure begins
After the remaining reindeer Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid and Rudolph had given the newcomers to the North Pole a sled-pulling crash course, all the animals were not only perfectly prepared but had also become a great team. Anuk, Erik, Otto and William enjoyed the playtime and petting from the villagers. For the first time in a long time, they felt needed, loved and valued. They had become part of a large caring family and were allowed to experience for the first time how wonderful the Christmas season could be in the company of their loved ones. Their upcoming task of pulling Santa's sleigh over the clouds, mountains and valleys was taken very seriously by the four dogs, despite their new happiness.
On the morning of December 24, Santa harnessed his nine draft animals in front of the packed sleigh - he had equipped the reindeer with FFP2 masks. Santa Claus put his head back and gave the starting signal, "Ho Ho Ho!" The animals began to run, the sleigh started moving briskly, and together they headed out into the wide world. They managed to distribute all the gifts under people's colorfully decorated Christmas trees just in time for the holiday. Santa and his animal companions proved once again how important cohesion and solidarity are, especially in times of crisis. Without William and his friends, their magnanimity and intrepidity, there would have been no real Christmas this year. The rescued became saviors. The outcasts became heroes. And it filled them with pride to also do a service to the people who had treated them badly, forgotten them, abandoned them or left them at the shelter - because William and his friends knew: Christmas is not just about presents, get-togethers and delicious food, but rather about forgiveness and charity.
In this spirit, the William Walker Team wishes you a Merry, Healthy and Blessed Christmas!
By Louisa Knoll