My friend Melanie Lattin passed along this Christmas poem. I normally can’t bear to read sad poems about animals, but this one is appropos.
T’was the night before Christmas when all thru the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nick soon would be there.
The children all nestled snug in their beds with no thought of the dog filling their head. And mom in her kerchief and I in my cap knew the dog was cold, but 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 figuring the dog was free of his chain and 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 but Santa Clause with his eyes full of tears.
He unchained the dog once so lively and quick last year’s Christmas present now painfully sick. More rapid than eagles he called the dog’s name
and the dog ran to him despite all his pain.
Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer and Vixen on Comet on Cupid on Donner and Blitzen.
To the top of the porch to the top of the wall let’s find this dog a home where he will be loved by all.
I knew in an instant there would be no gifts this year for Santa had made one thing quite clear. The gift of a dog is not just for the season we had gotten the dog for all the wrong reasons.
In our haste to think of the kids a gift, there was one important thing we missed, A dog should be family, and cared for the same. you don’t give a gift, then put it on a chain.
And I heard him explain as he rode out of sight,
“You weren’t given a gift, you were given a life.”
– Author Unknown
Happy holidays to you and the pet in your life.