Pet Expo

988456_978643375496970_2455888924506191253_nJoin Nelson True Value in Prairie du Chien for the 3rd Annual Pet Expo on Saturday, February 7th from 10am-1pm at our store.
Check out all we will have going on! Adopt-able pets from CASA-Crawford Area Shelter for Animals, Inc.(weather permitting), Ask the Doctor thanks to Tender Care Animal Hospital, pictures & petting with Chance the Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter PDC Mascot, many great pet specials and SO MUCH MORE!!

Walk for a Dog

Shelters   Rescues   WoofTraxWalk for a Dog is a smartphone application that supports any animal shelter; in this case, Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter, every time you walk your dog.

After you download the app onto your smartphone,

Android: Install App

iPhone: Install App

take the phone with you when you walk your dog(s). Simply press the “Start Walking for …” button and the app will keep track of your walk. When your walk is stopped it is credited to your selected shelter or rescue.

The donations to animal organizations are funded by sponsorship, advertising, and investors. We send donations to active shelters and rescues about twice per year.

Share the app with friends and family. Every walk counts, whether its a quick walk around the block or a leisurely three mile hike. The more people actively walking with the app the greater the benefit for your favorite rescue or shelter.

But, what if you don't have a dog or a cat? You can walk for dogs at a shelter or rescue by choosing the “Walk for Cassie” option after enrolling in the app for the first time. Or, create your dream dog as a walking companion by going to the setup tab and adding a dog.

Courier Press Chats with Santa*

*Courier Press Associate Editor Correne Martin

Santa Claus chats about Christmas

Christmas is a very busy time of year for Santa Claus and everyone else at the North Pole. Santa graciously took time out of his hectic schedule, bright and early Monday morning, Dec. 22, to call the Courier Press Associate Editor Correne Martin from his mobile phone and answer a few questions she had for him. As Christmas nears, Santa has a lot on his mind and he wanted to share some of his thoughts with all the little boys and girls who are very anxious and full of holiday spirit. A bit of the chat with Santa follows.

Courier Press: Hi Santa, how has the month of December been going for you? I know it’s a very busy time of year.

Santa Claus: Correne, first and foremost, please let me thank you for your time and interest in my day and activities. Most of my days, especially around this season, involve visiting with so many wonderful kids, both young and young at heart. I take a special interest in any correspondence this time of year. I and my expanded family love this time of year. Each hour is closer to the special time of year when we see smiles on everyone’s faces.

CP: How are you and Mrs. Claus this Christmas?

SC: Although this is a busy time for all of us at the North Pole, each day is filled with excitement. I, Mrs. Claus, and our elves feel more love with each request that comes our way. We feel more excited as the lists grow. We can hardly wait for the day to arrive, just, as I am sure, each and everyone else feels. Our hearts are filled with the joy of giving and, with that, the excitement of the season creates a sense of peace within us all at the North Pole.

CP: How about your elves? Are they excited for another busy season too?

SC: All of the elves are working almost throughout the day and night. Of course, here at the North Pole, our nights are very long and days are very short (Ho Ho Ho). But we know that what we do creates joy and happiness.

CP: And how about your reindeer? Are they ready for Christmas?

SC: The selection process for the sleigh reindeer was made weeks ago. Elf Carl, the head reindeer trainer and coach, is busy with last minute flight plans and checklists. Elf Carl has been feeding the sleigh reindeer a special high protein diet of organically grown food. All of the food is grown in greenhouses and prepared just for this time of year. The reindeer have been doing special cardio exercises created by Elf Jill as part of their training as well.

CP: Temperatures in southwest Wisconsin have been unseasonably mild lately. How cold is it at the North Pole right now?

SC: The North Pole is one of the coldest places on Earth. If you ever wondered why I am always wearing that heavy, fur-lined red suit, well, now you know. It is so cold in the North Pole that the winter time temperatures rarely exceed -15 degrees—colder than the coldest spot year round in the United States. Another interesting fact about the North Pole is that it doesn’t have a time zone. This is how I can travel around the whole world in a single night, because I am not limited to the normal constraints of time like everyone else.

CP: If there is snow for Christmas, how will you deliver all of the gifts?

SC: My sleigh and reindeer travel in all sorts of weather and climates. We travel across the highest, coldest mountains, the lowlands of the Netherlands, and the jungles of deepest darkest Africa. My sleigh is equipped with all weather temperature control.

CP: How long does it take you to deliver presents to all the good boys and girls in the world?

SC: This is a very popular question. Not many people know that the actual truth is based on a popular theory of physics. I have to deliver gifts to around millions of children spread over millions of miles. Because each household has 2.67 children, there are about 75 million homes to visit and the average distance between homes is about 1.63 miles, I need to cover 122 million miles.

To cover that distance in 24 hours on Christmas, my sleigh would need to travel at a whopping average speed of 5,083,000 mph. That seems a bit fast, but this speed allows me to stretch time like a rubber band. It gives me months to deliver gifts, while only a few minutes pass for regular people.

Now, the short answer is: one day, 24 hours and across all time zones.

CP: When you stop at children’s homes all over the world, what are some of your favorite snacks and drinks? How about the reindeer? What do they like?

SC: Chocolate Chip Cookies—make them chewy and chippy. This is definitely my favorite cookie. Otherwise, I also enjoy oatmeal raisin cookies, sugar cookies, anise cookies, jam-filled thumbprints, snickerdoodles, gingerbread cookies, peanut butter cookies, snowballs and Linzer cookies.

The reindeer love oatmeal and sugar.

CP: What are some of the most popular toys your elves have been making this season?


