A Winter’s Rescue Tale

The dogs retell Clement C. Moore’s “A Visit from Saint Nicholas.”

For all the dogs and other animals still waiting for their safe and warm forever homes.


YawningDog/The Orange Dog and The White Dog, waiting for snow

 
‘Twas a cold Winter’s evening, and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes Winter’s magic would soon fill the air.
That night we were nestled all snug in our beds
While visions of chewy treats danced in our heads.

But soon we crept into our parents’ warm laps;
They’d just settled in for their long Winter’s naps —
When out in the trees there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window we flew like a flash,
Pawed open the shutters and nosed up the sash.
The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of mid-day to objects below;
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh with a team of nine deer.


Bill Stevenson/Flickr (altered)

 
Through pine boughs it glided and onto the gable,
Then in through the window, down to the night-table.
The driver turned round and gave us a wink —
‘Twas the Spirit of Winter, yet not as you’d think.
Neither Santa nor St. Nick, no angel or faerie,
But the essence of Winter: stars and snow, crisp and merry.

FlickrAuroraAndTreeJasonAhrns
Jason Ahrns/Flickr (altered)

 
Then a glow filled the room and the shadows drew back —
It came from the nose at the head of the pack.
By this we could see each and every deer’s feature —
Not reindeer at all! But all manner of creature:
A rabbit and rat, a pig and a steer,
Squirrel, fox, and cat and yes, one little deer.
Yet crowning each head, no matter how odd,
Was a set of fine antlers, and each gave a nod.
Their eyes, how they twinkled! Their whiskers, how merry!
Their cheeks were so furry; their muzzles, quite hairy.

But arf! The ninth creature that led through the fog
With her nose all lit up was a little blonde dog.
Her eyes looked like ours! She was cute as a button;
Her shanks were so sprightly, like sleek leg o’ mutton.
She pranced like a pup and sneezed once or twice,
Then shook out her fur, all crystal with ice.


YawningDog/Piglet the Red-Nosed Reindeer

 
Her coat shone like moonlight! Her antlers, so pretty;
Her little pink tongue was all warm and dog-spitty.
Her tail curled so proudly and swept side to side —
‘Twas evident she was enjoying the ride.
Her toenails tick-ticked upon the night-stand,
And each time she leaped, like stardust she’d land.
We reached out in wonder, a curious sniff:
Touched noses with her, became friends in a jiff.
Her glow grew within us and showed us a sight:
Lucky dogs just like us! In warm homes, as is right.


Remi and Wolf, courtesy of Justice Rescue

 
We used to be frightened — neglected we’d roam;
And so many just like us still wait for a home.
The memory of that touched our tender dogs’ hearts,
Then the little blonde dog gave a yip — and two farts!
And with jingling of bells and swooshing of tails,
The team turned the sleigh on quicksilver rails.

We saw then that the sledge was filled with our kind!
The spry and the lame, the sighted and blind —
All going to homes filled with warmth and good cheer
For the rest of their lives, to nevermore fear.
Their humans would care for them always, forever.
Good food and good treats! And mistreatment — never!
We felt in our hearts a great joy that night,
Of love always near, undying and bright.
We crept back into bed with the humans we love,
Cuddled up and entwined to fit like a glove.

SleepyWinterPups
YawningDog/The Orange Dog and The White Dog, all snug in their bed

 
As we fell back to sleep so secure, curled up tight,
We knew everything would turn out all right.
From the sleigh came a bark, a miaow, and a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
We heard in our dreams as they flew out of sight,
“Happy Winter to all, and to all a good night!”

Please consider donating time, money, supplies, or anything you can to Friends of the Danbury Animal Control, the Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS), Justice Rescue, Wildlife in Crisis, or to your local shelter, animal rescue organization, or wildlife rehab organization. Remember that adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment.

The magic of puppies

CorgiPuppyDanielStockmanFlickrDaniel Stockman/Flickr

So yesterday, I was at Redding Roasters and there were three or four other people hanging out and talking with Kaitlyn. After I’d bought the world’s best coffee, Kaitlyn turned around and then came out from behind the counter with the most adorable, fuzzy little Corgi puppy in her arms. She had a big grin on her face and I immediately squeed and reached for the puppy. Kaitlyn gave it over and I stood there cuddling it and kissing it (hugging it, petting it, squeezing it and wanting to name it George…).

The puppy was splayed out on my chest with its warm belly on my left boob and its head on my shoulder and I never wanted to let it go. I asked if it was a boy or girl and heard a voice from behind me: “Her name is Maggie.”

I turned around to see a woman standing there smiling and realized that when Kaitlyn had brought the puppy out, she had been about to reach past me and hand her back to her mom, but I’d intercepted and puppy-nabbed.

I babbled something like, “Omigosh I stole your puppy I’m so sorry I didn’t realize can I still hold her a little bit more oh pleeeeease?”

The woman was laughing and said of course I could, and I cuddled the puppy like she was going to be taken from me at any moment — which of course she would be soon as her mom got tired of me slobbering all over her baby. The woman was very nice and didn’t seem at all fazed by my reluctance to let go. I finally realized I should hand the puppy over to her mom before I had to be asked to, so I did.

I never thought to ask Kaitlyn why the puppy was behind the counter. Maybe I wasn’t the only puppy-napper at Redding Roasters that day.

IWillNameHimGeorgeHQ2The Abominable Snow Rabbit/Warner Bros.

“Don’t you just love a good piece of wood?”

LumberMikeMozartFlickrLumber/Mike Mozart/Flickr

When I used to shoot stock photography, in the forum we’d all joke about how we had tried to apply the Undo or Clone or whatever (as in Photoshop) in real life. I’ve often wished I could hit an imaginary Back button in real life, and especially an Undo as applies to words.  I’m pretty sure I won the Undo award at Home Depot tonight.

One of the guys who works there (he’s at least in his 40s, so is not some silly kid) is used to me, and I’ve said some dumb-ass stuff to him before, believe me, but I’m still cringing from tonight. I was in the lumber section and long story short, he said did I see the planks over there? We walked over there and I gasped. “Ooh! I walked right by those! Those are nice.”

“Yeah, these will be good for what you want, I bet.”

We both stood there running our hands over the planks, talking about what I’d use them for, etc. And I mean we were having a normal conversation while caressing the planks the whole time. I said I’d have to go back home and “measure twice, cut once” and he nodded sagely. Our conversation was pretty much done but I couldn’t stop touching (okay, stroking, caressing, running my hands all over) the planks. I said, “I just love a good piece of wood. Don’t you just love a good piece of wood? Gosh this feels good.”

His face.

Tears actually came up in his eyes right away, but he kept an almost straight face. He has a mustache and his entire mouth disappeared under it as he struggled. His face got all pink right away too. I remember kind of blinking and I’m pretty sure my face crumpled up. We just stood there looking at each other and it was totally not awkward. It was just a sort of an acknowledgment of: Yup, you said that, there is no save.

I made some kind of horrible apologetic face that probably made me look like I had to throw up, and there was a stupid smile in there somewhere. His eyebrows went up like: All righty, then… move along.

I said, “Right. Measure twice, cut once. So… going home now.” He nodded. I walked away wanting to cry.

I know this is funny now, but it wasn’t so much at the time. Well, it kind of was, and I could have brayed out my usual awkward laughter as when something like this happens, but tonight was really a bit beyond the usual.

And I still have to go back there. Oh boy.