Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, except for young Ralph.
In the bustle of Christmas he was feeling unsure,
So into the stockings and presents he tore.
He still felt uncertain – everything was amiss!
So he ate Santa’s cookies and one Hershey’s Kiss.
He felt so unsettled, he needed to chew,
Ralph chewed up the garland and threw up it up, too.

As he fussed with the tree he arose such a clatter,
His owners sprang from their bed to see what was the matter.
Away to his crate he flew like a flash,
Clattering in, so quickly Ralph dashed!
The light from the hallway lit up the room,
Making bright the destruction and his certain doom.
Ralph shook in his crate as his owners did gasp,
Their shock turned to anger, and Ralph’s name they rasped.
Ralph crouched low to the ground as he emerged from his crate,
Knowing a spanking was his certain fate.
He curled up his body and rolled to his back,
Hoping to ward off their angry attack.
“Ralph, you bad dog! What were you thinking?!”
“The tree has fallen – the lights are just blinking!”
“No more Christmas for you! You are a bad dog!”
“Get over here, you deserve to be flogged!”

They wonder what happened – why, Ralph, why?
But without his routine, it’s hard to get by.
As frequently happens when people get busy,
Ralph was forgotten – heck, he could have gone missing.
But he stayed right by them and tried to make sense,
Of their rushing and cussing and the constant stress.
Without any guidance, his anxiety grew,
The stress bothered him deeply, but no one knew.
The mess was a clue, but came way too late,
They smacked his nose and sent Ralph to his crate.

Now behind bars, as Ralph turned around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound!
He was dressed in all red from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were tarnished with ashes and soot.
His eyes – how they twinkled with a tiny speck!
He held up the dog leash dangling from his neck.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon let Ralph know he had nothing to dread.
“Don’t worry, young Ralph, I mean you no harm”
“Let’s do some training to show off your charm!”

Patiently Santa worked with the young pup,
He taught sit, stay, down, and how to stand up.
They worked on Ralph’s heeling – he was so good!
He sat tall and proud as St. Nicholas stood.
The last thing he taught him was best of all,
The place command would be their catchall!
With Ralph in his place feeling calm and well,
He felt completely at ease as if all was well.
“Time to go, young friend” said Santa too soon,
He took off in his sleigh, lit up by the moon.
He heard Santa exclaim as he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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