Surely you remember taking holiday photos with mall Santas as a child. Well, on Dec. 7, Assembly Row and SOMDog teamed up to do just that – except with dogs. Let me introduce you to Santa Paws.
Taking place at the Orvis Outlet at Assembly Row, dog owners were invited to bring their four-legged friends to get their pictures taken with Santa. With trainers and holiday outfits strategically placed, owners and their pets got a chance to walk through the store before queueing up for Santa.
For those uninitiated, Assembly Row is a new neighborhood that opened up in Somerville this past summer. It’s the home to the Legoland Discovery Center, an AMC theater and tons of outlet stores. And while Assembly Row has held pet events in past (they’re the people who made Pet Palooza a thing), this is the first year for Santa Paws.
“It’s our first holiday season at Assembly Row, it’s kind of like our first Christmas. So we wanted to bring in some elements that were beyond just the shopping,” said Sarah Campbell of Assembly Row. “We wanted to bring in some element of ‘pictures with Santa,’ but, we’re not an indoor mall, so having a Santa sitting here would be a little odd for us. So we decided, how fun would it be if we could do pictures with pups.”
Teaming up with SOMDog came naturally, according to Campbell (Assembly Row has previously partnered with SOMDog for August’s Pet Palooza). SOMDog is a non-profit, Somerville-based organization that’s focused on responsible dog ownership. Starting in 2004, SOMDog has been instrumental to some of the biggest improvements to city dog owners, such as the implementation of dog parks in Somerville.
“We serve the Greater Boston area for dog owners and responsible dog ownership. So we partner with a lot of responsible businesses and organizations in the city, and we bring events to people so that they end up developing, maybe, a little bit more of a bond or relationship with their dog,” said Brian Davis, President of SOMDog. “We try to be a resource and a fun group for owners to get together in the community and do fun things like Santa Paws.”
The Santa Paws event saw a steady line of dogs coming through to get their pictures taken. The photos were sold at $10 for an electronic copy and $20 for a print. A portion of the proceeds from Santa Paws were donated to SOMDog.