'Twas the Night Before' Doggie Collection

 I've found  many canine versions of this Holiday Classic. 
Most are lighthearted, but some are not.

Updated for 2007
Shipperke's Version

Boxer's Version

Dalmatian Version

Seeing Eye Dog Version

Corgi Version

Rottie Version 

Irish Setter Version

Show Version

Shelby's Version

Watch Dog's Version

Dog's Night Before Christmas 1

Dog's Night Before Christmas 2

Dog's Night Before Christmas 3

Dachshund's Version

Shelter Version 1

Shelter Version 2

Christmas Puppy Version

Night Before Christmas
in the Mills of Missouri

Day Before Christmas

Night Before Dogmas 1

Night Before Dogmas 2

Adventures of David the Underdog

The Night Before Whelping

Another Collection

Cat's Night Before 1

Cat's Night Before 2


Night before Catmas

Back to Leilah's Laughs Howliday Humor


'Twas da night before Christmas
And all thru da house.
Not a creetchur was stirrin',
Not even dat mouse!

Mommy and Daddy was safe in deir bed
But I couldn't get da mousie outta my head!
So I went to da kitchen and looked all around,
And you wouldn't believe what I did found!

Dere on da table dere was a great site-
A glass of milk had been left in the night!
So I got up on da table and dranked it all gone
And ate half a cookie and layed down and yawned

When outside da house, their arose such a racket,
I jumped on da floor, gettin ready to attack it!
I got real low, so da monsters wouldn't see me
And puffed out my fur and hid under da tree

When what, to my big green eyes did appear,
But a great big red guy with a fuzzy white beard!
The beard swayed around and enticed me a bit
So I wiggled my butt and jumped upon on it!

The red guy was surprised and felled on da tree
"Uh-oh!" I thought. Mom and Dad will blame me!
So I ran up da stairs and I got out of site
And I didn't go down for da rest of da night.

In da morning I slowly approached Mom and Dad.
You shoulda seen da big mess that they had!
But when they seed me they just smiled and sighed.
So I head-butted Momma and purred by Dad's side.

And dis next part still bring tears to my eyes.
But Momma and Daddy had a surprise:
Da big red guy with da fuzzy white beard
Had left me a gift for bein good all year!


'Twas the nite before the nite before
an' all thru-out da land
kitties scurried an' hurried
toward a nite dat wud be grand.

Paco an' Charlie sent wishes
tew all dere kitty frens'
an' da antis an' da uncles
an' effun d*gs an' TEDS...

Merry, merry Kissamouse
an' a Bast-blessed noo yeer
frum ower hous tew yur hous
(an' spehsully fur Miss Moneypenny, deer.)

Sined, PacoBell
Charlie (P.S. Happy Kissamouse, my fren Miss Bootsie!)
an' Meowmie Pam


Posted by lucy on November 22, 1998 at 08:02:07:

"Twas the night before christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in the beds,
With no thought of the dog filling their heads.
And mama with her `kerchief and I in my cap,
Knew he was cold, but didn't care about that.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Figuring the dog was free of his chain and into the trash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But Santa Claus - with eyes full of tears.

He unchained the dog, once so lively and quick,
Last years Christmas present, now painfully thin and sick.
More rapid than eagles he calls the dogs name,
And the dog ran to him, despite all his pain.
"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Let's find this dog a home where he'll be loved by all"

I knew an instant there would be no gifts this year,
For Santa Claus had made one thing clear,
The gift of a dog is not just for the Season,
We had gotten the pup for all the wrong reasons.
 In our haste to think of the kids a gift
There was one important thing that we missed.
A dog should be family, and cared for the same,
You don't give a gift, then put it on the chain.

And I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight,
"You weren't given a gift! You were given a life!

 -Stacey Vincent



'Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
Every shelter is full - we are lost but not found, 
Our numbers are hung  on our kennels so bare, 
We hope every minute that someone will care.
They'll come to adopt us and give us the call, 
"Come here, Max and Sparkie - come fetch your new ball!!"
But now we sit here and think of the days 
we were treated so fondly - we had cute, baby ways. 

