The Ridgeback’s 12 Days of Christmas


In December 1997, the last time she permitted herself the luxury of Yuletide décor, Ridgeback lover and rescuer Elise Lewis of Chattanooga, Tennessee, penned a parody of breed-specific holiday mayhem. After posting “The Ridgeback’s 12 Days of Christmas” on a popular email list, and singing it at her office Christmas party, she promptly forgot about it.

But, like the literary version of a designer dog, it soon surfaced in unlikely mutations. “I’ve seen it changed to Shepherd, Xolo, Great Dane, Golden Doodle – any two-syllable dog breed will do,” Elise says.

A less amusing change was Elise’s name morphing into “Author Unknown.”

Here are the lyrics:

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my Ridgeback gave to me:
Eleven unwrapped presents
Ten Christmas cards I shoulda mailed
My wreath in nine pieces
Eight tiny reindeer fragments
Seven scraps of wrapping paper
Six yards of soggy ribbon
Five chewed-up stockings
Four broken window candles
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubbles lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my Ridgeback gave to me:
A dozen puppy kisses
And I forgot all about the other eleven days.

Excerpted from 100 Memorable Rhodesian Ridgeback Moments

Photo by