I died today. You got tired of me and took me to the shelter. They were overcrowded and I drew an unlucky number. I am in a black plastic bag in a landfill now. Some other puppy will get the barely used leash you left. My collar was too dirty and too small, and the lady took it off before she sent me to the RainbowBridge.
Would I still be at home if I hadn’t chewed your shoe ? I didn’t know what it was, but it was leather and it was on the floor. I was just playing. You forgot to get puppy toys.
Would I still be at home if I had been housebroken ? Rubbing my nose in what I did only made me ashamed I had to go at all. There are books nd obedience teachers that would have taught you how to teach me to go to the door.
Would I still be at home if I hadn’t brought fleas into the house ? Without antiflea medicine I couldn’t get them off me after you left me in the yard for days.
Would I still be at home if I hadn’t barked ? I was only saying, “I’m scared, I’m lonely, I’m here, I want to be your best friend”.
Would I still be at home if I had made you happy ? Hitting me didn’t make me learn how.
Would I still be at home if you had taken the time to care for me and to teach me manners ? You didn’t pay attention to me after the first week or so, but I spent my time waiting for you to love me.
I died today.
DESERT ANGEL-by Angie Jamison-2001-For Wally
I wish you sweet sleep now, my little one-let the stars and the moon be your light. Take comfort, your journey is over-rest in God’s care tonight.
Sleep now my weary companion-take comfort to know someone cared, and searched until truth stood before her-bringing you home from out there.
Sleep now my sweet desert angel-your six years went by so fast, three homes you had known while still living-it pains us that this was your last.
Sleep now sweet boy of the desert-rest your white weary head on hearts that will always remember-the story of you and your dad.
So sleep now our little white angel-with the moon and the stars as your light and know that you’ll always be thought of-in Spring when your flowers bloom white.
Rescue Angels-Author Unknown
Tail tucked between your legs, confusion in your eyes
I know it’s hard to understand that someone heard your cries.
When loneliness is all you know and pain is all you feel
And no-one can be trusted and hunger’s all too real.
That’s the time the Lord sees you and lets you know He’s there
That’s when he sends his messengers, the hearts that love and care.
The medicine to make you well, good food to make you strong
And finally to help you learn that hugs are never wrong.
The perfect place then must be found, the home where you can live
Secure and safe and happy with joy to get and give.
When you reach your forever home, your place to feel whole
The Angels smile and off they go to save another soul.
A Rescuer at the RainbowBridge
Once in a while, the skies are grey at the rainbow bridge And an old dog, tired and sick, can be seen approaching. Those waiting at the bridge stand aside, As they have been restored to youth and vigor And this dog has not. They know what will happen next.
The sick old dog goes to a part of the lawn where Several other sad dogs are also waiting and, slowly, He lies down....for a long patient wait.
A young dog will ask another, "What is happening? Why is that dog all tattered and sick and Why is he looking so old, so sad?" And a more experienced dog will reply, "That dog had no home, no one to love and So he has no one to wait for, here at the Bridge. He cannot cross by himself. Nobody cared for him when he was alive... Only a rescuer who took him in until he died."
Oh, how sadly the forlorn pack of dogs lie in the shade. They know they cannot cross the bridge... They have no hope.
Many days pass by. The sick old dogs wait and wait While healthy, young dogs--one after another--are Embraced by their owners and cross the bridge together.
Then one day, a shaft of golden sunshine Surrounds an approaching human. The old dogs all get to their feet and he goes to them. As he touches each dog, petting their heads lovingly, One after the other...each dog is transformed! Youthful and gay, their tails are up and wagging! Now they surround the man and in a joyous group They cross the rainbow bridge together.
The young dog asks the more experienced one, "What happened? How did that human do that?"
The older dog responds, "He was a rescuer! On earth he took in many dogs who were homeless, He nursed them and found them new owners and, To thank him for his work on earth, God has granted him the pleasure of taking All those he rescued with him...into Heaven."
I don't know why they made me suffer so???? Im only a little puppy that was supposed to love and grow.
I fell between the cracks left blind at 5 1/2 months old I stumble so I cannot see-oh I wonder what has happened to me. Ive been so sick from my first round of shots Im physically and mentally off and it hard for me to walk
I was turned into rescue on Jan 25th at My new foster Mom saw my misery as I tried to walk. I fell in my water bowl and ran into the doors I only weight 8 pounds need I say more.
She wasted no time to find me relief. The pain she was feeling to let me be free was one of the hardest things ever to be.
I felt her tear drop as the needle went in but I felt such relief to not have to live on this earth so sick and thin.
I can dance now in the meadows and be free from it all and the beauty I see as I ran across that bridge is a sight you will someday have to see!!! Good-bye all From the Westie that never had a name :(
She did in the end-Angel.
Who can think what a puppy is for? I know for sure, They make messes galore. They lift up their leg, and mark on the chair, Chew on your slippers, Cause they just don't care. Ticks and fleas make a home in their hair, You wash and you shave them, Until they are bare. Teeth fall out as they chew up the house, No buttons are found on your favorite blouse. They bark at the telly, and let up a roar, Sometimes you push them right out of the door. They run up the road and won't even come back, You trudge on down and give them some flack. To bed you go and they're right in the middle, You wait and pray you'll not feel a piddle. They lick at their body parts, then kiss your nose, And deposit their breakfast, Right on to your clothes. Well I guess puppies are to wrap arms around, When all in world seems dismal and brown? Yes, the simple joy of petting this hound, Makes us all happy he's out of the pound.
Cry of a Lonely Dog
I wish someone would tell me What it is that I've done wrong Why do I have to stay chained up And be left alone so long? They seemed glad to have me When I came here as a pup There were many things we'd do When I was growing up. The master said he'd train me As a companion and a friend The mistress said she'd never fear To be alone again. The children said they'd feed me And brush me every day They'd play with me and walk me If only I could stay. All I had you see is love I wish they would explain Why they said they wanted mine and left it on a chain? The children never walk me. They always say: "Not now". I wish that I could please them. Won't someone tell me how? But now the master 'hasn't time' The mistress says I shed She doesn't want me in the house not even to be fed.
Now that I'm home, bathed, settled and fed, All nicely tucked in my warm new bed. I'd like to open my baggage Lest I forget, There is so much to carry - So much to regret. Hmm . . . Yes, there it is, right on the top Let's unpack Loneliness, Heartache and Loss, And there by my leash hides Fear and Shame. As I look on these things I tried so hard to leave - I still have to unpack my baggage called Pain. I loved them, the others, the ones who left me, But I wasn't good enough - for they didn't want me. Will you add to my baggage? Will you help me unpack? Or will you just look at my things - And take me right back? Do you have the time to help me unpack? To put away my baggage, To never repack? I pray that you do - I'm so tired you see, But I do come with baggage - Will you still want me? By Evelyn Colbath (c)1995
Don't close the door! Don't push me away. Why are you leaving? Don't make me stay. Slow down the car, I can't keep up. This pavement is hot and my pads are cut. I've got to quit running or my heart will pop. Every muscle is aching. Why don't you stop? I'm so hungry and thirsty. Darkness is near. But I shouldn't leave, he will come for me here. Several weeks have passed, I am dead on my feet. They call me a nuisance because I eat off the streets. Every car that passes, I chase it to see If it's my master coming for me. Though I approach those that come near With trust in my eyes and no sign of fear. With hate in their voices and a cold, heartless stare, They threaten to kill me - they don't even care. Batter my body with rocks that they throw, I will not leave, her will come, don't you know? Overtaken with weakness, my body is numb. I'm sick and so lonely. Oh please, let him come! I will go back where he first threw me out. I'll wait for him there, her will come, no doubt. My thoughts are fading. My chest feels like lead. I'm sleepy, so sleepy - I can't lift my head. It's so quiet, so peaceful -- all remains still. There is my master at my home on the hill. Yes, I can see him, he's calling my name. His voice is so gentle, his hands are the same. He decided he wants me. Things will be fine. I really do love him, that master of mine. My tail ways with pleasure. I can't catch my breath. He came in my dreams, but so did my DEATH!!
My bones ache, my muscles sore, so tired I have grown, I sit within the small confines of this tiny cage I call home.
Many friends surround me, lots of different breeds, They too share my aches and pains, with no humans to tend our needs.
I am a bitch or so they call me, I hear its not a bad name, Lots of puppies I have whelped, to them its just a game.
I sit and watch day after day, so many puppies being born, Where do they go, what happens to them, when from their Moms they're torn?
I can see the grass growing tall and green, I long to sniff and feel it. I've never walked upon that field nor have they let me near it.
Instead I walk upon this screen so hard, so rough so cold. My feet ache, my toes are sore, I'm exhausted and feel so old.
My friends have told they lived in places, long before this one. Where humans touched them every day and with children they could run.
I long to have just one human pet and kiss me, and maybe play a game. I know it will never happen, but I wish it all the same.
Instead they bring another dog and toss him in with me, Another litter I must bear, there's no end that I can see.
The little girl that sits beside me, cried out the other day, She screamed out loud then limp she went and the pups were taken away.
She was gone but just a day, when her sister was beside me, she too had some more puppies, so small and weak and tiny.
The other day they came and checked me, while my puppies were being born, "This ones too big, there's no use now, her insides are too torn"
The scooped me up, it hurt so bad, the blood was everywhere, They never tried to help me, they didn't seem to care.
They took me to that big green field, and laid me on the ground, The smell was heaven, and the ground so soft, I tried to look around.
They covered me with more soft soil, I had nothing to fear. I closed my eyes and just relaxed, I knew the end was near.
No longer do I imagine the feel of human touch, or how it feels to run and play, here I have so much.
There is a great big colored bridge, and fields that go forever, I'm happy, I'm home, I'm someone's friend, it couldn't get much better. Written By: Kathy Coffman
Mom entered a essay contest for Faith. It was to be told from Her point of view, Well Mom and Faith won but so did Tasha and I because Faith is sharing the toys and goodies she won with us. Hope you don't mind, but Pop and I thought we would let you read the essay.
