PORTLAND, Maine — When Sean Kirby tucked his 6-year-old son, Cameron, and new 2-month-old puppy, Rosie, into bed Christmas night the boy said, “Dad, I sure hope this isn’t a dream.”
Sean Kirby assured his son that the dog Santa’s “elves” had delivered early in the day was a member of the family.
Rosie, a shepherd mix, was one of 65 dogs, 35 puppies and 30 adults, adopted from the Coastal Humane Society in Brunswick Dec. 19. The dogs came from a shelter in the Atlanta, Georgia, area, according to Jane Siviski, the marketing director at the Coastal Humane Society.
It was the second year the Brunswick shelter offered Christmas Day delivery.
Sean Kirby said Saturday he and his wife, Barbara, decided this was the year to get a dog. When he learned the Brunswick shelter had puppies and would make Christmas Day deliveries, he was determined to be one of the first in line when it opened at noon the Saturday before Christmas.
“I got up at 4 a.m. and drove up there and hung out in the parking lot in my truck,” he said. “I wasn’t the first one there but I was one of the first 10, so I got a puppy.”
Volunteers dressed as elves Friday delivered puppies and kittens, in most cases, to excited children who had been told Christmas morning that Santa Claus had arranged a special delivery for them.
“[Cameron] knew something special was coming,” Sean Kirby said Saturday. “There was a lot of speculation but none of it was right. When they got there, he ran outside and saw the elf before he figured out she had a puppy in her arms. He’s ecstatic.”
Caitlin Ruthman’s 7-year-old daughter, May, put “kitten” on her Christmas wish list. A 3-month-old gray kitten with a white belly and paws arrived about 10 a.m., Ruthman said Saturday.
“We had an adult cat before we had children but it passed about a year and a half ago, so they’ve never had a kitten,” Ruthman of Yarmouth said.
Her daughter named the kitten JoJo. Kitten was not on her 10-year-old son Walter’s list, but he is happy, too.
“When they arrived, it was like a Christmas dream come true,” Ruthman said. “He’s already part of the family.”