Once we were little, then we grew and we grew, 
now we're no longer young and we're no longer new. 
So out the back door we  were thrown like the trash, 
They reacted so quickly - why were they so rash?
We "jump on the children, "don't come when they call",
We "bark when they leave us", climb over the wall. 
We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
Now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made. 

If only they'd trained us, if only we knew, 
We'd have done what they asked us and  worshiped them, too.
 We were left in the backyard, or worse - left to roam,
Now we're tired and lonely and out of a home. 
They dropped us off here  and they kissed us good-bye, 
"Maybe someone else will give you a try."
So now here we are, all confused and alone, 
In a shelter with others who  long for a home.

The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat, 
With so many to care for, they can't stay to chat.
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer, 
We know that they wonder how long we'll be here. 
We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads, 
Of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears, 
Our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.

If you can't adopt us and there's no  room at the Inn, 
Could you help with the bills and fill our food bin? 
We count on your kindness each day of the year, 
Can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat 
And help get us something special to eat. 
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live, 
and more of us will, if more people will give.
 - Author Unknown
(Thanks, Intercat, for sending this to me!)

'Twas the night before Christmas and the kennels were still,
 With most dogs now asleep having eaten their fill.
The Labradors sprawled out, quite snug in their beds,
While visions of ANYTHING edible danced in their heads.
And the Goldens and Shepherds curled up on the floor,
Some twitched in their sleep and some even did snore.
The dog food was stacked in the feed room with care,
In hopes that a trainer soon would be there. 

On the window ledge, one of the kennel cats lay,
Surveying the lawn at the end of this day.
Something was different, that little cat knew.
Tonight something would happen, it had to be true.
For that day as the workers had left to go home,
They'd wished Merry Christmas! before starting to roam.
The dogs had noticed it to during this past week's walks,
The trainers seemed just that much happier and eager to talk.

In the mall where they worked through the maze of people and stores,
There were decoration and music and distractions galore!
Most dogs pranced along without worry or fear,
     but some balked at the man on the sleigh and those fake looking deer.
The cat was almost asleep too when he first heard the sound,
     A whoosh through the air and a jingle around.
It reminded him  of a dog's collar when the animal shook,
     But this sound kept on growing. He'd better go look.

From the ceiling there came a faint sort of thunk,
     As the kennel cat climbed to the highest pile of junk.
Once before people had worked on the roof,
     And come down through the trap door to a chorus of "Woooof!"
But the dogs still were quiet, all sleeping so sound,
     As this man dressed in red made his way right on down.
He patted the cat as he climbed past his spot,
     Then made his way right to the trainers' coffee pot.

A shepherd sat up, not fully awake,
     Then a Golden followed her with a mighty loud shake.
That did it! All the dogs sprang to life with loud noise.
     In spite of the din, the old man kept his poise.
He filled the pot full and it started to brew,
     Then he pulled up a chair and took in the view.
Dogs all around him, so carefully bred,
     He knew well their jobs, the blind people they led.

Some had stopped barking and looked at him now,
     While others delighted in their own deafening howl.
Laying a finger in front of his lips,
     The jolly old man silenced the excitable yips.
"You all may not know me, but I'm Santa Claus,"
     the old man smiled and took a short pause,
While he filled up his mug with hot liquid and cream,
     "I've always wanted to stop here. It's been one of my dreams."

The cat had climbed down and was exploring Santa's sack.
     "Yes, little kitty, that's an empty pack."
Santa smiled as he drank and looked at those eyes,
     Deep brown ones and gold ones held wide in surprise.
Some of these dogs, he'd seen just last year,
     In their puppy homes, cute and full of holiday cheer.
He'd seen the effects of a pup on the tree,
     But now they were here at the school, just waiting to be.

