WISCASSET — Fritz the Reindeer Dog will make an encore appearance during the Kids-Only Shop, sponsored by the Friends of the Wiscasset Public Library, held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9.

The story of how this dog made his way into the arms of Wiscasset children is a proper tale for the season of giving and loving, according to a news release from the library.

While Fritz may be one of the best-known and beloved dogs in the Wiscasset area, his life was not always so rosy. His current owners, Herb and Loretta Leighton, of Wiscasset, learned of his awful plight online and drove for hours to save him from a bleak and brutal existence.

On the way home, the Leightons stopped at a pet store to buy supplies. “Under the lights of the store, we could see the source of his limp, as his nails appeared to have never been trimmed and were broken, and poking into the pads of his feet. The (shop’s) groomers agreed to trim his sore feet. The difference was amazing. He was able to walk out of the store free from pain,” said the Leightons, according to the release.

This was only the beginning of Fritz’ new life. The Leightons could sense that he was overwhelmed and scared so they took turns sleeping beside him on the floor. He ate rapidly and warily. And they took him to be groomed. That’s the moment, according to the Leightons, when Fritz truly became himself. “He almost seemed to know how handsome he was as he trotted out to greet us,” said the Leightons according to the release. The groomers shared they had given him a deep conditioning which included a massage. They said he was so funny because as they massaged him, he sounded like a big bear, groaning, and clearly enjoying his spa day.

In 2016, Loretta Leighton responded to a call for volunteers from the first Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest and she volunteered Fritz. He was matched with the Friends of the Library’s shopping event for children. This year, Fritz will once again be at the library where library volunteers help children shop for gifts for their loved ones. He will be used as a photo opportunity in his reindeer antlers and will love every second of the attention.

For more information, visit wiscassetholidaymarketfest.com.

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