A Little Holiday Merriment


We had our annual staff and volunteer holiday party at the shelter this morning. I wrote up this take-off on Clement Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicolas" (better known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas").  There are some inside jokes in here, but most of it is something that any animal lover should find fun to read. Enjoy!



(with apologies to Clement Moore)    

'Twas the holiday season, and throughout the shelter
Things were quite normal: That means helter-skelter.
The dogs were all barking despite our good care,
The cats they were mewling and coughing up hair.

The calls they were coming with lightening speed
"Why must I license?" "My neighbor's cat peed!"
"The crows are too loud!" "My dog drank the cider!"
"Please make a house call – I see a big spider!"  

And out in the back there is quite the clatter
Something lives in the shed and it keeps growing fatter.
Around the county we know cats have played
Since we have many kittens that need to be spayed.

But we heard a small jingle outside our front door
We checked out the parking lot so we could see more.
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But the jolly fat man, but not with reindeer.  

"I need animals more lively and quick,
I'm switching to dogs," explained our St. Nick.
"You have just the ones – clever and game."
He went in the shelter and called 8 by name.  

"Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
Here, Comet! Here, Cupid! Here Donner and Blitzen!"
We were certainly glad that our staff's on the beam
And named all the pets with a holiday theme!  

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
So when these dogs met Santa they jumped and they flew
With the magic of dogs they knew what to do.

And then, in a twinkling, they were a dog team
Although their appearance was a little extreme.
All sizes and shapes they'll turn heads around
But the spirit of Christmas was in every sweet hound.  

We followed our policy and Santa filled forms
He keeps dogs inside and follows our norms.
He paid the fees and wasn't incensed
When we made sure all his dogs were licensed.

Then he looked round the shelter -- what he saw made him merry
He checked out the stray row with all those dogs hairy.
The officers brought them in all safe and sound
Here they get food and love 'til their owners are found.

Adoptable pets are snug in their beds
While visions of new homes dance in their heads.
Shelter techs, volunteers all work as one
They never can rest, but it's also fun.  

Unsocialized animals they are all tutored.
Then medical makes sure that everyone's neutered.  
The front office is efficient and patient and kind
Even when they feel they are losing their mind.  

It's busy and fun – a right jolly place
That's dedicated to giving animals space
To find a great home and never have fear
And start out fresh in a jolly new year.  

Santa gave a big smile and clearly approved.
He gave a donation and said he was moved.
He gathered his papers and nodded his head
Shook all our hands and out the door he sped.  

He sprang to his sleigh, to his dogs gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But we heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"Good work shelter friends, you're doing just right!"



(We have been naming a lot of our adoptable animals with Christmas themes this year. Meet Mistletoe, who is looking for a great home!)