"I didn't bring you presents or bones just to chew.
     I'll tell you something better, what you are going to do."
"You all will work hard and the trainers will share,
     Both praise and correction, gentle and fair."
"You'll go lots of places and face big scary things.
     You'll ride buses and subways and hear fire sirens ring."
"Cars will drive at you but you will stand strong,
     Not moving into danger, not moving toward wrong."

"And then just when you think that this trainer's the best,
     The kindest, and funnest person, toss away all the rest."
"That trainer will begin to ignore you and give you away,
     Handing your leash over despite your dismay."
"Now the person who pets you and feeds you will be
     A blind person. That's a person who can't see."
" This man or this woman may see just a tad,
    But their view's missing parts or the focus is bad."

"So you, well trained dogs, will act as their eyes.
     You will work as a team and discover the size"
"Of this great world we live in, because you will go
     A million new places with this person, you  know."
Santa sipped at his coffee and looked over the brood,
     Knowing what he had to say next might sound kind of rude.
"Not all of you will make it and become canine guides.
     Your time here isn't wasted though. You won't be cast aside."

"Some of you will be drug dogs and some will find bombs.
     Some will become pets in a home with a dad and a mom."
"All these things are important. People wait on long lists,
     To receive such good dogs as you, the school folks insist."
The last drop of coffee had gone into his cup
     As Santa turned, smiling at each wide eyed pup.
"The best gift of all is to give something back.
     That's why there's nothing for you all inside of my pack."

Draining his mug, Santa went to each pen,
     And petted and scratched each dog again and again.
"Now next year and many more years after that,
     You all will give gifts wherever you're at."
"You might lick a hand that's had a bad day,
     Or notice a car and step out of the way."
"You might help catch a crook or discover some loot,
     Or just bring some joy to a tired old man in a funny red suit."

"Your master will love you and treat you with care.
     In return, your training and trust will always be there."
After the last dog had been petted and soothed,
     Santa put away the coffee pot and made ready to move.
Up the ladder he rose to the door high above,
     With a smile and a wave as he slipped on his gloves.
And all the dog ears were pricked as he disappeared out of sight.
     "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!"

- Author Unknown

It's the day before Christmas and all through the house
The puppies are squeaking an old rubber mouse.
The wreath which had merrily hung on the door
Is scattered in pieces all over the floor.
The stockings that hung in a neat little row
Now boast a hole in each one of the toes.
The tree was subjected to bright-eyed whims,
And now, although splendid, it's missing some limbs.

I catch them and hold them, "Be good", I insist.
They lick me, then run off to see what they've missed.
And now as I watch them the thought comes to me,
That theirs is the spirit that Christmas should be.
Should children and puppies yet show us the way,
And teach us the joy that should come with this day?
Could they bring the message that's written above,
And tell us that, most of all Christmas is love

 - Author Unknown

The Night before Dogmas
By Carol Kufner

Twas the night before Dogmas when all through the house
Not an animal was stirring, not even the mouse.
The puppies were snuggled and tucked in their beds,
While visions of dog goodies danced in their heads.
Their stockings were hung by the dog bowls with care,
In hope that Father Dogmas soon would be there.
Out on the rooftop there arose such a barking,
I knew Father Dogmas was having trouble parking.

I jumped on the couch, stuck my nose to the curtain.
"Here he is!",  I barked. "It is him, I'm certain."
What to my dark brown eyes should appear,
But Father Dogmas himself in his dogsled gear.
He whined and he whimpered, but through the doggie door he went,
Then stopped and smelled the air as he picked up a scent.
The dog cookies we left him were by the back door.
The puppies had baked them not an hour before.

He went about his work with never a sigh,
Filling the stockings with toys piled high.
He waved at me with his mighty paw.
Although I was hiding, 'twas my long nose he saw.
Out the doggie door he went in oh such a rush,
Jumped on his dogsled and yelled out, "MUSH!"
The eight dog team were raring to go.
They hated 'stand stay', especially in the snow.

I could hear him howling as he disappeared that night,
"Merry Dogmas to all! OK team, turn rrrrright!"

