'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the shelter
The staff was a-scurrying, all helter-skelter.
Leashes and collars were hanging right there.
The aroma of litter boxes filled the night air.
Cat toys and dog treats were strewn on the floor.
Paperwork everywhere -- had there been a war?
Chandra, Jen, and Mercedes were tidying up;
Red and Toni were leaving to check on a pup.
When out back in the kennels there arose such a clatter,
The staff all got up to see what was the matter.
Away out the back door they flew like a flash,
Dreading to think what had caused such a crash.
When what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
They knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
The jolly old elf took a good look around.
Dogs and cats all were silent -- there wasn't a sound.
St. Nick spoke not a word, but went straight to his work.
All the kennels and cages he sprang with a jerk.
Cats and dogs they came running, all happy and game.
St. Nick whistled and shouted and called them by name.
Come Myaah! Come Pom Pom! Come Maxx, don't be shy!
Come Checkers! Come Pearla! Look lively, be spry!
You're free of your cages and there's no need to roam.
Your dreams have come true; you each have a new home.
They jumped into the sleigh and St. Nick gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
Wow, said the staff as they locked the place tight.
We're out of business -- oh, what a delight!
Then they heard St. Nick call as he drove out of sight,
Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!
Barbara Brenke, Payson Humane Society