My Mom If you would have ask me to write this last mothers day I could not have done it. Because you see I lived in a place called a puppy mill, and there you have no mom. I had never been hugged or kissed, nor felt the kindness of a human hand. But like I said that was last year. You see I became ill, and could no longer give them puppies, so they said this one must go. I was so sick and scared as I was put in another cage, little did I know this was the start of my new life. But not knowing this, I gave up, I was just so tired. What is this? I have been given a blanket, and a soft bed to lay upon. I'm given pills to make me feel better, I even got a bath. Then I hear the words that fill me with fright. I am to go to a new home, they try to tell me she loves me so. But this word love, what is that? All to soon the day arrives, she has come to take me home. I don't want to leave this place, so I curl up as tight as I can, hoping she won't see me. But I hear her as she walks into the room, she sets down beside me and strokes my head. I feel her hand lift up my face so that I must look at her. What is this? she has tears in her eyes, I hear her whisper I love you. She picks me up and holds me close, then tells me I am going home. Home? is she taking me back to where I came from? I soon find out the answer is no, she tells me I belong to her and that I have two sisters, one is a pest and one is not. I've been given a home, Been made to know what its like to be loved. So you see this year,I now can say, I have a Mom, and she is the best. So hugs to all. Faith
A year ago, maybe a little more A pup was born and sold to a store
He was cute and fuzzy and white as snow his future uncertain although he didn't know
He was put in a cage with others like him and trucked across country upon the Miller's whim
He wound up in a store and put on display where he was sold like a toy... the very next day
This seemed ok with him you see... for all he wanted was to be loved and "to be"
But several weeks later he was given up again.. as a gift they told him.. to a very dear friend..
The friend tried to keep him but had problems of her own and kept him in a tiny cage all locked up on his own..
He became very sick with no treatment given and his new mommy too busy to notice he wasn't really livin...
He wanted to give kisses and hugs and be loved Instead he was told he was a nuisance way beyond and above
Than one day he was packed in a car and given away again to place kind of far
The new lady seemed kind of nice..but soon lost her patience not once..not even twice.
Nobody noticed how sick he'd become that his urine was bloody and his pain just begun
The new mommy fed up with his smell called a Westie rescue witha story to tell..
Now here is the good part as you will soon see... Simon found a real mommy who would help him "be me"
She came to see him and their eyes met she knew she couldn't leave him now all was set
Into her car she placed him so carefully and kissed him and hugged him and told him don't worry.
She brought him home and made him all better and now he has turned into the best Westie ever
The love that he gives is payment enough To save just one life is not really that tough
All it takes is understanding and love The rewards are far greater and you'll have help from above
For a rescue is grateful beyond compare there is no love greater than helping a dog in despair....
Oh, my gosh, what's this I see? Another two legged creature standing over me. Maybe, this time, I'll be the one, As I have watched my litter mates go, one by one. At ten weeks old, I know nothing of humans, But I'm going to like this one, at least I'm assumin' She knows how to love me and keep me safe from harm, And I know, with this family, I'll be happy and warm. My family loves to go camping and so do I, So much freedom and peace under the clear, sunny sky. I'd rather do nothing than play in the sun, Long walks, lots of love, and I just romp and run. Tonight, as we do my next favorite thing, Which is taking a walk, I'm so happy I could sing. Please let me take Girl's leash in my mouth, I can walk her ... which way? ... north or south? Gee, mom and dad, this is fun, but I'm so tired, I can't seem to walk, my feet seem to be mired, Just let me rest for a minute, I plead, I'll be ready to go real soon, your voices to heed. What's wrong? Why can't I get up and play? Mom's crying so hard, I hate seeing her this way. She's holding me and I want to tell her it's okay, ButRainbowBridge is calling me this day. As we ride in the car on the way to the vet, I slip quietly away and yet, I wish I could stay with this family of mine, Fourteen weeks is just not enough time! My breeder didn't care about such things as good breeding, All she wanted was money...all the warnings not heeding. I hope she knows all the grief she has caused, For the humans who loved me from my nose to my paws. It is at RainbowBridge I now wait, And when my family finally comes to the gate, I will be whole again, and so will they, In the meantime, we just wait for that glorious day. Bev Raby
Dedicated to my precious baby, Bear. God, I still miss him so!
Thank You for bringing this foster dog into my life.
Had I not made the decision to participate in rescue, I would never have had the chance to meet him. If I had sat here comfortably in my home and said "I already have four dogs and I know that I couldn't take in another - even on a temporary basis," I would never have met this dog. Yes, it takes time to rescue and foster... but who gave me Time in the first place? And why or what was the reason I was given Time? To fill my own needs? Or was there another reason ever so small and seemingly insignificant, like rescuing this one dog, that could make a difference in another's life? Perhaps to add joy, hope, help and companionship to another who is in need? With great sadness, I sat down on a footstool in my kitchen this morning and watched as this foster dog bounced back into the house and skidded across the floor to sit ever so perfectly in front of me. He was the picture of health, finally. He was all smiles for me.... and I smiled back at his happy face. Deep in his eyes, the storm clouds of illness and generalized poor health had blown away, and the clear light of his perfection radiated out from his beautiful soul. He holds no ill will toward man. He forgives us all.
I thought to myself as I impressed this one last long look of him into my heart, what a very fine creature You have created. Tears slowly pooled and spilled over my cheekbones as the deeper realization of how wonderful this dog is sank into my internal file cabinet of Needful Things to Remember. Lord, he's a dog - but he's a better human being than I am. He has forgives quickly. Would I do the same? He passionately enjoys the simple things in life. And I have often overlooked them. He accepts change and gets on with his life. I fuss and worry about change. He lives today and loves today. And I often dwell in the past or worry about the future. He loves no matter what. I am not that free. This very lovely dog has gone to his new home today and already I miss him. Thank You for bringing this dog into my life. And thank You for the beautiful and tender lesson on how to be a better human.
What is a Puppy Mill???
What is a puppy mill?
It is a place full of sorrow
Where all the sad faces
Dread another tomorrow.
The young and the old
The sick and the lame
None are safe
In this money making game
And who are these humans
That subject them to squalor
To pain and disease
To make another dollar
The lucky ones make it out
They have managed to survive
To end up in pet shops
Most barely alive
They stare at you
With eyes that cry
Would someone please tell me,
Why oh why.
Don't pass by that cage
But look hard and long
Then tell the store owner
That this is terribly wrong
These creatures we love
Don't deserve such a plight
Stand up for the helpless
Help them win their fight
How could you do it just leave me there? In a place with wet floors and walls so bare? Im used to squooshy sofsas and carpeted floors, And sleeping in bed with you behind closed doors.
Are you coming back to take me home? It seems like youve been gone for so long. Did you mean to leave me? Must be a long trip. Im starting to worry,i didnt think youd forget
Was it because I ruined your rug? Or cause I messed up your Pantie Hose with a little tug? I thought youd like it ,That I wanted to play, Ive been punished enough. Please dont make me stay!
some of the others here, they didnt have homes, Looking for food on the streets they roamed. They finally bothered one person to much And found themselves in a cage in a truck
And here they ended but they had no home So there fate may be better than living alone Its different fo me I lived with you But you just dumped me out of the blue
I feel so different from them but were one in the same Were Homeless and friendless least were out of the rain Were eagerly waiting and dreaming of new Were hoping for homes where love is true
Will you think of me with regret and wonder What became of me will it tear you asunder Or will you just fool yourself and think i found a home When you Know theres a good chance im already gone
Ihope you think about it and that you regret
The way i chased after you and you never forget That you left me alone and feeling so sad And I still dont Know What i did to be bad
Tammy Falkner Falkner Animal Rescue And Recovery
I wish someone would tell me
What it is that I did wrong
Why I have to stay chained up
And left alone so long.
They seemed so glad to have me
When I came here as a pup,
There were so many things we'd do
While I was growing up.
They couldn't wait to train me
As companion and as friend,
They told me they would never fear
Being left alone again.
The children said they'd feed me
Said they'd brush me everyday,
They'd play with me and walk me
If I could only stay.
But now the family hasn't time
They often say I shed,
They won't allow me in the house,
Not even to be fed.
The children never walk me,
They always say, "Not now".
I wish that I could please them
Won't someone tell me how?
All I have is love, you see,
I wish they would explain,
Why they said they wanted me
Then left me on a chain...
"Maybe Someone Will Care"
I wish someone would love and hold me again,
Like my master did, all the days back when.
From the time I was a pup, he was always there,
To protect me from harm and graciously cared.
We used to take walks, I ran by his side.
At the sound of his keys, we went for a ride.
I used to get wet, when we went to the shore,
To chase the seagulls, and a whole lot more.
I miss the lady, who bathed and gave me a trim,
And my doctor in town, I also miss him.
I never went hungry, my master always made sure,
I had plenty of water, it was clean and pure.
When a storm passed over, I was often afraid,
But when he comforted me, my fears would soon fade.
At night he would let me sleep with him in bed,
He would gently rub my back and caress my head.
I never imagined this would come to an end,
No more time together, we would happily spend.
For some unknown reason, my master became sick,
A group of people came, and took him away quick.
Through all the confusion, he never did say,
If he would see me again, that terrible day.
I have been waiting, hoping he will return,
But I think it's forever, I'm beginning to learn.
No one will walk me now, I'm getting older in age,
The only keys I hear, are to locks on this cage.
I still get wet, only because my shelter leaks,
And the birds fly away when someone here speaks.
I can't remember when I had a bath or a trim,
And the doctor in town, I really need to see him.
I often go hungry, and when I am fed,
It's scraps from the kitchen, if anything's left.
Storms still pass over, now I fear them more,
The thunder and lightning, seems at my front door.
