Santa Paws and his woofy little helpers spread Christmas cheer over the weekend at Gone to the dogs cafe in Carlisle.

This animal friendly cafe has seen dogs forgetting their manners and pulling their humans all the way to the cafe, just to meet up with their furry friends and in this case meet Santa Paws. The cafe owner Paul Higgins explains where the idea came from: “A couple of our customers asked us if we do Santa paws, we though it was a great idea”

As Christmas descended Paul said: “Santa had his grotto decorated the day before and we had two sacks of doggy treats which we had made. Santa got dressed and we announce it, we had no idea if anyone would even come. From the moment we said Santa was ready we had customers coming to see him. Some had their children with them and, lots of the dogs had antlers on, Christmas jumpers on, elf outfits and those type of things, the atmosphere was just magical”

With specially made treats these four legged friends instructed their owners it was time to head to the cafe. One of the visitors, who sat on Santas lap, was Candy a whippet who had taken her owner Joanne Pearson along to meet the big man and Candys human said: “It was a great day, she got two gifts, at first she was a little unsure if Santa but once she got used to him she loved it.” Candy is a regular at the cafe and can sometime get a little enthusiastic and jump up and down with excitement when she is on her way.

Paul said: “Everyone was just lovely with each other, chatting away and meeting each others dogs an the rest of the worlds worries just melted away we didn’t even think about Brexit or anything like that. Santa thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the all the dogs and some of them just didn’t want to go they wanted to stay.”

The dogs seam to thoroughly enjoy heading down to the doggy cafe and Mr Higgins said: “They yelp in the car as they get near, others pull at the led when they get off the bus at the bus station they know where it is, we have even have people say from Warwick road onward the dogs are pulling at their leads to get to the cafe so it has become a true doggie cafe its not just a cafe where you can come with your dogs.”