‘Twas the night before Million Paws Walk, when all through the Shelter
All the creatures were stirring, even the mouse;
The banners and signs were hung by Stage 88 with care,
In hopes that lots and lots of dogs would soon be there:
The puppies were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of the Paw-Olympics Games danced in their heads;
And volunteers in their green shirts and staff in blue caps,
Had just finalised the rosters hoping there were no gaps,
When out on the lawn there rose such a clatter,
I sprang from backstage to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon shining brightly giving hope to a beautiful day,
Gave us faith to know that all would be okay,
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But an oversized dog, the colour of a reindeer.
With its enormous feet not lively or quick,
I knew it must be our mascot, Daisy from the Inspectorate.
She was excited about all the dogs coming to the Games,
And she whistled and shouted so many rescue dog names;
Come Lucy! Come Bouncer! Come Grover, Come Misty!
On Goji, On Tatum! On Mya and Penelope!
To the start of the Games! To the start of the Walk!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away to the starting block!
As leaves that before the winter wind fly,
When she met with an obstacle, jumped to the other side;
So up the stage stairs Inspector Daisy flew,
With prizes and medals for the top few –
And then, in a twinkling, I heard laughter and awes,
Then the prancing and pawing of each big paw.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Out the stage door Inspector Daisy came with a bound.
She was dressed all in fur, from her head to her toe,
With advice about animal care wherever she goes.
A bundle of Hill's goodie bags she had flung on her back,
And she looked like a pedler just opening her pack.
Her eyes – how they twinkled! Her dimples, how merry!
Her cheeks were like roses, and her nose not quite a cherry!
Her cute little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
Her doggie size paws were worth a photo.
The inspector patch she showed proudly on her sleeve,
And the children encircled when they saw her like a wreath;
She had a broad face and a very round belly
That shook when she laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
She was a little chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of myself;
A wink of her eye and a twist of her head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work,
And filled all the booths; then turned with a jerk,
And laying her finger aside of her nose,
And giving a nod, into the van she rode;
She sprang to her seat, to the team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew down Commonwealth Avenue.
But I heard her exclaim, just like a movie—
“Remember only you can prevent animal cruelty!”