At night I sleep alone, on a hard dirty ground,
I'm awakened at times, from all the street sounds.
I wish my master could love and hold me again,
Like I remember, all the days back then.
If I was a pup, maybe someone would care,
But since I've got older, this is the cross I bear.
in the mind of his owner, for some reason, was gone.
Downtown there's a shelter, where on any given day.
a pet might get lucky, and find a home to stay.
But the others not chosen, meet an untimely end.
their lives not worth saving, not enough money to spend.
Now their loving hearts, will no longer share,
the abundance of joy, that once was there.
Just a distant memory, that is forever now gone,
in the mind of the people, that chose to move on.
Across this same town, where some kids often meet.
they burn and destroy, and helpless ones beat.
They find a little cat, and one has a gun,
without any remorse, they kill her for fun.
Now her gentle heart, will no longer share,
the sweetest love, that once was there.
Just her precious memory, will forever live on,
in the mind of her owner, who once again, was gone.
On the outskirts of town, there is in this fence,
the saddest conditions, and at their expense.
Seven hungry dogs, no food have they found,
no water or bedding, and waste scattered around.
Now their loving hearts, are more than willing to share,
their endless devotion, to someone who cares.
They have in their memory, a time when they played,
before their master quit caring, and at home he stayed.
If we were judged, by how we treat our pets,
many would not pass, this one simple test.
They count on us to be there, to love and protect.
from cold, thirst, and hunger, is all they expect.
If we would just keep, a few things in mind,
to watch our pets more closely, and always be kind.
Slow down and watch for them, if and when we drive.
they can only share their love with us, if they stay alive.
Dan L. Mohryecogniak
Castle Hayne, North Carolina
Copyright (c) 2000
I don't know what brought you here, why you're in this place, I do know I'll remember you, and your daughters face.
I was asked to do a 'job'- most people say "no way", The 'job' I have can do so much, yet also takes away.
It takes away the chance for change, and for another start, But as I take away from you, you give courage from your heart.
I took away your loneliness, your life tied to a chain, I took away your misery, your heartache and your pain.
I took away the awful sights you saw through a caged door, I took away your heartbeat as you sank down to the floor.
But as I took away from you... just know that I'll give back, I give my promise to you, that I will pay you back.
I'll not pay you with a cost, for NO price could compare, To endure what you went through today, Indigence we both share.
I promise to give back to you for others in your place, To love and care and do my best, so they don't meet your fate.
I promise to give back the love, I gave with your last breath, Hoping that the love I give will not end up in death.
I give my promise to you, that I will do my best, That I will NOT forget you, and that you will peacefully rest.
Others of your kind will feel what I have done for you, I don't know what brought you here- but your courage will ensue.
I promise to remember, each and every day, Of when I held the both of you, and sent you on your way.
I believe the place your in now is finally full of "doggie fun", So if I've given back a little, I consider my 'job' done.
Tis lonely here in prison I dream of sun, of fields, I saw them from a window once, but I don't know how they feel.
I've never known a caress, a friend, a bone, a toy I'd happily companion, a human girl or boy
But some men have decided, with selfishness and greed, that my fate shall be a cage, and for my keep, I'll breed.
What should fuel this folly? My kind may bark in vain. We care not for your commmerce and few know of our pain.
We're hidden well from justice, for our freedom some may cry, God grant me, please, just one request, Let me play once before I die.
HOW COULD YOU ?
When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?"-but then you'd relent and roll me over for a belly rub.
My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect.
We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs" you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.
Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love. She, now your wife, is not a "dog person", still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy.
Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love." As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch-because your touch was now so infrequent-and I would've defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway.
There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.
Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family. I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don'tlet them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life.
You gave me a good-bye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too. After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?" They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you that you had changed your mind-that this was all a bad dream...or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited. I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day, and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood. She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?" Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself-a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place
In the cold dark prison he cries As his little sister dies. She is the last of his kin, One by one they got so thin. And now he feels so weak today... The man who feeds them walked away. "This one can't eat...it's too weak" And despite that no kind words did he speak. So slowly he is wasting away, Sitting in his prison every day. Where is this horrible, horrible place? Some faraway country? what a disgrace! And who are these people locked away tight? With no food or water and no strength to fight? People? It happens to the least of our kind They can't talk or fight, all they have is their mind. And the places, where many are locked away still It's right in your country - it's a puppymill.
One By One One by One, they pass by my cage, Too old, too worn, too broken, no way. Way past his time, he can't run and play. Then they shake their heads slowly and go on their way. A little old man, arthritic and sore, It seems I am not wanted anymore. I once had a home, I once had a bed, A place that was warm, and where I was fed. Now my muzzle is grey, and my eyes slowly fail. Who wants a dog so old and so frail? My family decided I didn't belong, I got in their way, my attitude was wrong. Whatever excuse they made in their head, Can't justify how they left me for dead. Now I sit in this cage, where day after day, The younger dogs get adopted away. When I had almost come to the end of my rope, You saw my face, and I finally had hope. You saw thru the grey, and the legs bent with age, And felt I still had life beyond this cage. You took me home, gave me food and a bed, And shared your own pillow with my poor tired head. We snuggle and play, and you talk to me low, You love me so dearly, you want me to know. I may have lived most of my life with another, But you outshine them with a love so much stronger. And I promise to return all the love I can give, To you, my dear person, as long as I live. I may be with you for a week, or for years, We will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears. And when the time comes that God deems I must leave, I know you will cry and your heart, it will grieve. And when I arrive at the Bridge, all brand new, My thoughts and my heart will still be with you. And I will brag to all who will hear, Of the person who made my last days so dear.
AM I FAMOUS NOW ? I was born today. One of 10. My daddy was very famous. I have lots of half brothers and sisters. My mother is very famous. Since she got famous, she has only had puppies. No more loving hands, no more fun trips... just puppies. She is always sad when they leave her. I left home today. I didn't want to go, so I hid behind my mama and my three litter mates that were left. I didn't like you. But one day they said I would be famous. I wonder; is famous the same as fun and good times? So you picked me up and carried me away, even though you were concerned about me hiding from you. I don't think you liked me. My new home is far away. I am scared and afraid. My heart says BE BRAVE. My ancestors were. Did they go to good homes like mine? I'm hungry because I can't eat too much because it will be bad for my bones. I can't bite or snap when the children are mean to me. I just run and play and pretend I am in a big green field with butterflies and robins and frogs. I can't understand why they kick me. I am quiet, but the man hits and says loud things. The lady doesn't feed me good things like I had with my mother. She just throws dry food on the ground, then goes away before I can get too close for touching and petting. Sometimes my food smells bad but I eat it anyway. Today I had 10 puppies. They are so wonderful and warm. Am I famous now? I wish I could play with them, but they are so tiny. I am so young and playful that it is hard to lay here in this hole under the house nursing my puppies.. They are crying now. I am so hungry. I scratch and worry my fur. I wish someone would throw me some food. I am also very thirsty. I now have eight. Two got cold during the night and I couldn't make them warm again. They are gone. We are all very weak. Maybe if I take them out on the porch, we can get some food. Today they took us away. It was too much trouble to feed us and someone came to take us away. Someone grabbed my puppies, they were crying and whimpering. We were put in a truck with boxes in it. Are my babies famous now? I hope so, because I miss them. They are gone. The place smelled of urine, fear and sickness. Why was I here? I was beautiful, like my ancestors. Now I am hungry, dirty, in pain and unwanted. Maybe the worst is unwanted. No one came though I tried to be good. Today someone came. They put a rope on my neck and led me to a room that was very clean and had a shiny table. They put me on the table. Someone held me and hugged me. It felt so good!!! Then I felt tired and laid over the last one who cared. I AM FAMOUS NOW. Today someone cared.
DIARY OF AN ORPHAN Sherron A. McBee I sat with my face pressed against the wire that encircled me, watching and waiting for that one compassionate human to pass my enclosure and bend to take me into loving arms that would carry me away to a happy ending....NO SUCH HUMAN CAME! My fellow companions sat across the way. They too were caged and waiting. "Nondescripts" that is what I heard the familiar voice of the keeper say. I had heard him tell a family that I was a Rottweiler puppy and that I had been abandoned along with my mother. Such a shame, too. A fine breed of dog, the Rottweiler. A place such as the pound should not have to pick up fine dogs, but irresponsible owners abandon them or let them run the streets and the poor tykes that don't starve, end up here. Shaking his head from side to side, he would say, such a shame, such a shame. If only that breeder had been more careful, this tyke would not be here today, and I would sigh and hope. Days would pass without any visitors and having nothing to do, I would curl up into a ball and snooze away the idle hours. Often I would dream of mother...Dear beautiful mother...who always cleaned my glistening coat to perfection and spoke to me in an ever so gentle voice. She taught me to greet humans warmly with wagging tail and to forgive them if they spoke too harshly. I remember, as the keeper led her down the hall and behind the great, grim iron door. No one ever came back from there and when its rusty, iron hinges creaked shut, the place would fall silent and we would stare, silently, at the door for hours, but we always knew that it was goodbye. The keeper had tears in his eyes that day, and mother's wise and waxened eye peered into his face and forgave. Mother, Mother I cried. I could not imagine life without Mother. She was all I had. The tiny cramped cage held me fast. She tried to turn for one last look, but the door closed. I often find myself staring at that door, as if by magic, it will open and she will appear. THERE IS A VISITOR! I place my paws upon the wire and whine to attract attention. They glance, and pass me by. My coat is scruffy and dingy, I think and hurriedly try to lick myself pretty. It is no use, but at least I can rejoice a little for they have picked my dear friend, a nice white coated fellow with spots who will make them a nice dog. I cry for him, he is so happy. Today, a ray of sunshine filters in through a window and I gaze at it in wonderment. I hear the scruffling feet of the keeper approaching. He has a lead and opens the door to my cage. My friends hang their heads in silence. I know what is coming. Meekly, I wag my tail and follow him down the hall. I glance back and the poundmaster is placing a smaller, cleaner puppy in my cage. He is beautiful, with a golden, fluffy coat and big, doe-like eyes. Surely he will not have long to wait. What is it the poundmaster said? A collie. The old keeper sniffs as the great, iron door creaks open. I look for mother and, as the door closes shut, I sigh!