1) Frozen merchandise

2) Legos

3) Bikes

4) Scooters

5) Barbies and accessories

6) Tablets

7) Peppa Pigs

8) One Direction merchandise

9) Snow Glow Elsas

10) Monster High dolls.

CP: Describe what the Christmas trees at the North Pole look like.

SC: The North Pole is way too far north to have any natural trees. But that doesn’t stop the elves and Mrs. Claus from decorating. Everywhere one looks, one can find indoor trees, sparkling lights, and Christmas displays from around the world.

CP: How does magic play into your duties each Christmas season?

SC: Oh, that’s a magical question. Magic can be found everywhere during the season. The magic inside the heart of every gift giver is the most powerful magic of all. The magic that one sees from the smile of everyone who receives a gift from the heart is always special. The magic of a family coming together is warm cheer. The magic of reaching out to a stranger and offering a warm smile or an unexpected present is one of the most powerful magical acts that can happen.

CP: How do you decide who makes the naughty and nice list?

SC: How lucky for children of all ages to have an advance warning. St. Nick arrives every Dec. 6, and leaves a reminder of who has been nice and who has been not so nice. If one receives a lump or even two lumps of coal, there is still time to change and start being nice.

CP: Is the sleigh all polished, tuned and ready to go for the big flight?

SC: Elf Evelyn is in charge of all of the details in checking the sleigh’s systems. All systems and backup systems are reported as ready to go.

CP: What do you and Mrs. Claus do each year, right after Christmas? Do you take a vacation at any time?

SC: After Christmas, all of the elves, myself and Mrs. Claus take a vacation. We head for warmer climates and plan for the upcoming year.

CP: Do you keep your long beard after the holiday, or do you groom it? What is your attire like the rest of the year?

SC: It will come as no surprise that my favorite color is red or anything in red plaids. This makes it easy for the planing of each day’s activities. When vacationing, I wear red shorts with a red plaid T-shirt. When working, I often wear red coveralls. I do trim my beard for the warm season, but in no time at all, it grows back.

CP: What is the North Pole like in the spring? What do you like to do in the off-season?

SC: During the spring, the North Pole has daylight almost all the time. With that sun, the temperatures are warmer. I and the elves really don’t have an off season though. With each year comes new plans to make the year even happier and more joyous than the last.

CP: How are you able to be at all the shopping malls and stores during the Christmas season?

SC: I have many emissaries who reach out to others throughout the season. Each of the representatives give of themselves with each visit. Each one can be slightly different in appearance, or speak differently, but all wish everyone a happy and merry Christmas.

CP: Do you really read all the letters you receive from kids?

SC: I read all the letters I have time to read. I especially enjoy reading letters in the evening, just before going to bed. My elves help with the task of reading as well. Each of the readers are especially trained in this skill.

CP: What would you like boys and girls to keep in mind as Christmas nears?

SC: The true Christmas spirit is found in the heart of each child and those young at heart. Giving of oneself without expecting anything in return will lead to a most happy day. A smile offered is a gift easily given. Saying “I am sorry” or “I love you” is a wonderful gift as well.

CP: What’s your favorite part of delivering all the gifts?

SC: A happy giggle or tears of joy from the person who receives the gift.

CP: Well, Santa, I better let you get back to all the work you need to finish before Christmas. It was nice talking to you and thanks for your time. Have a merry Christmas.

SC: Merry Christmas to you and to all. I wish each and everyone a joyous Christmas and hope that all possess the spirit of Christmas all year round.

Wake Up Santa–A Rousing Success

Saturday, Dec. 6 was a special day for many local children. News of a slumbering Santa in the community room of Prairie du Chien City Hall spread quickly in the early hours of the morning. Children, afraid that Santa would sleep through Christmas, arrived at city hall with their parents and grandparents. Armed with an assortment of noisemakers, they silently tiptoed into the Community Room precisely at 8:30 a.m. At the count of three, they excitedly shouted “Wake Up, Santa!” accompanied by the noisemakers. A sleepy and surprised Santa awoke from his nap and invited the children to spend the morning with him. (Photo – Left: Santa Claus goes over Lacey Skime’s good girl list with her, regarding all the good things she’s done this past year and what she wants for Christmas. For a minimal fee, children attending Wake Up Santa every December have the opportunity for such a one-on-one experience with Santa. (Photos by Brian Cipra Photograhy))

After a delicious breakfast, served by Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter volunteers, the kids spent their time talking to Santa and playing Santa Bingo and Pin the Nose on Rudolph. They were delighted to learn that Santa found their names in the Good Boys and Girls Book and that he seemed to know just what they wanted for Christmas. He also knew other pertinent information, such as names of their siblings, teachers and pets as well as things they did well or needed to improve on. Photographer Brian Cipra was on hand to capture this special visit with Santa.

Santa’s Secret Gift Shop was open for kids to purchase gifts for loved ones, caregivers, and pets with the help of Santa’s elves. Children were invited to make and take a Christmas ornament at Santa’s Workshop. Chance, the animal shelter’s large and furry mascot, kept the kids entertained while waiting for their visit with Santa. Area Girl Scouts also helped with this event.

Wake Up Santa is an annual fundraiser sponsored by Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter and is held on the first Saturday of December. (Photo – Right: Santa Claus has been so busy this year that he fell asleep on the job. But on Dec. 6, local youths, with their parents and grandparents, participated in the annual Wake Up Santa event at City Hall. Shaking noisemakers as loud as they could, they shouted “Wake Up, Santa!” and the jolly, old elf himself woke with a cheery greeting in front of everyone in attendance.)

Wake Up Santa is an annual fundraiser sponsored by Rivers and Bluffs Animal Shelter and is held on the first Saturday of December.