It’s the holidays—so, instead of advice, I would like to offer you a present from dogdom. This wonderful poem, originally written in 1823, has been passed from dog family to dog family. Called, “What a Night Before Christmas!” It was written by Nicola, Clement Clarke Moore’s dog. A people version exists as well, but we dogs agree this is likely the more accurate account. — From Murphy
Twas the night before Christmas,
And all were sleeping like logs,
Except for us, the alert family dogs.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
We were all snuggled deep in our beds,
While visions of sausages danced in our heads;
Then out on the lawn there arose a big clatter,
But we knew the people would sleep through the matter.
So away to the window we flew like a flash,
Stood on our hind legs and looked past the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below,
But since we are dogs we did not need to peer
We could smell a strange guy and his tiny rein-deer.
He was a little old driver, lively and quick,
So we knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
The reindeer they flew to the housetop’s great height,
While down below we got ready to bite.
As we drew in our heads, and were turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound,
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
Almost like a dog—except covered in soot.
A bundle of gifts he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a postman just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! His nose like a beet!
Then he said, “Hi little doggies! Would you like a treat?”
Then he spoke not a word but dug into his sack,
And before we could growl he pulled out great snacks!
He had sausage, salmon, meat bits and fishes,
And he put it all down in new doggie dishes!
Then with a wink of his eye and a pat on each head,
He gave us to know we had nothing to dread.
So, while we gorged on food, he went straight to his work,
He filled every stocking, then turned with a jerk,
Scritched all our ears and petted our backs
Then picked up his all of his now empty sacks
And laying a finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a call,
And away they all flew, like a Lab to a ball.
But we heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all!” What a great doggie night!