Fletcher's Story. A True Story by Gretchen Janowsky, Tok, Alaska. You don't want to hear me. But listen... I was an innocent little puppy. I was born a mongrel - I didn't choose it. I was a good puppy with big bright eyes and if you got down on my level, I would wiggle into your arms and kiss you and got into ecstasy if you gave me even a tiny bit of love. A woman brought a little boy to see me. They thought I was "so cute." She thought I would keep the boy occupied. I rea!ly tried. The woman and her husband were so busy with their jobs they didn't have time for me. They didn't have time for the boy. So they bought him an A. T. V. and a snowmachine and bunches of fancy stuff. So he didn't have time for me either. I got food once a day and sat at the end of my chain. And cried. And nobody heard. Months upon months. I grew up. I wanted to be a good dog. But I wasn't cute anymore. The pain in my soul got so bad I couldn't help but get a little crazy. If a person actually got near me I would just lose it and jump all over them. A little toddler came over--I didn't mean to hurt her. I was just kissing her. I was so happy, at last somebody wanted to touch me! I guess I scared her. Anyway, the isolation got worse. I knew that my time was about up. Don't kid yourselves. We dogs know. When you take us on that that last ride, we know. We were born thinking you were some kind of god and suddenly you're treating us like some unpleasant garbage you're taking to the dump. We don't hate you for it. We love you all the more desperately. The pain of rejection is beyond all words. You, who are our whole world now hate us for making you confront your selfishness. Anyway, my end was better than most. I knew of one dog, whose people didn't want her anymore, so they dumped her by the road in the middle of nowhere. In the winter. As the car sped away and disappeared in the distance, she was so frantic she ran after it. And ran and ran and ran until her lungs were frostbitten and she crawled into a snowbank and slowly died of pneumonia. Terribly alone, and not knowing, WHY? Going to the vet to be "euthanized" isn't so great either. The vet and the assistants may be kind and gentle, but we know. Our true love, our god, our world, coldly casts us off. You're at home with tea and crumpets when the needle goes in. My people wouldn't face up to the reality. They dumped me at someone else's house. Nobody would give a good home to a neurotic adult dog. So the other woman put me on a lead and took me out in the woods that night. It was a beautiful walk in the snowy forest with all the bright stars like candles all over the soft black sky. She tied me to a tree and sat down with me and started a story. It began, "The Lord is my Shepherd. . . ." She was crying. She put a flashlight in front of my face to hold my attention, but I felt the muzzle of the pistol against my head. I am at peace now. And far away from your world. But how many millions of puppies are in that living hell, through no sin of their own? Don't kid yourself, look in their eyes -- they know. Dogs will always love, no matter what. Fletcher
~Pet Store Puppy~ I'm a little puppy, so cuddly, sweet and small I live inside a cage, you see at Pet Store in the mall. I'm not an only puppy, my sisters are all here. My brothers, too, except for Ralph who died coz he was scared. It's lonely here at night time when all the lights go dark, We tremble in our cages and we whimper and we bark. But no one comes to hold us or pet our fears away We sit all night in terror til the store opens next day. We don't remember mama, left so far behind she did the best she could for us til Man said "It is time." He crammed us all in cages too small for us you see We rode for hours; we could not help but lay in poop and pee. And now we sit in Pet Store where kids come taunt and squeeze They do not hear our whimpers or understand our pleas We're miserable and it's scary here we all would rather die But since we don't we do our best to run away and hide. I know you think my story too sad to leave me here You want to take me home with you, a happy little puppy. But please, though it is fearful to live here against our will If you take me that leaves a spot another pup will fill. You can stop our suffering but not by taking us home You must be strong and leave us here, unsold and all alone For if you do not take me, then another pup won't come And maybe he will not be shipped so far away from home Tho some of us may not survive the cycle 'ere it falls If we don't sell they will not need more puppies in these halls And if they need no puppies then the Man will not bring more Eventually it can all stop! You CAN close the door. So when you see a puppy face so sad and sweet and small In a cage at Pet Store at your neighborhood shopping mall The best thing you can do for him is leave him sitting there That is the best way you can tell all dogs how much you care.
A Mill Dog's Lament
I lie here waiting unsure of the reason why, for no one knows I'm hungry no one hears my cries.
I lie here waiting beneath the sun and moon, and wonder yes I wonder if my rescue will come soon.
I lie here waiting in the snow and rain, cages upon cages filled with so much pain.
I lie here waiting wondering where they've gone, my puppies taken yesterday while I'm left here on this 'farm'.
I lie here waiting in this caged up world, man's best friend they tell me oh how terribly cruel.
I lie here waiting one by one they die, as I lie here waiting wondering why can't I.
Written by: Angela Jamison '03
BYE BABY No more lonely cold nights or hearing that I'm bad No more growling belly from the meals I never had. No more scorching sunshine with a water bowl that's dry. No more complaining neighbors about the noise when I cry. No more hearing "shut up", "get down" or "get out of here"! No more feeling disliked, only peace is in the air. Euthanasia is a blessing, though some still cannot see why I was ever born If I weren't meant to be. My last day of living was the best I ever had. Someone held me very close, I could see she was very sad. I kissed the lady's face, and she hugged me as she cried. I wagged my tail to thank her, then I closed my eyes and died.
Written by an Animal shelter volunteer in Massena, NY
-- Crystal Ward Kent
The Story About A Puppymill Puppy
From a puppy's point of view I don't remember much from the place I was born. It was cramped and dark and we were never played with by humans. I remember Mom and her soft fur, but she was often sick, and very thin. She had hardly any milk for me and my brothers and sisters. I remember many of them dying, and I missed them so. I do remember the day I was taken from Mom. I was so sad and scared, my milk teeth had only just come in, and I really should have been with Mom still, but she was so sick, and the humans kept saying that they wanted money and were sick of the "mess" that my sister and I made. So we were crated up and taken to a strange place. Just the two of us. We huddled together and were scared, still no human hands came to pet us or to love us. So many sights and sounds, and smells!! We are in a store where there are many different animals! Some that squawk! Some that meow! Some that peep! My sister and I are jammed into a small cage, I hear other puppies whine. I see humans looking at me, I like the "little humans", they look like they'd be fun, like they would play with me! All day we are kept in the small cage, sometimes mean people will hit the glass and frighten us, every once in a while we are taken out to be held or shown to humans. Some are gentle, some hurt us, we always hear "AW they are so cute! I want one!" but we never get to go with any. My sister died last night, when the store was dark. I lay my head on her soft fur and felt the life leave her small thin body. I had heard them say she was sick, and that I should be sold at a "discount price" so that I would quickly leave the store. I softly whined to mourn for her as they took her body out of the cage in the morning, I wondered where they put her? Today, a family came and bought me! Oh happy day!! They are a nice family, they really, really wanted me! They had bought a dish and food and the little girl held me so tenderly in her arms. I love her so much! The mom and dad say what a sweet and good puppy I am! I am named Angel. I love to lick my new humans! The family takes such good care of me, they are loving and tender and sweet. They gently teach me right from wrong, give me good food and lots of "LOVE". I want only to please these wonderful people! I love the little girl and I enjoy running and playing with her. Today I went to the Veterinarian. It was a strange place and I was frightened. I got some shots, but my best friend (the little girl) held me softly and said it would be OK. So I relaxed. The Vet must have said sad words to my beloved family, because they looked awfully sad. I heard severe hip dysplacia, and something about my heart... I heard the vet say something about, back yard breeders and my parents not being tested. I didn't know what any of this meant, just that it hurt me to see my family so sad. But they still loved me, and I still loved them very much!!! I am now 6 months old. Where most of the other puppies are robust and rowdy, it hurts me terribly just to move. The pain never lets up. It hurts to run and play with my beloved little girl, and I find it hard to breathe. I keep trying my best to be the strong pup I know I am supposed to be, but it is so hard. It breaks my heart to see the little girl so sad, and to hear her mom and dad talk about, it might now be the time. Several times I have gone to the Veterinarians place. I just wanted to feel the warm sunshine and run, and play and nuzzle with my family. Last night was the worst. Pain has been my constant companion now, it hurts even to get up and get a drink. I try to get up but can only whine in pain. I am taken in the car one last time. Everyone is so sad, and I don't know why. Have I been bad? I try to be good and loving, what have I done wrong? Oh if only this pain would be gone! If only I could soothe the tears of the little girl. I reach out my muzzle to lick her hand, but have to stop because of the pain. The Veterinarian's table is so cold. I am so frightened. My humans hug and love me, they cry into my soft fur. I can feel their love and sadness. I manage to lick their hands softly. Even the vet doesn't seem so scary today. He is gentle and I sense some kind of relief for my pain. The little girl holds me softly and I thank her, for giving me all her love. I feel a soft pinch in my foreleg. The pain is beginning to lift. I am beginning to feel a peace descend upon me. I can now softly lick her hand. My vision is becoming dream like now, and I see my Mother, my brothers and sisters, in a far off green place. They tell me there is no pain there only peace and happiness. I tell the family, good-bye in the only way I know how, a soft wag of my tail and nuzzle of my nose. I had hoped to spend many, many happy years with them, but it was not meant to be. The pain ends now and, I know it will be many years until I see my beloved family again. If only things could have been different.
"I am sorry," said the Vet. "Pet shop puppies do not come from ethical breeders. I am so tired of putting so many of these kind of puppies to sleep."
This story may be published or reprinted in the hopes that it will stop unethical breeders and those who breed only for money and not for the betterment of the breed. Copyright 1999 J.Ellis
Here in this house ...
