Ridge pooches pose for pics with Santa and raise funds for charity

Ridge pooches pose for pics with Santa and raise funds for charity
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

Who’s a good boy?

Ridgites walked their dogs to Vinny’s Pet Shop on Saturday for a photo shoot with Santa himself just a week before he makes his world chimney tour. The pet shop owner-turned-photographer who snapped the pictures at the event said that some of the 15 dogs who showed up were particularly photogenic.

“Some dogs really stood out more than others,” said Winston Casalinuevo. “If they sit still at the right moment and you get them looking at Santa or looking at the camera, it’s perfect.”

One Ridgite who attended with his wife and pooch said that their dog surprised them with how camera-ready he was.

“He was very well-behaved,” said Marc Regan of his two-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback, Enzo. “He sat down and stared at the camera for twenty seconds. What else could you ask for, right?”

Casalinuevo has owned the long-standing pet shop since this past October, he said, but Vinny’s Pet Shop itself has been around for more than 40 years. The shop’s previous owners first arranged the sit-down with Santa a few years ago, and began a tradition of asking pooch owners to donate $10 for their photo to raise money for the Brooklyn Animal Action Rescue Center. This year, the visitors raised $170, and the shop owners matched the donations, bringing the grand total to $340.

Regan said that the pictures, dog treats, and store coupons from Santa kept his pooch happy, but that he and his wife, Camille, have attended for the past two years to support the worthy cause.

“It’s very nice what they do. We feel it’s a great cause, and that’s why we go every year,” he said. “And the pictures came out great.”

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.