Tonight's my first night as a watchdog,
And here it is Christmas Eve.
The children are sleepin' all cozy upstairs,
While I'm guardin' the stockin's and tree.

What's THAT now . . . footsteps on the rooftop?
Could it be a cat or a mouse?
Who's THIS down the chimney?
A thief with a beard - And a big sack for robbin' the house?

I'm barkin'. . . I'm growlin' . . . I'm bitin' his butt.
He howls and jumps back in his sleigh.
I scared his strange horses, they leap in the air.
I've frightened the whole bunch away.

Now the house is all peaceful and quiet again,
The stockin's are safe as can be.
Won't the kiddies be glad when they wake up tomorrow . . .
And see how I've guarded the tree.

by Shel Silverstein

Dog's Night Before Christmas
Author Unknown

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
My dogs were nestled, all snug in "MY" bed,
While visions of chewie toys danced in their heads.

I in my sweat pants and Dad in his sweater,
Had just settled down to read the Great Dog Reporter,
When up on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter!

Off to the window I flew in a flash,
Tore open the shutter and threw up the sash.
The moon on the crest of the new fallen snow
Gave a luster of midday to the objects below.

And what to my wondering eyes did appear
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver so lively and quick
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

With a sputter of ashes -- a flurry of soot,
He slid down the chimney with all of his loot.
My Dogs stood there so regal and proud,
Guarding their home with barks oh so loud.
St. Nick showed no fear and called them by name,
He knew in his heart they were gentle and tame.

He brought out his list, checking it twice.
"Well, my beauties, all year you've been very nice.
I have in my bag toys and much more,
Just tell me what you pups really long for."

My dogs talked to each other -- much to my surprise
and turned to Santa with tears in their eyes,
"We have chewies and balls and ropes to be tugged,
We are pampered and coddled and petted and hugged.
But for Christmas, dear Santa, we have but one care,
that all dogs be loved as much as we are.
We want no dog beaten, whipped or chained,
No dog abandoned, abused or maimed.
We want all dogs, no matter what size,
to see love reflected in their master's eyes."

St. Nick stopped for a moment to gather his wits,
"I have nothing to stop humans from being such twits."
All dogs are so beautiful and are such a treasure,
Living only to be loved and give humans pleasure.
This lesson I will try to teach
Then maybe your wish will be within my reach."

St. Nick leaned over and kissed each beautiful head.
"Now you gentle giants, go off to bed.
Think good thoughts and dream good dreams
Of running and jumping and playing in streams."

St. Nick turned to me, his face wet with tears.
"Be proud of your babies, they are such dears."

In an instant St. Nick disappeared in a poof,
And I heard him chuckle as he ran on the roof.
He jumped in his sleigh and to his team gave a whistle,
and off he flew like the down on a thistle.

And I heard him exclaim as the drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to All and To All Dogs a Good Life!"

The Night Before Dog-mas
 By Claudine Gandolti

"Twas the night before Dog-mas when all through the pound
Not a puppy was yelping or playing around;
Our leashes were hung, by our kennels with care,
In hopes that St. Bernard would soon find us there;

Chihuahuas were curled up, all snug in their beds,
While visions of doggie treats danced in their heads;
Max in his collar, on somebody's lap,
Had tucked in his tail for a midwinter's nap,

When outside the room there arose such a clatter,
My ears perked right up to hear what was the matter.
Away to the window I jumped up with glee,
And barked at the shadows that were cast by a tree.

The glow from the moon changed night into day,
And started me thinking,"woof woof time to play!"
When, what with my puppy-dog eyes did I see,
But a splendid dog sled, led by doggies like me.

With a regal furred driver commanding, not stern.
I yelped to the others,"That must be St. Bern!"
More rapid than greyhounds our saviors they came,
And we barked and we howled, and called them by name:

"There's Duchess! There's King! Fat Chance, and bare Buffy!
On Fido!  On Scooter! On Rover and Scruffy!
Go by the red fire hydrant and run pass those trees!
Nothing can stop you, not even some fleas!"