I will never know the loneliness I hear in the barks of dogs “out there." I can sleep soundly, assured that when I wake my world will not have changed. I can trust arms that hold, hands that touch ... knowing no matter what they do, they do it for the good of me. I will never know hunger or the fear of not knowing if I’ll eat. I will not shiver in the cold or grow weary from the heat. My fur will shine and never be dirty or matted.
Here in this house ...
No matter what I look like, I will be considered beautiful and thought to be of value. I will be talked to and even if I don’t understand, I can enjoy the warmth of the words. I will never be a substitute for anything I am not. I will never be used to improve someone’s image of themselves. I will learn the things I need to know to be liked by all. I will be loved because I am who I am and not someone’s idea of what I should be. I will be given a Name so I may know who I am among many. My name will be used in joy and I will love the sound of it. I will never suffer for someone’s anger, impatience or stupidity. If I do not learn my lessons well, they will look to the teacher for blame. I will feel the sun’s heat and the rain’s coolness and be allowed to smell all that can reach my nose. I will never be cast out because I am too old, too ill, too unruly or not new enough.
Here in this house ...
There will be an effort to communicate with me on my level. If ill, I will be doctored. If scared, I will be calmed. If sad, I will be cheered. My life is a responsibility and not an afterthought. I will run, jump and act silly because my "back is being watched” and I’m in no danger if I let my guard down. I will learn that humans can be almost as kind and fair as dogs.
Rescue me not only with your hands but with your heart as well. I will respond to you.
Rescue me not out of pity but out of love. I will love you back.
Rescue me not with self-righteousness but with compassion. I will learn what you teach.
Rescue me not because of my past but because of my future. I will relax and enjoy.
Rescue me not simply to save me but to give me a new life. I will appreciate your gift.
Rescue me not with a firm hand but with tolerance and patience. I will please you.
Rescue me not only because of who I am but who I'm to become. I will grow and mature.
Rescue me not to revere yourself to others but because you want me. I will never let you down.
Rescue me not with a hidden agenda but with a desire to teach me to trust. I will be loyal and true.
Rescue me not to be chained or to fight but to be your companion. I will stand by your side.
Rescue me not to replace one you've lost but to soothe your spirit. I will cherish you.
Rescue me not to be your pet but to be your friend. I will give you unconditional love
My Name is Sam"
After I was discharged from the Navy, Jim and I moved back to Detroit to use our GI bill benefits to get some schooling. Jim was going for a degree in Electronics and I, after much debating, decided to get mine in Computer Science. One of the classes that was a requirement was Speech. Like many people, I had no fondness for getting up in front of people for any reason, let alone to be the center of attention as I stuttered my way through some unfamiliar subject. But I couldn't get out of the requirement, and so I found myself in my last semester before graduation with Speech as one of my classes. On the first day of class our professor explained to us that he was going to leave the subject matter of our talks up to us, but he was going to provide the motivation of the speech. We would be responsible for six speeches, each with a different motivation. For instance our first speech's purpose was to inform. He advised us to pick subjects that we were interested in and knowledgeable about. I decided to center my six speeches around animals, especially dogs. For my first speech to inform, I talked about the equestrian art of dressage. For my speech to demonstrate, I brought my German Shepherd, Bodger, to class and strated obedience commands. Finally the semester was almost over and I had but one more speech to give. This speech was to take the place of a written final exam and was to count for fifty per cent of our grade. The speeches motivation was to persuade. After agonizing over a subject matter, and keeping with my animal theme, I decided on the topic of spaying and neutering pets. My goal was to try to persuade my classmates to neuter their pets. So I started researching the topic. There was plenty of material, articles that told of the millions of dogs and cats that were euthanized every year, of supposedly beloved pets that were turned in to various animal control facilities for the lamest of reasons, or worse, dropped off far from home, bewildered and scared. was usually a blessing. The final speech was looming closer, but I felt well prepared. My notes were full of facts and statistics that I felt sure would motivate even the most naive of pet owners to succumb to my plea. A couple of days before our speeches were due, I had the bright idea of going to the local branch of the Humane Society and borrowing a puppy to use as a sort of a visual aid. I called the Humane Society and explained what I wanted. They were very happy to accommodate me. I made arrangements to pick up a puppy the day before my speech. The day before my speech, I went to pick up the puppy. I was feeling very confident. I could quote all the statistics and numbers without ever looking at my notes. The puppy, I felt, would add the final emotional touch. When I arrived at the Humane Society I was met by a young guy named Ron. He explained that he was the public relations person for the Humane Society. He was very excited about my speech and asked if I would like a tour of the facilities before I picked up the puppy. I enthusiastically agreed. We started out in the reception area, which was the general public's initial encounter with the Humane Society. The lobby was full, mostly with people dropping off various animals that they no longer wanted. Ron explained to me that this branch of the Humane Society took in about fifty animals a day and adopted out only about twenty. As we stood there I heard pieces of conversation: "I can't keep him, he digs holes in my garden." "They are such cute puppies, I know you will have no trouble finding homes for them." "She is wild, I can't control her." I heard one of Humane Society's volunteer explain to the lady with the litter of puppies that the Society was filled with puppies and that these puppies, being black, would immediately be put to sleep.Black puppies, she explained, had little chance of being adopted. The woman who brought the puppies in just shrugged, "I can't help it," she whined. "They are getting too big. I don't have room for them." We left the reception area. Ron led me into the staging area where all the incoming animals were evaluated for adoptability. Over half never even made it to the adoption center. There were just too many. Not only were people bringing in their own animals, but strays were also dropped off. By law the Humane Society had to hold a stray for three days. If the animal was not claimed by then, it was euthanized, since there was no background information on the animal. There were already too many animals that had a known history eagerly provided by their soon to be ex-owners. As we went through the different areas, I felt more and more depressed. No amount of statistics, could take the place of seeing the reality of what this throwaway attitude did to the living, breathing animal. It was overwhelming. Finally Ron stopped in front of a closed door. "That's it," he said, "except for this." I read the sign on the door. "Euthanasia Area." "Do you want to see one?" he asked. Before I could decline, he interjected, "You really should. You can't tell the whole story unless you experience the end." I reluctantly agreed. "Good." He said, "I already cleared it and Peggy is expecting you." He knocked firmly on the door. A middle-aged woman in a white lab coat opened it immediately. "Here's the I was telling you about," Ron explained. Peggy looked me over. "Well, I'll leave you here with Peggy and meet you in the reception area in about fifteen minutes. I'll have the puppy ready." With that Ron departed, leaving me standing in front of the stern-looking Peggy. Peggy motioned me in. As I walked into the room, I gave an audible gasp. The room was small and spartan. There were a couple of cages on the wall and a cabinet with syringes and vials of a clear liquid. In the middle of the room was an examining table with a rubber mat on top. There were two doors other than the one I had entered. Both were closed. One said to incinerator room, and the other had no sign, but I could hear various animals' noises coming from behind the closed door. In the back of the room, near the door that was marked incinerator were the objects that caused my distress: two wheelbarrows, filled with the bodies of dead kittens and puppies. I stared in horror. Nothing had prepared me for this. I felt my legs grow weak and my breathing become rapid and shallow. I wanted to run from that room, screaming. Peggy seemed not to notice my state of shock. She started talking about the euthanasia process, but I wasn't hearing her. I could not tear my gaze away from the wheelbarrows and those dozens of pathetic little bodies. Finally, Peggy seemed to notice that I was not paying attention to her. "Are you listening?" she asked irritably. "I'm only going to go through this once." I tore my gaze from the back of the room and looked at her. I opened my mouth to say something, but nothing would come out, so I nodded. She told me that behind the unmarked door were the animals that were scheduled for euthanasia that day. She picked up a chart that was hanging from the wall. " is next," she said as she looked at the chart. "I'll go get him." She laid down the chart on the examining table and started for the unmarked door. Before she got to the door she stopped and turned around. "You aren't going to get hysterical, are you?" she asked, "Because that will only upset the animals." I shook my head. I had not said a word since I walked into that room. I still felt unsure if I would be able to without breaking down into tears. As Peggy opened the unmarked door I peered into the room beyond. It was a small room, but the walls were lined and stacked with cages. It looked like they were all occupied. Peggy opened the door of one of the lower cages and removed the occupant. >From what I could see it looked like a medium-sized dog. She attached a leash and ushered the dog into the room in which I stood. As Peggy brought the dog into the room I could see that the dog was no more than a puppy, maybe five or six months old. The pup looked to be a cross between a Lab and a German shepherd. He was mostly black, with a small amount of tan above his eyes and on his feet. He was very excited and bouncing up and down, trying to sniff everything in this new environment. Peggy lifted the pup onto the table. She had a card in her hand, which she laid on the table next to me. I read the card. It said that number one fifty-three was a mixed Shepherd, six months old. He was surrendered two days ago by a family. Reason of surrender was given as "jumps on children." At the bottom was a note that said "Name: Sam." Peggy was quick and efficient, from lots of practice, I guessed. She lay down on his side and tied a rubber tourniquet around his front leg. She turned to fill the syringe from the vial of clear liquid. All this time I was standing at the head of the table. I could see the moment that went from a curious puppy to a terrified puppy. He did not like being held down and he started to struggle. It was then that I finally found my voice. I bent over the struggling puppy and whispered, "Sam. Your name is Sam." At the sound of his name Sam quit struggling. He wagged his tail tentatively and his soft pink tongue darted out and licked my hand. And that is how he spent his last moment. I watched his eyes fade from hopefulness to nothingness. It was over very quickly. I had never even seen Peggy give the lethal shot. The tears could not be contained any longer. I kept my head down so as not to embarrass myself in front of the stoic Peggy. My tears fell onto the still body on the table. "Now you know," Peggy said softly. Then she turned away. "Ron will be waiting for you." I left the room. Although it seemed like it had been hours, only fifteen minutes had gone by since Ron had left me at the door. I made my way back to the reception area. True to his word, Ron had the puppy all ready to go. After giving me some instructions about what to feed the puppy, he handed the carrying cage over to me and wished me good luck on my speech. That night I went home and spent many hours playing with the orphan puppy. I went to bed that night but I could not sleep. After a while I got up and looked at my speech notes with their numbers and statistics. Without a second thought, I tore them up and threw them away. I went back to bed. Sometime during the night I finally fell asleep. The next morning I arrived at my Speech class with Puppy Doe. When my turn came, I held the puppy in my arms, I took a deep breath, and I told the class about the life and of Sam. When I finished my speech I became aware that I was crying. I apologized to the class and took my seat. After class the teacher handed out a critique with our grades. I got an "A." His comments said "Very moving and persuasive." Two days later, on the last day of class, one of my classmates came up to me. She was an older lady that I had never spoken to in class. She stopped me on our way out of the classroom. "I want you to know that I adopted the puppy you brought to class," she said. "His name is Sam."
by Chris Benton Please Spay or Neuter your pet.
