Twas the Night Before Christmas at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary


by Nola Kelsey

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through Best Friends,
Not a creature was stirring, except a few hens;
The stockings were hung way up high in the air,
In hopes that no goat kids would give them a tear;

The cats each were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of families danced in their heads;
And dogs in their lodge runs, and I in my Jeep,
Had just settled down for some much needed sleep,

When out by some cactus arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my rest to see what was the matter.
Away to the front lot I flew like a flash,
Tripped over the sidewalk and slipped near the trash.

The moon on the breast of the new-blown sand,
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects at hand,
When, what to my sunburned eyes should appear,
But a sleigh full of puppies flying quite near,

The little old rescuer landed so quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than beagles his coursers they came,
And he smiled, and nodded, and called them by name;

“Now, Dachsie! now, Dobie! now, Tootsie and Muffy!
On, Comet! on, Cotton! on, Dudley and Fluffy!
To the top of the steps! Cross the lobby with all!
Now bounce along! Pounce along! Trounce along all!”

Into the clinic the vet team did fly,
Where they examined each puppy, not pondering why,
Then up to New Friends the trainers they flew,
With the sleigh full of puppies, and St. Nicholas too.

While I worked making ready, I heard on our roof
The prancing and pawing of each reindeer hoof.
As I filled bowls with water, and was turning around,
Through a swamp cooler St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed in faux fur, from his head to his knee,
And his clothes were all soaking with drool and pup wee;
The wiggling puppies he had brought in his sack,
And he looked like a Caregiver just handling his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples quite funny!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a bunny!
His droll little mouth would speak first just to give,
Thanks to Best Friends that abandoned puppies may live;

The top of a poop scoop he held tight in his hand,
”I’ll clean a few dog runs while here in your land;”
The pups had broad faces and little round bellies,
That shook, when they wrestled like cups of fruit jellies.

They were chubby and plump, a good sign of health,
And I laughed at their kisses, in spite of myself;
A dip of their eye and a nod of their heads,
Soon gave me to know they needed their beds;

I spoke not a word, but went back to my work,
And fluffed all their blankets; my own little quirk,
St. Nick returned tired, with a weepy red nose,
And giving a nod, to the rooftop he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, with his volunteer whistle,
And that sleigh flew away like the down of a thistle.
But I heard Santa say, as he vanished from sight,
“Find new homes for them all, Best Friends does that right!”

Nola L. Kelsey is currently wandering SE Asia for two years. Her backpack and laptop keep her partially grounded. Kelsey’s the author of the satire Bitch Unleashed: The Harsh Realities of Goin’ Country and coauthor of the wicked political spoof Keeping the Masses Down. To read more of Kelsey’s work, visit her rarely up-to-date website at

Learn more at about Best Friends at


About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi spent her time working in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions.

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