T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
No thought of their dog was filling their heads.
Mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Knew he was cold, but we didn’t care about that.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
I figured the dog was into the trash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
It was Santa Claus – with his eyes full of tears.
He unchained the dog, once so lively and quick,
It was last years Christmas present, now painfully thin.
More rapid than eagles he called the dogs name.
And the dog ran to him, despite all the pain;
“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONDER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Let’s find a home for the dog where he will be loved by all”
I knew in an instant there would be no gifts this year,
For Santa Claus had just made it perfectly clear,
The gift of a dog is not just for a season,
We had gotten the puppy for all the wrong reasons.
In our haste to buy our kids a great gift
There was one thing important we obviously missed.
A dog should be family, and cared for the same
You don’t give a gift, then put it out on a chain.
And I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight,
“You weren’t given a gift! You were given a life!”
– Author Unkown –