Hello, You have reached 123-4567, Tender Hearts Rescue. Due to the high volume of calls we have been receiving, please listen closely to the following options and choose the one that best describes you or your situation: Press 1 if you think we are veterinarians and want free medical advice. Press 2 if you know we are a rescue organization but want to save money and have us give you free, untrained medical advice anyway. Press 3 if you make $200,000 a year but still want us to pay to spay the "stray" in your yard (house). Press 4 if you have a 10-year-old dog and your 15-year-old son has suddenly become allergic and you need to find the dog a new home right away. Press 5 if you have three dogs, had a baby and want to get rid of your dogs because you are the only person in the world to have a baby and dogs at the same time. Press 6 if your dog is sick and needs a vet but you need the money for your vacation. Press 7 if you just got a brand new puppy and your old dog is having problems adjusting so you
want to get rid of the old one right away. Press 8 if your little puppy has grown up and is no longer small and cute and you want to trade it in for a new model. Press 9 if you are elderly and want to adopt a cute puppy who is not active and is going to outlive you. Press 10 if your relative has died and you don't want to care for their elderly dog because it doesn't fit your lifestyle. Press 11 if you are moving today and need to immediately place your 150 pound, 8-year-old, unneutured, aggressive dog. Press 12 if you want an unpaid volunteer to come to your home today and pick up the dog you no longer want. Press 13 if you have been feeding and caring for a "stray" for the last three years, are moving and suddenly determine it's not your dog. Press 14 if you are calling at to make sure you wake me up before I have to go to work so you can drop a dog off on your way to work. Press 15 to leave us an anonymous garbled message, letting us know you have left a dog in our yard in the middle of January, which is in fact, better than just leaving the dog with no message. Press 16 if you are going to get angry because we are not going to take your dog that you have had for fifteen years, because it is not our responsibility. Press 17 if you are going to threaten to take your ten year old dog to be euthanized because we can't get to your house in the next hour. Press 18 if you're going to get angry because the volunteers had the audacity to go on vacation and leave the dogs in care of a trusted volunteer who is not authorized to take your personal pet. Press 19 if you want one of our perfectly trained, housebroken, kid and cat friendly purebred tiny dogs that we have an abundance of. Press 20 if you want us to take your dog that has a slight aggression problem, i.e. has only bitten a few people and killed your neighbor's cats. Press 21 if you have already called once and been told we don't take personal surrenders but thought you would get a different person this time with a different answer. Press 22 if you want us to use space that would go to a stray to board your personal dog while you are on vacation, free of charge, of course. Press 23 if it is Christmas Eve or Easter morning and you want me to deliver an eight week old puppy to your house by before your kids wake up. Press 24 if you have bought your children a duckling, chick or baby bunny for Easter and it is now Christmas and no longer cute. Press 25 if you want us to take your female dog who has already had ten litters, but we can't spay her because she is pregnant again and it is against your religion. Press 26 if you're lying to make one of our younger volunteers feel bad and take your personal pet off your hands. Press 27 if your cat is biting and not using the litter box because it is declawed, but are not willing to accept the responsibility that the cat's behavior is altered because of your nice furniture. Press 28 if your two year old male dog is marking all over your house but you just haven't gotten around to having him neutered. Press 29 if you previously had an outdoor only dog and are calling because she is suddenly pregnant. Press 30 if you have done "everything" to housebreak your dog and have had no success but you don't want to crate the dog because it is cruel. Press 31 if you didn't listen to the message asking for an evening phone number and you left your work number when all volunteers are also working and you are angry because no one called you back. Press 32 if you need a puppy immediately and cannot wait because today is your daughter's birthday and you forgot when she was born. Press 33 if your dog's coat doesn't match your new furniture and you need a different color or breed. Press 34 if your new love doesn't like your dog and you are too stupid to get rid of the new friend (who will dump you in the next month anyway) instead of the dog. Press 35 if you went through all these 'presses' and didn't hear enough. This press will connect you to the sounds of tears being shed by one of our volunteers who is holding a discarded old dog while the vet mercifully frees him from of the grief of missing his family.
WE SALUTE YOU RESCUERS, VOLUNTEERS and SUPPORTERS!!!
SarahAnderson CanineCollege of California
Dear Backyard Breeder -
I am writing this in a state of anger, frustration, and sadness. I think you will understand why as you read this letter. About two years ago, you decided to breed a litter of Dalmatians. Your bitch wasn't really breeding quality and you certainly didn't know enough about the breed so perhaps it was greed, ignorance, or the desire to show the kids the highly overrated miracle of birth. You managed to find a male of equally undistinguished parentage and the deal was consumated. Your bitch, who had previously been confined to the backyard because she was not housebroken and had absolutely no manners, must have felt like royalty when you allowed her to stay in the garage while she tended her puppies. The puppies received very little handling and only absolutely minimal vet care. After all you had to make money on the litter. You started to panic when the pups were 6 weeks old and prospective buyers were not exactly beating a path to to your door. The price dropped to $75 and the interview for prospective buyers consisted pretty much of "Did you bring cash?".
One lively, playful male was sold to a young couple with a toddler and another child on the way. Any responsible breeder would have known this was a bad placement and would have counseled the couple to wait until the kids were 4 or 5. Maybe you didn't know any better or maybe you just didn't care so you sold them the puppy. Things were okay for a very short time but then the puppy, in his youthful exuberance, was knocking the toddler down and the kid was becoming afraid of him. The parents, novice dog owners without a clue about training, banished the pup to the backyard. Unfortunately he was lonely and started barking and digging. They called you and offered to return him but you said you didn't want him back and that you were getting out of dogs. (Thank goodness!) They ran an ad in the paper...free to good home but they were pretty lenient on the interpretation of good home.
A young man took the puppy. He saw this free, AKC registered dog as a way to make extra money standing the dog at stud. I guess the income wasn't that great or the guy spent it too quickly. The dog was hit by a car. The owner neglected to get veterinary care until 5 days later and only did so because the leg was all swollen and the dog was in severe pain. When the vet told him how much the treatment would cost the owner said to euthanize the dog. The vet thought the dog was too sweet to kill so she called someone in rescue. This person paid for the treatment and took the dog home to heal. When the dog was healed and no adopters were forthcoming she called me and I took the dog to foster.
He really liked living here. I taught him some basic manners and he got to watch TV in the evenings. He liked playing with my dogs. When a good possibility of a home came along, I adopted him out. Things were fine for the first 2 days but then he started to show unpredictable aggression, not to the adopters, but to guests or people they encountered when walking him. They reluctantly returned him to me. I did more socialization and then got another rescue person to take him for a week and see what kind of results he got. Same story. The dog was fine for a very short time and then began displaying unpredictable aggression. I took him back knowing that the only alternative now was to put him down. A dog with unpredictable aggression is just not a candidate for placement. We have so many more dogs looking for homes than there are homes available that resources cannot be spent on a dog with unsatisfactory temperament.
So, BackYard Breeder, you produced this dog and then abandoned all responsibility for him. I took him to the vet yesterday. He knew something was wrong...probably because I was crying and my hands were shaking. I knew I had to do this but I really liked this dog and hated that this was the way it would end. I held him in my arms as he drifted off. There is no more confusion and instability in his young life and now he has playmates at the RainbowBridge. I know that for at least the time he lived here he was happy and well-cared for. I can't help thinking that if you had been more selective of buyers and if his owners had been more responsible and provided him with care and training he wouldn't have had to die. Maybe it was genetic. Perhaps his parents had aggression problems and you never considered that when you bred the litter. I don't know. I just know that I wish you could feel as bad as I do over this.
I suppose the irresponsible people who owned him along the way have to share the blame too. The young couple bought on impulse without doing any research into the breed. They didn't train him and then just gave him away when he became inconvenient. The young man who let him suffer before seeking vet care should never own another pet. But by and large, BackYard Breeder, I blame you because you made a conscientious decision to create life and then refused to take responsibility for what you had created.
Angrily yours, A Rescue Worker (no name given)
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Average Pet Owner:
Thank you for contacting us animal rescuers, shelter volunteers, and foster-homes about your inability to keep your pet. We receive an extremely high volume of inquiries and requests to accept surrendered animals (and none of us is getting paid, OK?). To help us expedite your problem as quickly as possible, please observe the following guidelines:
1. Do not say that you are "CONSIDERING finding a good home" for your pet, or that you, "feel you MIGHT be forced to," or that you "really THINK it would be better if" you unloaded the poor beast. Ninety-five percent of you have already got your minds stone-cold made up that the animal WILL be out of your life by the weekend at the latest. Say so. If you don't, I'm going to waste a lot of time giving you commonsense, easy solutions for very fixable problems, and you're going to waste a lot of time coming up with fanciful reasons why the solution couldn't possibly work for you. For instance, you say the cat claws the furniture, and I tell you about nail-clipping and scratching posts and aversion training, and then you go into a long harangue about how your husband won't let you put a scratching post in the family room, and your ADHD daughter cries if you use a squirt bottle on the cat, and your congenital thumb abnormalities prevent you from using nail scissors and etc., etc. Just say you're getting rid of the cat.
