Every Christmas we share one of our favorite memories and it always brings big smiles, laughs, and a few tears. In 1999 we packed up from Ohio and moved to Florida, just the two of us and our furry baby girl, Kiara Jordan. Just starting out in a new state, city, job, and no friends or family; the struggle was real! Money was tight but we just enjoyed each other, the sun, beach, and spoiling Kiara. When we had a couple extra bucks, we’d stroll to the Tacky Turtle and all 3 share some ice cream (yes, from the same spoon).

Come Christmas we didn’t even have a tree, but by some miracle the previous renter left a small one in the storage. We scrimped & saved to spoil Kiara for her very first Christmas treats, squeaky football, tennis balls, bones & plushies – after all she was our baby! She tore through the wrapping paper on each one, only stopping to check on the ones she had already opened to make sure they were still there, or decide which present she wanted more at that moment. Being our first Christmas in Florida we decided to go for a walk on the beach. It was a windy and chilly day, waves frothing and cresting, and like a Golden she ran in and out water, barking at the waves, until she came across something that just didn’t belong. After bowing & barking at it for 5 minutes she pulled it from the sand….an old, sea worthy Styrofoam buoy with coarse, barnacled rope. She took it and pranced and pranced down the beach, so proud of her new “toy!”

With all the gifts we lavished on our beautiful pup, she chose the buoy! 🙂 Dog lesson learned, be happy with what you have, enjoy the moment and have a Merry Christmas!

Chris Pike
Dir of Marketing & Promotions
National Canine Cancer Foundation