Back to my roots

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, December 20, 2023

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Twas the day before Christmas, I was off on a chore, a visit I’ve made many times before.

The town was all quiet as they awaited His birth, while I was concerned with His creatures on Earth.

The sick, the abused, the mistreated and lost, must not be abandoned no matter the cost.

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The child of hope greets me as I drive in a space, and the plaque tells her story to those entering this place.

I begin my visit with an oft-spoken prayer, “Please help me to help all creatures in there.”

I enter the first room, I’m immediately smitten, for who can resist the purrs of a kitten?

They crawl all about me as my face lights with joy and my heart reverts to being a boy.

Off to the cat room where they’re much more aloof, they too can be trusting but you must show them proof.

Some come to me quickly, they sense I’m okay, and soon others join them for pets and the play.

You must give them some time for they’re all pretty smart and you’ll learn that each is a kitten at heart.

Now off to the dog runs where the canines await, they seem to be ready for this special date

All becomes quiet as I draw near and I swear I hear whispers, “Uncle Lennie is here.”

Each sits at attention as I pass by to greet, I send them my love and hand them a treat.

I’ve learned long ago, I cannot save them all, but I can offer help should one of them fall.

I offer them dignity and a reason to cope.  Through my love and my prayers, I offer them hope.

My eyes start to shine, through the tears they are glistening.  Merry Christmas to all and thank you for listening.

Leonard Rizzo is the founder of Lennie’s Kids, a nonprofit organization that helps sick

and injured animals in the foothills, promotes animal welfare and works to find homes for pets.