2. Do not waste time trying to convince me how nice and humane you are. Your coworker recommended that you contact me because I am nice to animals, not because I am nice to people, and I don't like people who "get rid of" their animals. "Get rid of" is my least favorite phrase in any language. I hope someone "gets rid of" YOU someday. I am an animal advocate, not a people therapist. After all, for your ADHD daughter, you can get counselors, special teachers, doctors, social workers, etc. Your pet has only me, and people like me, to turn to in his or her need, and we are unpaid, overworked, stressed-out, and demoralized. So don't tell me this big long story about how, "We love this dog so much, and we even bought him a special bed that cost $50, and it is just KILLING us to part with him, but honestly, our maid is just awash in dog hair every time she cleans, and his breath sometimes just reeks of liver, so you can see how hard we've tried, and how dear he is to us, but we really just can't . . . ." You are not nice, and it is not killing you. It is, in all probability, literally killing your dog, but you're going to be just fine once the beast is out of your sight. Don't waste my time trying to make me like you or feel sorry for you in your plight.
3. Do not try to convince me that your pet is exceptional and deserves special treatment. I don't care if you taught him to sit. I don't care if she's a beautiful Persian. I have a waiting list of battered and/or whacked-out animals who need help, and I have no room to foster-house your pet. Do not send me long messages detailing how Fido just l-o-v-e-s his blankies and carries his favorite blankie everywhere, and oh, when he gets all excited and happy, he spins around in circles, isn't that cute? He really is darling, so it wouldn't be any trouble at all for us to find him a good home. Listen, we can go down to the pound and count the darling, spinning, blankie-loving beasts on death row by the dozens, any day of the week. And, honey, Fido is a six-year-old Shepherd-Lab mix. I am not lying when I tell you that big, older, mixed-breed, garden-variety dogs are almost completely unadoptable, and I don't care if they can whistle Dixie or send semaphore signals with their blankies. What you don't realize is that, though you're trying to lie to me, you're actually telling the truth: Your pet is a special, wonderful, amazing creature. But this mean old world does not care. More importantly, YOU do not care, and I can't fix that problem. All I can do is grieve for all the exceptional animals who live short, brutal, loveless lives and die without anyone ever recognizing that they were indeed very, very special.
4. Finally, just, for God' s sake, for the animal's sake, tell the truth, and the whole truth. Do you think that if you just mumble that your cat is "high-strung," I will say, "Okey-dokey! No prob!" and take it into foster care? No, I will start asking questions and uncover the truth, which is that your cat has not used a litter box in the last six months. Do not tell me that you "can't" crate your dog. I will ask what happens when you try to crate him, and you will either be forced to tell me the symptoms of full-blown, severe separation anxiety, or else you will resort to lying some more, wasting more of our time. And, if you succeed in placing your pet in a shelter or foster care, do not tell yourself the biggest lie of all: "Those nice people will take him and find him a good home, and everything will be fine." Those nice people will indeed give the animal every possible chance, but if we discover serious health or behavior problems, if we find that your misguided attempts to train or discipline him have driven him over the edge, we will do what you are too immoral and cowardly to do: We will hold the animal in our arms, telling him truthfully that he is a good dog or cat, telling him truthfully that we are sorry and we love him, while the vet ends his life. How can we be so heartless as to kill your pet, you ask? Do not ever dare to judge us. At least we tried. At least we stuck with him to the end. At least we never abandoned him to strangers, as you certainly did, didn't you? In short, this little old rescuer/foster momma has reached the point where she would prefer you pet owners to tell her stories like this: "We went to Wal-Mart and picked up a free pet in the parking lot a couple of years ago. Now we don't want it anymore. We're lazier than we thought. We've got no patience either. We're starting to suspect the animal is really smarter than we are, which is giving us self-esteem issues. Clearly, we can't possibly keep it. Plus, it might be getting sick; it's acting kind of funny. "We would like you to take it in eagerly, enthusiastically, and immediately. We hope you'll realize what a deal you're getting and not ask us for a donation to help defray your costs. After all, this is an (almost) pure-bred animal, and we'll send the leftover food along with it. We get it at Wal-Mart too, and boy, it's a really good deal, price-wise. "We are very irritated that you haven't shown pity on us in our great need and picked the animal up already. We thought you people were supposed to be humane! Come and get it today. No, we couldn't possibly bring it to you; the final episode of "Survivor II" is on tonight."
Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Pet Owner, for your cooperation.
Author Unknown, but could be any shelter worker or rescuer.
Unlike most days at RainbowBridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this before. But, the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Rainbow Bridge to watch.
It wasn't long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far too often. He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again. As he walked toward The Rainbow Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over The Rainbow Bridge.
With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself,also elderly and infirm. They weren't playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass, forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.
One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn't understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for a while to explain it to him.
"You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across The Bridge." The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?" As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the gloom lifted. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a single person and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden light and they were all young and healthy again, just as they were in the prime of life. "Watch, and see.", said the second animal. A second group of the animals from those waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. The newly restored animals fell into line and followed him towards The Bridge. They all crossed The Bridge together.
"What happened?" asked the first animal."That was a rescuer." replied the second. "The animals you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of his work. They will cross when their new families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor animals that they couldn't place on earth, across The Rainbow Bridge." Author Unknown
Eyes fearful, Paws worn A sorrowful sight So forlorn
Love they said would be the cure For the suffering you had endured.
So our family grew that day We brought you home With us you'd stay
Slowly, gently the bond it grew Faithful, loyal Loving, true
Looking back it's so unclear How we got by Without you here
Trusted companion, devoted friend You give and give It never ends
They said we were a gift to you But now we know Who rescued who.
Subject: Greetings from José ánd My Life as a Dog: A Diary
1st week – Today I am one week old. What a joy to be part of this World!
1 month – My mother takes very good care of me. She’s really an exemplary mother.
2 months – Today I was separated from my mother. She was very restless and with her eyes bade me good-bye. I hope my new “human” family will take as good care of me as she has.
4 months – I have grown very rapidly, everything attracts my attention. There are several children in the house who are like “little brothers” to me. We play a lot, they pull on my tail and I give them little bites in good fun.
5 months – Today I was yelled at. My mistress was all upset because I peed inside the house. But I was never told where exactly I should do it. I also sleep in the hall. I was very unhappy about that!
8 months – I am a very happy dog! I have the warmth of a home, I feel so safe, so protected... I think that my “human” family loves me. The courtyard is all mine and, oftentimes, I exceed myself, digging the ground like my ancestors, the wolves, to hide the food. They never try to teach me anything. It must be all right then, all these things I am doing!
12 months – Today I am one year old. I am an adult dog. But my masters say that I have grown more than they had expected. How proud they must be of me!
13 months – Today I was tied up. I was almost unable to move, to catch a sunbeam when I feel cold, or to shade myself when the sun is on high. They say they are going to observe me and that I am ungrateful. I don’t understand a thing of what is happening to me.
15 months – All is changed now... They keep me locked up in the veranda. I feel very lonely. My “human” family doesn’t want me any more. Sometimes they forget that I am thirsty and hungry. When it rains, I don’t have a roof above my head...
16 months – Today they removed me from the veranda. I was sure that my “human” family had forgiven me. I was so happy that I was leaping with excitement. My tail was working like a fan. What’s more, I thought they were going to take me for a walk!!! We took the direction of the highway and, all of a sudden, they stopped the car, opened the door and I got out, happy, thinking that we would spend the day in the country. I don’t understand why they closed the door and left. “Listen, wait!” — I barked. They have forgotten me... I run after the car with all my strength. My anguish grew as I started to understand, as I was out of breath and they were not stopping, that they had abandoned me!
17 months – I looked in vain for the way back home. I am alone and feel lost. On my wanderings, I meet some people with a good heart who look at me with sorrow and give me some food. I thank them with my eyes, from the bottom of my soul. I wish they would adopt me. I would be loyal like none before me! But they just say: “poor little dog, it must be lost.”
18 months – Some days ago, I went by a school and saw many children and youngsters like my “little brothers”. I got closer and a group of those youngsters, laughing, threw a shower of stones at me, just to see “who would aim best”. One of those stones hit me in one eye and, since, I can’t see at all with it.
19 months – It’s incredible. When I was better looking, people took pity on me. I am very week now, and look awful. I’ve lost one eye, and people show me the broom when I try to rest in the shade somewhere.
20 months – I find it increasingly difficult to move. Today, while trying to cross the street, I was hit by a car. I was in the pedestrian crossing zone, but I will never forget the satisfied look of the driver, who even praised himself for having hit me. I wish he had indeed killed me! But he only dislocated my hind legs! The pain is insufferable! The legs are not obeying me, and only with great difficulty was I able to drag myself to the grass on the roadside. For ten days I have been exposed to the burning sun, the hard rain, the cold, without food. I can no longer move. The pain is insufferable. I am in a very humid place, and it looks like that even my hair is falling… Some passers-by do not even notice me; others say: “don’t come any closer”. I am almost unconscious, but a bit of strength from deep inside forces me to open my eyes. The sweetness of her voice made me react. “Poor little dog, look how they have left you”, it was saying. With her was a man in a white apron who touched me and said: “I am sorry, lady, but this dog won’t make it. It’s better to help him out of his suffering”. The kind lady, tears flowing down her cheeks, acquiesced. As well as I could, I moved my tail and thanked her, with my eyes, for helping me to finally rest in peace.
