For many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, the holidays have been prime time for pet adoptions when many people have extra time and room in their hearts. Wednesday morning, December 21, cool and sunny amidst plenty of street construction was the annual visit to the San Francisco SPCA’s holiday adoption windows at the downtown Macy’s where holiday marketing meets outreach on the prime retail corner of Stockton and O’Farrell streets.. Although the windows this year were small, and there were only 3 animal windows, the lovely dog figures from years before 2015 were re-purposed in a new, bright scene in the corner window. This was the third year of two blocks of Stockton Street closed to traffic for rail construction and covered with astroturf and new this year, food trucks. The atmosphere is festive, if less elegant even with Neiman Marcus looming. The destination window is nearly hidden behind the crowd and usual hot dog stand.
Finally, in an almost overwhelming red jumble is the corner window, inviting to sort out the narrative, the characters and contents.
But first, the adoption windows. One has 3 cats.
Another has 2 puppies — 2-1/2 months old, soundly sleeping.
The third and only pet window on O’Farrell Street is empty.
Inside, tucked away behind scarves is the adoption desk and “back room” where the rest of the animals are, all visible were cats.
Back outside to survey the corner window in such contrast to the 2015 minimalist Peanuts theme. This year’s setting is the North Pole’s command center where elves handle the navigation station and help Santa check his long list. How will they ever pack so many presents? There at the North Pole are all the wonderful purebred dogs and one cat once again, old friends in scene that assures visitors there are still visions of Christmas downtown San Francisco to attract pressing crowds even on a Wednesday morning.
And the old friends… the Afghan, the Bloodhound, the Rottweiler, the Dachshund, the Schnauzer, the Yorkie, the French Bulldog, the Papillon and the Siberian each high atop the console, the Boxer and the white cat.
Wanting a little glimpse of San Francisco elegance before leaving, just around the corner on Geary were the Louis Vuitton windows with more red — and meerkats, too.
The windows will be open through Sunday, January 1, 2017. As of our visit, the adoption count was 179. In 2015, the final count was 261.
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