As puppies at play chase after a stick, and race to their masters
So lively and quick, so out in the field his canines all flew,
Catching the frisbees, that St. Bernard threw.
And then in an instant I heard at the door the

Scratching and clawing of each little paw.
As I pulled in my nose, and was turning around,
Through he door St. Bernard came in with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his tail

His wood cask adorned with an icing of hail;
A bag of chew toys he had brought in with him,
And his mouth was turned up into what looked like grin.
His eyes how they twinkled! His ears flopped, how merry!

His coat shone like crystal, his nose like a cherry!
His big floppy mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the fur on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a bone was held tight in his teeth,

And his collar encircled his neck like a wreath.
He had a large face and a furry, round belly
That bounced when he barked, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was fluffy and plump, a big cuddly, old pooch and

I laughed when I saw him and gave him a smooch.
A wink of his eye and a wag of his tail; we knew right away
We'd have homes without fail. He howled not a howl,
But went straight to his deed, and took down our leashes

That soon we would need. He opened the door,
And families stood there, with children, all smiling,
And much love to spare.  He lept to his sled,
to his team gave a call and away they all flew as if chasing a ball.

But I heard him exclaim as he chewed on a bone;
"Happy Dog-mas to all and to all a good home!"

'Twas the night before Christmas
   And all through the crates
   Not a Dalmatian was stirring
   Not even for bait.

   The puppies were nestled
   All snug in their beds
   While visions of biscuits
   Danced in their heads

   The stockings were hung
   By the fireplace of stone
   In hopes they'd be filled
   With rawhide and bones

   Ma in her nightshirt
   And I in my robe
   Had just settled down
   By the ol' woodstove

   When out on the lawn
   There arose such a commotion
   I sprang from my chair
   To see why the dogs weren't in motion

   Away to the window
   I ran like a deer
   Tore open the shade
   To see who was here

   The moon on the top
   Of the new fallen snow
   Gave the luster of doghair
   To the ground below.

   And what do I see
   To my started exclamation
   But a miniature sleigh
   And eight spotted dalmatians.

   With a little 'ole handler
   So poised and so sure
   I knew in a moment
   'Twould not be a bore

   More rapid than beagles
   His charges they came
   And he whistled and shouted
   And called them by name

   Now Austin, now Blackjack
   Now Chips and Josh P
   On Morris and Fancy
   On Lace and Indy

   To the top of the doghouse
   To the top of the wall
   Now dash away, dash away
   Dash away all

   As the dry leaves that before
   A running Dalmatian fly
   Meet with an obstacle
   Mount to the sky

   So up to the housetop
   The coursers they flew
   With a sleigh full of choo-hooves
   And St, Nicholas too.

   And then in an instant
   I heard on the roof
   The scratching and digging
   Of each spotted foot.

   As I drew in my head
   And was turning around
   Down the chimney
   St. Nicholas came with a bound.

   He was dressed all in fur
   But had not a care
   For his clothes were all covered
   With black and white hair.

   A bundle of toys
   He had flung on his back
   And he looked like a groomer
   Just opening his pack.

   His eyes how they twinkled
   His dimples how merry
   His cheeks were like roses
   His nose like a cherry,

   His small little mouth
   Smile to greet all his pals
   And the beard on his chin
   Was as white as the dals.

   He had a broad little face
   And a round little tummy
   That wriggled when he laughed
   Like the tail of a puppy.

   He was chubby and plump
   A right jolly old boy
   The dogs barked when they saw him
   Their eyes on the toys.

   A wink of his eye
   And a twist of his head
   Soon told the dogs
   They had nothing to dread.

   He spoke not a word
   But went straight to his work.
   And filled all the stockings
   Then turned with a jerk.

   And with a pat to each
   Spotted dog's nose
   Giving a nod
   Up the chimney he rose.

   He sprang to his sleigh
   To his team gave a whistle
   And away they all flew
   Like the down of a thistle.

   And I heard him exclaim
   As he drove out of sight
   "Happy showing to all
   And to all a good night."

   © Karen Darling 1993