Peter Thorpe created his first Christmas card with his dog Paddy as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer back in 1990. Since then he has featured his three sons, Paddy and a later family dog, Raggle, to create masterpieces, incorporating humor with just plain cuteness. Thorpe has now created and published a book, featuring all the genius Christmas card images.

Photographer features family dogs on Christmas cards

Thorpe is a Photographer, living in Bristol, England and he first got the idea in 1990. He placed a set of antlers and a red nose on his family dog, Paddy and took the first of a series of imaginative and beautiful Christmas cards.

According to a report by ABC News, Paddy sadly passed away in 2002 at the ripe old age of 17. However, the family took in a rescue dog, who they named Raggle, to take over the trend and she featured in her own Christmas card in 2004. Since then Thorpe has continued the tradition and now includes his two sons, as well as the family dog.

In some images, Paddy can be seen riding a sleigh with the three boys, posing on top of a Christmas tree and even as a choir boy in a church, with a stained glass window as the backdrop.

What’s important to note is that when Thorpe first started his Christmas project, there was no such thing as Photoshop or other digital image editing software available. Everything in his images was placed there by the photographer – the props and sets are the real deal – and even today he continues that trend.

Raggle has even starred as Santa Claus and the donkey from the manger.

Thorpe has created the blog, Raggle Cards, and notes that the fun of the whole thing for him is to choose to carry on in a traditional way, rather than by using Photoshop. He said he continues to make his own props and sets, but does admit to utilizing a fair amount of food bribery in his craft.

Here's Raggle playing the role of Scrooge in "Bark Humbug" and as a Christmas tree topper.

Raggle stars on faux-eBay listing

Raggle is now getting older (she is approximately 17) and Thorpe said he was planning on letting her retire this year. However, he then came up with an idea. He created a faux-eBay listing featuring Raggle and carried on the tradition.

While she is a bit “wobbly” on her legs, he created a scene where she stars as a “Rare Vintage Retro Push-Along Terrier Dog on Wheels.” The price for this photographic gem? Thorpe marked it as “priceless.” According to the post, Raggle was tempted by the remains of their Sunday roast dinner.

Meanwhile, the intrepid photographer has put together a book with the title “Bark! The Herald Angels Sing,” featuring all his genius images of the family dogs over the last 25 years. The perfect Christmas present for dog lovers!