12-foot ivy hedge poodle in North Hills becomes holiday spectacle thanks to one dedicated family

Every December, the Welch family gets together to transform their 12-foot ivy poodle into a reindeer.

Amanda Palacios Image
Friday, December 16, 2022
12-foot ivy hedge poodle becomes sight to see in North Hills
Every December, the Welch family gets together to transform their 12-foot ivy poodle into a reindeer.

NORTH HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It's that time of year again when a family in North Hills gets together to decorate their 12-foot ivy hedge poodle that sits on the sidewalk of their front yard.

Every December, Brian Welch and his wife Sue along with their two sons, Mark and Andrew, spend an entire day transforming the ivy poodle into a reindeer.

"Kids really get a kick out of it. They come and take their pictures underneath when it's Christmas time when all the lights are lit up. So it's become quite a landmark," said Brian.

The family's home sits on the corner of Plummer Street and Hayvenhurst Avenue and the poodle, which Brian named Fido, was created more than 30 years ago.

"Originally it started, it was just an arch and then it started to grow up and I used to cut it," said Brain. "Then my wife said, 'It's starting to look like a dog.' So I said, 'You know, you're right.' So then I started shaping it like a dog."

Fido has become a sight to see in the San Fernando Valley, especially during Christmas time. From start to finish, it's an 8-hour process, but the Welch family says all that hard work is worth it.

"We're glad that we can make people feel good. We get so much praise when people honk and waive and say thank you, so it makes us feel good too," said Mark.

"We'll see online pictures of it, people will post pictures and they don't know really who does it, which is fine. But It's just kind of cool to know something you've contributed to, people are getting happiness out of," said Andrew.

Every year, strangers from the community give the Welch family letters and gifts. Brian said he will continue this tradition with his family as long as he lives there.

"We get letters, some people give me money too. I have no idea who they are, total strangers ... as long as it puts a smile on their face," he said.

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