‘Twas the night before Christmas; I couldn’t find cheer,
So I went to the fridge for another cold beer.
The kids had been sneaking and started a war,
Screaming at Mom, “We want to open one more!”
I had to intervene, ’tis a husbandly duty,
So I told them they’d have to wait for their booty.
The eldest of my kids took that word quite wrong,
And snickering broke into inappropriate song.
Their Mother looked at me with death in her gaze,
I knew I had better remedy this phase.
I then bribed my eldest, out of sight from his Mom,
That if he behaved, we’d go to Itunes.com.
Three ninety-nine later he was quiet and calm,
Even told the other kids Santa wouldn’t be long.
So off the troup hustled to get in their beds,
With visions of expensive crap stuck in their heads.
I was just finishing up beer number four,
When I heard a knocking at the front door.
With the wife wrapping presents and the kids all asleep,
I wondered who the heck could be this creep?
“Hello?” was the call I made into the night,
But no one was there, at least not in sight.
Just as I turned to get beer number five,
Something made a small noise from outside.
I stepped out, let my eyes adjust to the dark,
And heard the tiniest, cute little bark.
A smallish sized dog, plain looking indeed,
Was standing there play-bowing at me.
I looked around quickly but some one must have left him.
Who could abandon a dog that showed such affection?
I called to him softly and he scampered inside,
My wife looked at me and the dog with a sigh.
“Well, we’ll keep him for now,” was all that she said,
Before turning to get him some food and a bed.
The dog was ever so grateful for all that we gave,
A meal and a pat and a blanket where he’d lay.
I pretty much knew that I’d ask around,
Call shelters and see if his owner’d be found.
But in my heart I already knew I was taken,
So much so that I gave him my last piece of bacon.
Looking at the presents piled under the tree,
I hoped my kids would see what a gift he’ll be.
Dogs are not presents, can’t be returned or tossed,
A dog is for life, no matter what the cost.
I determined then and there that my kids would learn,
The value of giving, not receiving in turn.
At least not the things that they value now,
Not a video game or cell phone, but a bow;
Like the play-bow that scruffy lil’ pup gave me,
Or a lick, or a soft paw touching your knee.
I chastised myself for not doing this already,
Teaching values that are steadfast and steady,
Not of “things” to have and then to toss,
But relationships, love, trust, and loss.
The children are the next generation to come,
They must know now all that has been undone.
The overpopulation of dogs and the girth
Of greed that is threatening our little earth.
We will start, my wife and I agreed that night,
To avoid any future Christmasy fight,
To instill the knowledge that our children will need,
When they inherit this world where now is such greed.
To show them the importance of just one dog’s life,
Will certainly be a start this Christmas Eve night.
As we went to bed I called the dog, and he heeded,
And I gave thanks for the wake-up call I much needed.