| 13.7°C Dublin

Santa Paws Irish pets can visit virtual Santa grotto on new website

After a ruff year, our four-legged friends can enjoy a virtual meet-and-greet with Saint Nick for their Yuletide doggie treat

Close

Dog lovers can give their dogs a festive treat with a one-on-one virtual meeting with Santa

Dog lovers can give their dogs a festive treat with a one-on-one virtual meeting with Santa

Dog lovers can give their dogs a festive treat with a one-on-one virtual meeting with Santa

Santa Paws is on his way - and now even the furriest member of the family is on the nice list after a ruff year.

A new Irish website is giving pets across the land the chance to visit the man in the red suit before he sets off around the world on December 24.

And Holly and Belle were first in line to request a new iBone for Christmas when the virtual grrr-otto launched this week on SantaOnline.ie.

"I'm getting lots of requests from all over Ireland to please look after all the lovely little dogs that have kept people company during lockdown," says Santa. "So I'm making sure that they all get a very special little present of their own this year.

"I have earmarked a lot of little presents, like small chew toys and leads, for my four-legged friends.

"I know how important pets are for everybody around the whole of Ireland - especially this year."

Close

Santa has been given the green light to fly in Irish air space

Santa has been given the green light to fly in Irish air space

Santa has been given the green light to fly in Irish air space

For €30, good boys and girls can get up close and pawsonal with Santa in the North Pole by Zoom. And pet owners nationwide have been daschund through the snow to sign their best pal up to the service, which also includes a special dog gift delivered by post and a digital recording of the magical visit.

"I have been very, very, very busy," says Santa, who also goes by the name Stephen Doran when he's back in Dublin. "But I love doing it. It's the whole Christmas spirit, particularly this year, when things were bad.

"All the boys and girls, even the mammies and daddies and the family pet, can meet Santa online and we can talk about all their hopes and dreams. Even the little doggies might have something that they wish for.

"I notice this year I'm getting lots of requests for new leads!"

Canine-out-of-ten pet owners plan to buy their faithful companion a Christmas present this year, according to research, with a treat-tossing Furbo dog camera (€259), Fi smart dog collar (€125) and an Embark dog DNA kit (€108) just some of the most chased-down gifts.

But rescue dogs Belle (seven) and Holly (13) told Santa how they'd just woof a fluffy new bed to Petflix and chill on this festive season after non-stop walkies all year.

Close

Holly keeping her eye on Santa

Holly keeping her eye on Santa

Holly keeping her eye on Santa

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"I don't think they could be on the naughty list," say Santa. "They look too nice.

"It's been a tough year due to Covid - that's why I wanted to make sure I had something extra in my stocking for all the pets that have been keeping people company by the fire.

"You might even find something nice in your stocking for taking Belle and Holly on all those extra-long walks!"

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney this week clarified that Santa is free to enter Irish airspace on December 24 under essential travel rules.

"It's important to say to all children in the country that we regard Santa Claus' travels as essential travel for essential purposes," he told the Dáil on Friday.

"Therefore, he is exempt from the need to self-quarantine for 14 days, and should be able to come in and out of Irish airspace, and indeed in and out of Irish homes, without having to restrict his movements."

Speaking to the Sunday World ahead of his round-the-world trip, Santa vowed to adhere to elf and safety guidelines in homes around the country.

"The Irish Government have given me free rein to fly over Ireland at 10pm on Christmas Eve," he explains. "So it's very important that all the boys and girls are in bed and sound asleep by 10pm on Christmas Eve, because that's when I'll be dropping in.

Precautions

"I want to make sure that the little girls and boys don't fret because I will be taking lots of precautions. I will be wearing an extra special magic mask and gloves coming down the chimney or into the house by magic - and the elves will as well.

"If they want, they could leave a little cookie and maybe some hand sanitiser out for me as well."

Close

Belle having a cheeky yawn

Belle having a cheeky yawn

Belle having a cheeky yawn

Priced from €15 per child, boys and girls can also sit down with St Nick between now and December 23 on SantaOnline.ie, with €1 from every booking made on the site going to LauraLynn children's hospice.

Meanwhile, he urged jingle Belle and Holly to be on their best behaviour when Rudolph swings by later this month.

"You have to keep our hooved friends away from our four-legged friends," warns Santa.

"Particularly those little guys, the Jack Russell terriers, and all the small little snappy ones, in case they go out and nip the reindeer on the back of the legs. Poor Rudolph would give them an almighty kick."

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Sunday World


Privacy