Every December, I post the immortal Beverly and Fred Christmas photo for my Facebook friends. It’s a perfect snapshot taken almost 20 years ago, featuring our two basset hounds along with a patient, sweaty Santa Claus hired by the Humane Society.

A 70-pound lap dog, Beverly was only too happy to clamber into a costumed stranger’s lap, while an indignant Fred needed to be restrained from bolting. Even so, he was a photogenic rascal and the picture turned out perfectly in one take — a small Christmas miracle.

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