by Barry B. Burtis D.V.M.
How a Vet Saved Christmas
One of my favourite stories at this time of year is How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. I'm sure it is familiar to many of you. It begins like this:
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot
But the Grinch,
Who lived just north of Who-ville
However, many of you may not be so familiar with another version of the story that continues like this:
For the cause of this hate, many had suggested a reason,
But the fact is at the start, the Grinch showed no specific lesion.
It could have been behavioural, just the result of a bad gene,
Or perhaps sore, aching ears could cause this streak of mean.
Any number of ailments can produce grumpiness in us all,
But the likelihood was, the Grinch's heart was two sizes too small.
We all know the story about what this brought about.
The Grinch, he stole Christmas, the miserable lout.
To prevent Who girls and boys from making noise and having fun,
To wipe out the turkey feasting, so enjoyed by everyone,
To silence the bells and avoid hearing Christmas singing,
A terrible plot ended up, to his mind bringing.
He dressed up like Santa and looked just like Saint Nick,
He even involved his dog, Max, in the hideous trick
He snuck down into Who-ville with fake reindeer and sled,
Filled his sacks with all stuff Christmas, while asleep in their bed,
The people of Who-ville peacefully slumbered on
With no idea the Grinch was pulling such an AWFUL con.
Well, on way home to Mt. Crumpit, three thousand feet up,
With a Christmas packed sleigh, pulled by his diligent pup,
The Grinch spotted a light on, in the office of old Doc Vet.
Well if Doc was not sleeping, he thought he could get
The checkup he wanted and had not yet received
It's best once a year for all animals, don't be deceived.
This is what happened, the short and the sweet,
As the Doc did an exam from the Grinch's nose to his feet.
A heart problem present since birth, the Doc did find
Undoubtedly responsible for the Grinch state of mind.
Surgery performed to correct patent ductus arteriosus,
The Grinch woke up to find himself no longer ferocious.
By now dawn was breaking and though in Who-ville no gifts were found,
With the arrival of Christmas, the joy of the day simply knew no bound.
People were singing, smiling and sharing, for as we all know,
Christmas is more than toys, gifts, ribbons, turkey and snow.
The Grinch found this surprising but with his heart working right,
Quickly returned the toys and the feast, to everyone's delight.
Then with Max by his side, certainly Grinch's best friend,
Merry Christmas greetings to each and all, he began to extend,
He reveled in this new found feeling of friendship and love
And knew he had much to celebrate, when push came to shove.
A new outlook on life, fixed heart, new friends and healthy pet,
All this and much more, when Christmas was saved by a vet.