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Family Pet Animal Care by Michael Trapani

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Family Pet Animal Care - December 2015

by Dr. Michael Trapani

T'was the Night Before Christmas  (with apologies to the author)

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the hospital 

The staff were all working to do the impossible.

With emergencies lined up in neat little rows,

From vomiting cats to stubbed puppy toes.

And those post-anesthesia, all snug in their beds,

With visions of sugar-plums a-dance in their heads,

’Twas 4:55, the clocks waiting to chime,

Just five minutes to go before closing time,

When Barb with her papers, and Doc with his Mac,

Hoped to settle their brains with a winter’s nightcap.

 

Then in our parking lot there arose such a clatter,

We sprang from our work to see what was the matter.

Away to the window we flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

And, what to our wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

Who staggered and stumbled and moved in a slog

To emerge from the settling Bodega Bay fog.

With a little old driver, so worried and shrill,

We knew in a moment that those reindeer were ill.

 

More rapid than eagles these coursers once were,

But now they were clearly in need of a cure!

For Dasher was spavined, and Dancer had fleas,

And Cupid had suffered a kissing disease!

Prancer was shaking with legs all a flitter,

And Vixen was fixin’ to deliver a litter.

Comet was pale and twitching his tail,

While Blitzen staggered past with a belly full of ale.

But worst of them all was the reindeer named Donner,

Who looked well on his way to becoming a gonner.

 

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

Our staff into action leapt to comply

with all of Doc’s orders for testing and such

delivered to all with a soft, gentle touch.

 

Now even the most fractious of reindeer drew solace,

and allowed to be treated both clawless and jawless.

Then with Dasher’s leg braced and Dancer deflea’d,

And Cupid’s lips poulticed in soft herbal weed,

With Prancer’s nerves settled by a Xanax or three,

and Vixen’s twins bounding about full of glee,

Comet felt brighter, no more under the weather

And Blitzen, chugged coffee at the end of his tether,

It was clear that the Crisis of Christmas was slowed!

And Saint Nick was anxious to get back on the road.

 

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, right jolly that day,

And he soon made it clear he’d no intention to pay!

 

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

He leapt to escape in his tiny red sled.

“Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

 

And away they all flew like a nuclear missile.

Leaving Doc standing there with a muttered epistle.

Said the Doc, “I am sure he’ll remember tonight,

when he visits my chimney at the end of his flight.”

We should have all known ‘fore Saint Nick made his dash,

There’s a sign on the sleigh: “Santa Carries No Cash.”

But we heard him exclaim, ‘ere he flew out of sight,

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”