Dear Santa

I missed seeing you this year. You usually appear here in Kodiak, Alaska, to help the Kodiak Animal Shelter raise money with their annual Santa Paws event. Do you remember me? I’m a small, fluffy white dog named Pepper Jack. I probably licked you on your face, as I like to lollipop humans. It almost reminds me of the taste of a candy cane (don’t tell my humans that I’ve gobbled up candy cane crumbs off the floor). 

A lot has happened since I last talked to you at Santa Paws. I asked for a playmate after my friend Gizmo went to doggie heaven, and you delivered. My only complaint is that the dog that has joined me in the animal palace is too active for me. He is relentless, always wanting to wrestle and all I want to do is relax on laps. He does not deserve a treat in his stocking, and he has way too many toys. Please talk to him about settling down. I’m not a sumo dog. 

My mom had a rough weekend. She cried a lot. The older ferret wasn’t moving much. She held the ferret, which the humans called Luna, in a sweatshirt for hours. I tried to comfort her, but she was focused on the little critter that used to chase me around the house. Now, she was lifeless. I don’t know where Luna went, but she is no longer in the cage. Only the fat ferret is left. I know it would make my mom extremely happy if you brought her another ferret. Otis also needs a friend. Could you make this happen, Santa?

My dad walks us a lot. It doesn’t matter what the conditions are outside. He makes us stretch our legs. I don’t mind when it is sunny out, but I don’t particularly appreciate getting my paws wet. It is embarrassing when he dresses me in a raincoat. I forgive him. When mom is not looking, he feeds me tasty human food. Chips are so much better than the kibble that is on my dog plate. Could you bring my dad cookies? He really likes cookies and is a messy eater. I lick the crumbs off his shirt. 

I’ve noticed throughout the year that the humans have been home more than normal. Thanks for keeping them home. 

The cat has been decent. I have no beef with her. She sleeps a lot and hangs out on window seals. However, I have noticed she likes to pretend to be the Abominable Snow Cat and destroy the small city the humans set up in the corner of the apartment. Please bring her a golf ball to play with. 

I almost forgot, I’ve been good this year and deserve lots of gifts. I’ve become fond of rabbits, so a pet rabbit would be nice. I promise not to eat the poop. Mom yells at me when I try. 

Santa, do you own a dog? I hope so. Please visit all the dogs of Kodiak. Take care. I will write to you next year. Merry Christmas!!

Love, Pepper Jack

P.S. My dad asked me to give you his NFL picks for Week 16. 

MINNESOTA (6-8) at 


A Christmas game. Gotta love it. Drew Brees returned last week after missing four games because of 11 fractured ribs. He looked rusty and lost to the Chiefs. The Saints will end the Vikings’ chances at the playoffs … Saints 41, Vikings 28. 



Pittsburgh’s offense is broken. With the Colts and Browns left on the schedule, the Steelers could limp into the playoffs with five straight losses after beginning with 11 straight wins. Old man Phillip Rivers has the Colts at the No. 6 seed right now … Colts 28, Steelers 21

LOS ANGELES (9-5) at 

SEATTLE (10-4)

Seattle is headed back to the playoffs. Under Pete Carroll, Seattle has reached the playoffs in nine of the past 11 seasons. Thanks to the Jets, Seattle has a game lead over the Rams and could clinch the NFC West title on Sunday … Seahawks 24, Rams 17.

PHILADELPHIA (4-9-1) at 

DALLAS (5-9)

Both nine-loss teams still have a pulse in the NFC East. This game winner stays alive for a playoff berth, but would still trail Washington in the standings … Cowboys 36, Eagles 34. 

TENNESSEE (10-4) at 

GREEN BAY (11-3)

The game of the week takes place Sunday night in Green Bay. How many Packers can Derrick Henry stiff arm? Could this be a Super Bowl preview? Who knows, but it will be fun to watch … Packers 28, Titans 27. 

Other games:

Buccaneers 30, Lions 17

Cardinals 27, 49ers 10

Dolphins 24, Raiders 14

Chiefs 38, Falcons 18

Bears 41, Jaguars 13

Texans 32, Bengals 28

Browns 42, Jets 13

Ravens 34, Giants 19

Chargers 29, Broncos 20

Football Team 17, Panthers 14

Bills 36, Patriots 13

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