China Ruined Christmas

We had a plan.

Was it airtight? Decidedly not. It was, however, something we were all excited about and it would’ve benefited many of our four-legged friends and veterans. This story begins a long, long time ago (November) in a place far, far away (California).

It was two weeks before Thanksgiving and, like many businesses, we were trying to make the final decision on what we would be doing for the holiday season. The ideas had been accumulating on the conference whiteboard for the last month and it was time to make a choice.

Were we going to send holiday cards to all of our past customers and partners? It would be a nice gesture, but we wanted impact. Would we make a direct contribution to a charity or cause we could all agree on? That’s more along the lines of what we wanted, but we didn’t have enough in the coffers to make as meaningful of a donation as we would want. Do we go with the new intern’s crazy idea that could triple the amount of money we could donate? Absolutely.


Holiday Ties for Dogs – The Intern Saves the Day

Standing in front of the team, Jessica confidently pitched her idea. “Ties! That is, Holiday Ties for Dogs! We could bulk order them and have 100% of proceeds go to the charities. I’ve already been researching them and they are unique, relatively low cost and popular.” She then went on to show us a few pics of her dogs with a tie she had ordered as part of her research.

Jessica didn’t need to show us her precious Oden in his tie. Her enthusiasm, initiative and effort had won the room. We hurriedly moved through the remaining ideas, mainly so we wouldn’t hurt the feelings of anyone who had added them. Holiday Ties for Dogs was the unanimous victor and was going to enable us to make a considerable contribution to at least two charities we had been considering.

Shipment Issues and the Ridiculous Surprise

Based on the research our intern in shining armor had already conducted, we were able to make an order relatively quickly. She had identified an overseas manufacturer in China and had negotiated a price that had several people already celebrating the donations we could make. After all, who wouldn’t like a cute tie for their dog, especially when the proceeds were going to a good cause.

After some shipping delays, last week the shipment of ties arrived with another to follow a few days later. The conference room was packed and the room was buzzing in excitement for the unboxing. Everyone was pumped and for good reason, this was going to be great! We knew this was going to be a success.

As the ties were pulled out of the packaging, the general buzz turned into rapid chatter about how the nice the ties were, surprise at the level of quality and what a great idea this was. Then…. one by one… the voices stopped. I didn’t immediately notice what they were noticing, but I could see their eyes and I leaned in for a closer look.

Companion Animal Ties

Ties for Dogs

Ties to go with Dog Vests


Thanks China! Just what we wanted!

To be clear, none of the samples sent to us contained anything sexually suggestive. We had reviewed the patterns and received the standard “Since these are handmade, there may be slight deviations in the pattern.” I can live with that. What I have a hard time with is snowpeople actively getting freaky on my dog’s tie.

A friend suggested that there may have been a miscommunication with the manufacturer. Where we said we were looking for a “holiday style tie for dogs” it may have been translated as a “doggie style holiday tie”.  In any case, we’re trying to follow the old proverb “When life gives you overtly sexualized lemons, make lemonade.” We managed to sell the ties off in bulk to a company we work with from time to time, so all isn’t lost (they’re being sold at

Companion Animal Vest

The Happy Ending

While we didn’t raise the amount of money we were hoping for, we did have one positive take away. Jessica has now transitioned from Intern to Employee. She has always been a caring person with a great love for animals. With this project, she showed initiative and handled the erotic ties without completely melting down.

And so concludes the story of How China Ruined our Christmas. Take time this holiday season to spend time with those you love, regardless of how many legs they have. Happy Holidays!

Jason Statson

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