Dog Days of Christmas

Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a pet all dressed up in a Santa suit… or better yet, a gigantic pair of antlers!  Why– WHY do people do this to their best friend?




To be clear, I’m not trying to bully or shame anyone out of putting a picture of their pet on a Christmas card.  A lot of them are adorable, but I think we can all agree that SOMETIMES… owners miss the mark!  Since there’s no playbook for choosing the right photo, I thought I’d come up with a few friendly “rules of thumb” that might help the selection process run more smoothly this year.


Rule #1:  Refrain from using photos in which your animals look paralyzed by fear


There’s no shortage of these pics floating around on the internet, so we’ll just use this one as an example.  If the lights on the Christmas tree make your cat look like he or she could use a big dose of Prozac… I’d probably shy away from going with that one.  People generally find it unsettling to receive a holiday card with a “terror” theme.

Let’s face it- the holidays can generate a lot of stress and anxiety.  Why exacerbate the situation by having your friends and family plaster this on their fridge for a month?

Rule #2:  Think about what your pet seems to be saying with their eyes



I’m no dog whisperer, but what I see here is a combination of suspicion and suppressed rage.  It’s as if the dog is thinking…

“What’s the postman going to say when this gets out?  I’m not a festive dog!  I don’t DO cardigans or big, fancy collars.  At least I successfully destroyed that ridiculous beard they were trying to strap onto my head.  Why does this photographer keep calling me ‘little guy’.  These jaws are strong, my friend!”



Don’t even get me started with this cat OR the creepy guy behind him.  Let’s just say- if you wind up brutally murdered after the holidays- investigators will likely consider this a strong lead in your case.

At least the picture will allow members of the public to help with the search for your killers.  Think “wanted poster”.

Seriously, who needs all this negative energy swirling around, so close to Christmas?

 #3- Use pictures that don’t leave the audience wondering whether your pet is dead or alive.



Out of concern, I reached out to some local taxidermists about this particular animal.  No one remembers “working” with him, so we’ll assume the dog is alive.

I think it’s ALSO safe to ASSUME that this dog had to be heavily sedated before agreeing to wear a pair of oversized antlers and be photographed.  Not cool!


If you’re hell-bent on going with a sleeping shot… try something like this!



Obviously, it’s photo-shopped, but what picture isn’t, these days?  Families are now aging in reverse, with each passing year.  If the cards I receive don’t have names printed on them, I can barely tell who they’re from.

#4- Try not to use pictures that feature your pet doing something unnatural



Dogs pant.  It’s perfectly normal!

Cats don’t!  It’s a sign of distress… a CRY FOR HELP, that happens as they’re teetering on the brink of a nervous breakdown.  Let’s just leave it at that!




#5- Lastly, I would be very cautious of sending out photos that make your pet look like hostages or members of a cult                                                     





If you’re looking for an idea that will REALLY get people’s attention this year… go with funny.   That’s always in style!  

Merry Christmas!


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