The awe of nature or the snuggle of a warm snout or cute paw give us a fill of joy that we're looking for around this time of the year. For those of us without pets, there are lots of fur fixes around the county.
We started getting our fill in Julian, where petting and feeding grass to beautiful white horses started our holidays off with greeting-card nostalgia. When not grazing or getting the attention of passersby, the horses pull the funeral cart through town to the cemetery. They were grazing below the cemetery.
While driving through Cuyamaca Ranch State Park we saw (but couldn't pet) six deer grazing in a meadow. None of them had a red shiny nose, but it was close enough.
Our next fur fix came from the Balboa Library on Mt. Abernathy Avenue in Clairemont. On the second and fourth Tuesday of the month they host "Pause for Paws,” a program where kids can read or just sit with a furry buddy from the Central San Diego chapter of Love on a Leash. They bring in certified therapy dogs such as Dexter, a beautiful Samoyed, and other lovable canines to the library for about an hour. My daughter Mary had a marvelous time, hugging, petting, and talking to these gentle animals.
On last Sunday, December 15, we had an animal reminder of the first Christmas. The Posada, at Old Town, is a reenactment of the night Jesus Christ was born, when his parents were looking for a place to stay in Bethlehem and found nothing but a stable with a donkey, a cow, and a manger it.
Around the plaza, Mary rode a donkey led by her husband, Joseph. He would call out to acting innkeepers and ask for posada, or lodging. Eight innkeepers said they had no vacancy; the ninth had room in the stable.
It was a beautiful scene, but what fascinated most kids and animal-loving adults like me was the donkey! He was so peaceful and yet seemed to take ￼￼￼￼his job seriously. I must sound like a nut, but the look in his gentle big eyes transported me to the humble times 2013 years ago, when it all began.
Our fur fix continued as we walked around the plaza that same night, watching many pet owners out with their furry loved ones, many dressed in holiday sweaters.
Sonia and Sunshine posed for a picture when we just couldn't get enough of Sunshine's cuteness.
I was almost in trouble the next day when Animal Rescuers without Borders and a group that rescues German Shepherds had a pet-adoption event at Clairemont Square. I wasn't the only one — there were several of us gushing over puppies and working out how we might have to explain to our families that we have a new dog.
Luckily, I stayed long enough for my daughter to complete her fur fix for the week and be able to move on without taking one home — this time!
(rev. 12/22, 12:05 p.m.)