T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the Rest,
All the inmates were stirring, busy making a mess,
The stockings were...somewhere, in the laundry, I'm sure,
Or hid with the presents, I'm not sure where they were.
A few pugs were nestled in big snuggle beds,
While visions of cheesy goodies danced in their heads,
With a list in my hand, and a cat in her lap,
We'd have both sold a kidney for a very long nap.
When out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter,
Away to the window, I rushed like a turtle,
Jumping and dodging each small puggy hurdle.
The moon on the breast of the Midwestern slush,
Gave a holiday sparkle to the half-frozen mush.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a small SUV that was parking, right here!
With a little old driver, with a beard on his jaws,
I knew right away it was old Santa Paws!
With me to the window, the inmates all came,
And he whistled and greeted each one by their name.
"Hi Spencer, now Loki, now Orville and Sammie,
And Georgie and Archie and Freya, and kitties!
To the top of the couch, now bounce off of the wall,
Will you all settle down? I have goodies for all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the rooftop that SUV flew,
With the bundles of treats and old Santa Paws too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard up above,
The steps of the guy that all animals love,
As I drew in my head and was turning about,
Down the chimney came Santa Paws with a shout.
He was wearing fake fur from his head to his boots,
He was dusted with dog hair and evergreen shoots,
A bundle of treats he had flung on his back,
From which cat fur fell as he opened his pack.
His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were a bit flushed, but not at all scary.
An animal lover, he flashed a huge grin,
And he laughed as all of our critters ran in.
He was chubby and plump, a most jolly old elf,
He was shaped, come to think, just a bit like myself.
He rubbed on each head and scratched on each ear,
And wished he could visit more than just once each year.
With a whispered "I love you, you're such a good dog,"
He crouched down beside them, a bit like a frog.
He pulled out a treat for each doggy and cat,
It took but a second, it was over like that.
Then he ran to his car and the gas he then pressed,
And he hurried away from the old Shady Rest,
But I heard him exclaim, and we wish it to you,
"Happy Christmas to all, and a great New Year too!"
From all the residents of the Shady Rest, to all of you and yours, we wish a warm, safe, and joyous Christmas, and a new year filled with small daily miracles, peace and love. Ya'll come back in the New Year.