A doggy daycare in Charlevoix, Michigan, took an adorable photo featuring some of its favorite regulars in a fluffy adaptation of the nativity scene.
M Chris Leese, co-founder and owner of the residential farm-based daycare, said the inspiration of the photo came from a friend who sent her a picture of two dogs and a puppy dressed to look like Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.
She responded to that photo thinking, “I can do that all day long!”
Leese and her husband, Alan, started Little Farm Days about a year ago.
After moving out, their children encouraged them to consider opening a small daycare on the property because of Alan’s love of dogs. But the idea didn’t really come to fruition until a family friend reached out and asked for help with raising a puppy.
The family friend is a local pharmacist and even though she loved dogs and wanted one of her own, she knew that her 12-hour work days would not be fair to a pup.
Leese happily agreed to help the family friend out, so she built fencing around the four acres surrounding the farm. She soon realized she could begin taking in even more canine friends — and that’s how Little Farm Days got its soft start.
Every dog that comes to the farm has to be fully vetted and must pass a temperament test, but once they do, their owners can rest easy knowing that their furry friend won’t be kenneled, will get to play outside for the majority of the day, and is being cared for by loving people.
After seeing the picture of the doggy version of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, Leese knew that some of her regulars would be able to pull off an even better version of the full nativity scene.
The amount of thought that went into the photoshoot is extremely impressive and shows off Leese’s photographic talent.
Knowing that she wanted to include her own golden retriever, Bella, she had found the “golden couple” to pose as Mary and Joseph when one of her clients brought his big golden retriever to the farm one day.
She called another family who owned Scoutie, the beautiful tri-colored Australian Shepard on the left side of the photo, and told them of her plans to recreate the holy scene. She then called a family who owned a Rottweiler — a dog also bred to herd sheep — so she could have two shepherds.
The only element Leese was missing was the three wise men, but once she thought of the two doodles who regularly stay at the Farm, she knew she could call in one more doodle to make the “three wise doodles.”
After collecting all of the other elements like the barn logo, star and stuffed animals, the biggest and perhaps most fun hurdle was to get the dogs to cooperate.
They got a few hilarious outtake shots in the process.
But eventually all of the dogs behaved and they were able to capture the most precious recreation of the influential scene.
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This happened… although it wasn’t as simple as I had envisioned…I am still glad we tried. God bless you and yours this holiday season! #merrychristmas #littlefarmdays #dogdaycare #Charlevoix #cagefree #dogboarding #rot #aussie #goldenretriever #goldensofinstagram #labradoodle #goldendoodle #bordoodle
“Dogs touch the heart of a person, and when you add those big brown eyes to a scene that means a lot, it’s doubly good,” Leese told Liftable.
The reaction to the photo since has been overwhelmingly positive — so much so that Leese is already planning a second holiday photo that features a beloved green, grisly character — The Grinch.
She said, “Little Farm Days have been the happiest ‘work’ days of our lives and we are so glad to share the joy of it with others.”
“Beginning our Little Farm Days journey one year ago, I’ve learned so much about how important it is for people to have a loving friend to come home to. It lifts their spirit,” Leese said. “That same dog makes me so happy when it charges in to kiss me and is so excited to be back at the Farm. I adore each one of them and have so many goals to make this the happiest doggie retreat possible.”
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