Rondo, ready to make the trip, waiting to be loaded
up with his kit and the bag of presents.
The elves did their job.
Santa did his job.
But the last bit has depended upon UPS, FedEx and USPS.
Deep in the frozen forest, made treacherous by the snow and ice in the trees, a little girl named Ellen was unreachable.
Rudolph and the other reindeer bowed out. There was no chimney, not even a proper roof, because Ellen lived with her family in a hut amidst the trees.
Santa was distressed. Ellen had been very good and Santa Claus was eager to get her presents to her. She was down to get two books by Hilda van Stockum from Boissevain Books. How was he going to do this?
Finally, Santa had an idea. Would Rondo be willing to try to get through to her? Rondo had done this before.
Since he had received treats the last time, Rondo was agreeable to try again. Santa made sure that Rondo was signed up for health insurance and outfitted Rondo appropriately. Rudolf took Rondo as far as he could go. Rondo jumped off Rudolph's back and promised to get back as fast as he could.
He followed the map that Santa gave him until he could smell the cider cooking. Soon he was at the door. Ellen was so happy to get the presents! Rondo was given a bowl of cider, some extra treats and a lot of attention. Then he headed back to Rudolph.
When they got back, Santa beamed. Rondo got an extra treat every one of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Rondo was a hero, and someone suggested him for the next Hero Dog book. But as usual Rondo deflected all the attention to the elves and Rudolph. He said:
Thanks, but all this fuss over me is wrong. I was just doing my "Australian duty". The elves work all year getting the toys ready. They should get the recognition. And really, Rudolph did most of the distance. I just took care of the last little bit, and I consider it an honor. Thank you so much. Merry Christmas!Spoken like a true Hero Dog.
P.S. This is not Rondo's first act of heroism. Here is another one: http://nyctimetraveler.blogspot.com/2013/05/hero-dog-rondo-proof-for-existence-of.html