Forgotten Dog's Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when 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 -
with no thought of the dog filling their head.

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap
knew he 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 Claus - with eyes full of tears.

He un-chained the dog, once so lively and quick -
last year's Christmas present,
now painfully thin and 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!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!-
Let's find this dog a home where
he'll be loved by all.

I knew in an instant there would be no gifts this year -
for Santa Claus had made one thing quite clear.
The gift of a dog is not just for one season -
we had gotten the pup for all the wrong reasons.
In our haste to think of the kids a gift -
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 exclaim as he rode out of sight -

"You weren't given a gift!
You were given a LIFE!"

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