‘Twas six days before Christmas, when all through the town,
A vibrant PAALS creature was stirring, a Golden/Labrador Retriever (GLAB) named Shack;
Tail wagging happily forward and back, because of his meticulous training, not a skill does he lack,
Full of glee, his giving nature, he loves to share,
In hopes that Dori’s independence continues to be there;
I am nestled all snug in my bed,
Shack wakes up each day, and physically lifts my legs and my head;
He in his cape, helping me into my coat,
Together, we head to work, and on me, Shack, continuously dotes.
When into the Able SC office there arises such a clatter,
Shack springs from his place under my desk to see what is the matter.
Away to my side he flies like a flash,
Goes to the floor to retrieve my phone, paper clips, pens, and dropped papers in a dash!
His head in a rest on my knee, Shack takes away pain, and cramps, so, we can stay on the go,
Shack helps me get up from the toilet, or chairs that are too low.
When, what to my wondering eyes does appear,
But an amazing service dog always bringing me cheer.
An energetic being so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment no task wouldn’t click.
More rapid than snow coming down in the east,
Each day, Shack works hard for a special treat;
“Now, CHIEF! now, CHIVER! now, STANLEY and COOKIE!
On, ABBE! on JOYCE! on, ROBERTA and AJ!
To the top of the mark! to the top of our game!
Now work away! work away! work away all!”
As challenges we have met bring us closer together,
We had to work harder, so we could be better,
Shack and I have to practice his skills each day,
Casper encourages us, on his bed where he lay.
And then, in a twinkling, Bryan, my husband, hears in the other room,
The prancing and moving of each little paw, as I fall and go boom.
As I land on the ground, Shack is busy turning around,
Through the house, Shack replies to my help with a dedicated bound.
Shack, all covered in fur, lands at Bryan’s foot,
My husband helping me get up because of Shack’s speaking hoot;
A bundle of enthusiasm, Shack tugs at my clothes, socks, and shoes,
He joyfully shows off his helpful moves.
His eyes, how they sparkle! his personality, how merry!
His wags are like boomerangs, his kisses like a berry!
He speaks not a word, but goes straight to his work,
Undressing and dressing me with turns and quick, little tugs,
Helping me with every fabulous hug,
And giving a nudge, my wheelchair footrests rose; he uses his nose,
Using a target, his paw pushes them around, my feet position and stay down.
These are the things Shack does for me everyday, for that, my thanks can never re-pay!
People like Maureen, Jen, Nick, Sheri, Mitzie, Julie, Stephanie, Kim, and Liz, to this team, we give a whistle,
And, to Heather, Rose and Keith, every PAALS Board Member, Foster, Pup-sitter, and Volunteer, our humble gratitude flies away like the down of a thistle.
To each Sponsor, Donator, Cocky Canine Club Member, Prison PAALS Person, we appreciate your generosity to PAALS plight,
Please hear us near and far, as we wheel and heel out of sight,
“MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!”
(previously believed to be by Clement Clarke Moore)