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9781101988589By Krista Davis

NOT A CREATURE blog 2_photo2Wagtail, Virginia is all about dogs, cats, and the people who love them. Our furry friends are welcome in the restaurants and lodging, and local stores and services cater to them. It’s also the place to shop for cats and dogs.

This year, there’s a German style Christmas market on the green. People can browse for ornaments that resemble their dogs and cats, as well as clothes, toys, and Christmas cookies just for them. The Sugar Maple Inn has a booth, but Holly Miller gets a little bit worried when a customer tells her that Thackleberry brand animal outfits are making dogs and cats itch and lose their fur. Her Jack Russell Terrier isn’t showing any signs of discomfort even though she’s been wearing an elf outfit every night.  But when the President of the company is murdered, Holly has to wonder whether the killer is an angry customer or a member of his curious family.

Speaking of shopping, I am a self-confessed Santa Paws. Are you? Answer these true and false questions to find out.

  1. Your cat or dog isn’t interested in toys but you buy new ones every holiday anyway.
  2. Your cat or dog has his own Christmas stocking.
  3. You just have to buy cat and dog treats when they’re in cute holiday packaging.
  4. Your cat or dog always gets a special holiday present, like a new bed or collar.
  5. Your cats and dogs wear special holiday collars.
  6. Your cat or dog has Christmas-themed clothes.
  7. You bake Christmas cookies that are for your dog or cat.
  8. Your dog or cat has an ornament that looks like him or has his name on it.

If you answered true to four or more of the questions, you are a certifiable Santa Paws!

If you answered true to one, two, or three of the questions you are well on your way to being a Santa Paws.

If you answered false to all eight questions—do you have a dog or a cat?

NOT A CREATURE blog2_Sunny in Christmas tree 5