by Marilyn Wolpin (for Susannah Hill’s Christmas contest December 2020)
Christmas day at break of dawn
Ollie barks, “Please let me out.”
Down the steps, across the lawn
He’s starting on his route.
Ollie has a job today:
Help bring on a smile,
In his very special way:
His friendship for a while.
Almost there – around the bend,
She’s waiting at the door.
Gray-haired Mrs. Townsend,
He’ll make her smile – and more!
With outstretched arms
She hugs her friend –
A dog with charms
That never end.
Ollie’s visit here is done.
He knows it’s time to go.
He hates to wag and hug then run,
But one more friend is lonely, so –
Off he goes,
Around the block.
He’s on the clock.
Mr. Tom waits home alone,
Sometimes his days are sad.
It’s tough when you are on your own —
But Ollie makes him glad.
Tom shares a delicious treat
and throws a bouncing ball.
He says, “Ollie, you’re so sweet
to make this special call.”
But Ollie has more work to do,
Another lonesome friend to greet.
A green backyard to cut through
And just across the street.
Mr. Green lives all alone.
No children or a mate.
He never chatters on the phone.
Ollie bustles through the gate.
Mr. Green wheels to the door,
And ushers his guest in.
Ollie helps him with a chore,
And watches his friend grin.
Christmas day is fading fast.
His neighbors now are cheered up.
Helping’s fun. He’s had a blast!
But Ollie’s now a hungry pup.
Ollie’s finished spreading joy.
But he needs mom’s help now.
Hugs, rubs, and “Who’s a good boy?”
And a bowl of puppy chow.
Author’s Note: This story was inspired by a real-life 14-year old blind and deaf golden retriever named Oliver who spends his days visiting his neighbors. The people in the poem are pure fiction.