While I was feeling the slight prickle of the needle, before that long lasting sleep, my last thought was: “why did I have to be born, if no one wanted me” …
Friends. The solution is not to abandon or cast away a dog, but to educate him. Do not turn into a problem for society such a lovable and grateful friend. Help in making the ignorant aware of their ignorance and thus end the ill treatment of all animals, especially that of the strays. Forward this story to as many people as possible. It only takes a minute!!!
It’s easy just to send people a joke. It’s as easy to spread this highly humanitarian message.
TENDER HEARTS (A Tribute to Volunteers) By Dee Clair
I greet each day inside my cage And wait for God to write my page I wonder if you’ll come today? And let me feel the light of day
My whole life has been dark with pain And those who caused it--what did they gain? They stole my trust, my livelihood And all because they simply could
I yearn to run through scented fields Without a cage and lock to yield To chase a squirrel that can't be caught To earn a love that can't be bought
But the darkest days have a light In the quiet mornings that follow night You come to visit every day Without a motive, without a pay
You carried me when I was weak Brought trust I was too pained to seek You healed my wounds that took their toll You rescued my slowly dying soul
And now I listen for your voice Knowing that you're here by choice You didn’t know me at the start And yet I’m planted in your heart
I’m learning to accept your praise And not avert my fearful gaze Forgive me if I cower still My life has been against my will
I feel that you are growing tired Within this fight that you’ve been mired If you can keep your doubts at bay It would mean the world if you could stay
I can’t predict how this will end But I know this of you, my friend You selflessly all played your part You saved me with your tender heart
The Rescuers' Quilt
As I arrived at the Bridge, I faced all the animals that had gone there before me. Before each of us go to the Bridge, we live our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles, mirrored in the eyes of the animals awaiting us. An animal Angel sits before each of us sewing our quilt squares together in a tapestry that is our life. But as my animal Angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was.
They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life as a rescuer that had been difficult, the challenges I was faced with in my quest to save lives and the times I had been tempted to take the easy way out and avoid the controversy rather than speak for the animals who could not speak for themselves. I saw hardships that I had endured for the sake of the animals, which were the largest holes of all.
I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My animal Angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.
Finally, the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose, each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been with the riches of the Earth. My animal Angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise.
My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter and the sweet kisses of the precious animals that honored my life with their presence. But there had also been the trials of illness, and death, and false accusations that took me from their world as I knew it.
I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights crying and praying that somehow the strength would come to go on, asking for help and guidance as I tried to help the helpless. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time enduring it for the sake of the animals that looked at me with trust and love in their eyes. And now, I had to face the truth.
My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was. I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the animals gathered there, who stared at me with wide eyes. Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me.
Light flooded the many holes, creating an image of an animal that had depended on me. All the animals at the Bridge stood before me, with warmth and love in their eyes. They said, "Every time you gave over your life to help us, it gave us life. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let us shine through, until there was more of us than there were of you."
May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing the animals to shine through.
Twas the nite before Xmas when all thru the house Not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care In hopes that St. Nick soon would be there
The children all nestled all snug in their beds With No thought of the dog filling their head
And mamma in her kerchief and I in my cap Knew the dog was cold, but didn't care about that
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter
Away to the window I flew like a flash Figuring the dog was free of his chain and into the trash
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below
When what to my wondering eyes should appear But Santa Clause with eyes full of tears
He unchained the dog once so lively and quick Last years Xmas present now painfully sick
More rapid than eagles he called the dogs name And the dog ran to him despite all his pain.
Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer and Vixen On Comet on Cupid on Donner and Blitzen To the top of the porch to the top of the wall Let's find this dog a home where he will be loved by all.
I knew in an instant there would be no gifts this year For Santa had made one thing quite clear
The gift of a dog is not just for the season We had gotten the dog for all the wrong reasons
In our haste to think of the kids a gift There was one important thing we missed A dog should be family, and cared for the same You don't give a Gift, then put it on a chain
And I heard him explain as he rode out of site YOU WEREN'T GIVING A GIFT YOU WERE GIVING A LIFE!
Your Petstore Pup Author Unknown
Cherish your new petstore pup - Stand always by his side. Mend his ills and give him hugs And lots of fun car rides.
Feed him well and let him run To build his body strong. Play with him and give him treats. Love him his whole life long.
You'll soon become his hero. He will not ask you for much. He'll trade his lifelong loyalty For your kind word and touch.
Count him among your blessings, As you are his blessing, too, But then please do just one thing more When every day is through.
Take time to look into his eyes Each night you tuck him in. I bet you'll see reflected there Two other pups like him.
They've never had a family, Soft bed, good food, nor fun. They live life out in a wire box - And never get to run.
They suffer searing heat at times, At others freezing cold, As weeks and months and years drag by While they are growing old.
So think about his mom and dad Who shine there through his eyes, And remember all the mill dogs Who are paying with their lives.
If they had ever had a chance, They'd have grown up like him, too, With years of love to give and get Before their lives were through.
You'll never see them face to face - Such miracles are rare - But pray for your pup's mom and dad, 'Cause someone ought to care..
'A LETTER TO SANTA' Dear Santa can you send me A family of my own Gentle hands to pet me To tell me I am home
A cosy fire to lie by Perhaps a gambol in the wood Dear Santa grant this wish for me I promise I'll be good
I;d really love some turkey To share on Christmas day Some toys and treats would be just fine You'll see how I can play
This pound is dark and cold and damp No sign of Christmas cheer Dear Santa work your miracles Please get me out of here.
I lived my life in a tiny cage
Water was dirty and rare
Food was bad and times were hard
No one seemed to care
I bred as many times as I could
My babies were taken too soon
I froze in the winter all alone
Making a wish on the full moon
I wished for a family to get me out
Of this horrible hell I was in
Take me to a nice warm home
And call me their little Pippin
For years I waited to be saved
But Nobody wanted me
I was starved and beaten till I just gave up
I even forgot the dream
Then one cold day I woke up
To find an angel near
She said to me in a quiet voice
Let’s get you out of here
I went to a home that was nice and warm
I still shook with fright
They held me and loved me and whispered my name
Till I slept a dream filled night
I learned to play and eat good food
I finally walked on grass
Held in gentle loving arms
The days began to pass
Still something was missing, I knew in my heart
As I stared at the big full moon
A forever home to live and love<
Could my forever love be you?
There I sat, alone and afraid,
You got a call and came right to my aid.
You bundled me up with blankets and love.
And, when I needed it most, you gave me a hug.
I learned that the world was not all that scary and cold.
That sometimes there is someone to have and to hold.
You taught me what love is, you helped me to mend.
You loved me and healed me and became my first friend.
And just when I thought you'd done all you do
There came along not one new lesson but two.
First you said, Sweetheart, you’re ready to go.
I’ve done all I can and you’ve learned all I know.
Then, you bundled me up with a blanket and kiss.
Along came a new family, they even have kids!
They took me to their home, forever to stay.
At first I thought you sent me away.
Then that second lesson became perfectly clear.
No matter how far, you will always be near.
And so, Foster Mom, you know I’ve moved on.
I have a new home with toys and a lawn.
But I’ll never forget what I learned that first day.
You never really give your fosters away.
So you gave me these thoughts to remember you by.
We may never meet again and now I know why.
You’ll remember I lived with you, for a short time.
I may not be yours but you’ll always be mine.
A Rescuers Creed
I shall be a believer of all that is good in man and of all that is deserving in animals. I shall plead for their lives, campaign for their safety and uphold their right to a natural death. I shall seek out the injured and the maimed, the unloved, and the abandoned and tend to them in their last days. I shall not forget their place in the hierarchy of life, nor that we walk in each other's paths. I shall bear witness to the wonder they bring into our lives and to the beauty they bestow upon our souls. I shall renew their spirits when they are waning, bind their wounds when they bleed, cradle them when they whimper, and comfort them when they mourn. I shall be near them in their hour of greatest need - a companion and friend when the time has come. I shall watch over them and console them and ask that the angels gather them in their arms. From the creatures of the earth I shall learn the fruits of compassion and undying love, and I shall be called the beloved of God. In their company I shall indeed be blessed. Susan M.Pearson ~
For Sale... To A Good Home Author unknown
I was born in the Summer a few years ago. Quite why I was born, I'll never know. Some folks who owned my mother, decided to breed. No reason I know of except for their greed; I know I was hungry, I know I was cold; They sold me quite early at just five weeks old.
My number one owners seemed friendly at first, And life was quite good 'til my bubble burst; They started to argue, their marriage split up; And in the AD: "For Sale - 4 month old pup".
Some folks arrived, the next ones in line. They treated me kind and life was just fine. But Master dropped dead, and she couldn't cope. So she sold me again (I'll soon give up hope).
I now had a new home right up in the sky; We went up in the lift fourteen floors high! The new folks were kind but they left me all day; I was bursting to wee and had nowhere to play. It was boredom, I think, when I chewed up the chair; They agreed I should go as it just wasn't fair.
The next home was good and I thought "this is it!" They started to show and I won... well, a bit. Then somebody told them that I had no bone. And in went the AD: "For Sale... to a good home".
The next lot were dreadful, they wanted a guard; But I didn't know how, although I tried hard. One night they got burgled and I didn't bark; Tied up in that shed and alone in the dark. For four months I lay in that cold and dark shed; With only an old paper sack for a bed. A small dish of water all slimy and green; The state I was in, well, it had to be seen! I longed for destruction, and an end to the pain; But some new people came and I went off again.
Well now I'm with Rescue and this home is good; There's walks in the country and lots of good food; There's kisses and cuddles to greet me each day; But I dread the time they will send me away. But for now here I stand, skin and bone on all fours; PLEASE... don't let "ME" happen to any of yours!
Only A Dog
Do you remember thinking it was time that the kids learned some responsibility and scanning the newspaper ads for a cheap dog for sale? Do you remember bringing home this little ball of shivering fur and putting her out in the yard on a chain that was too heavy on a night that was too cold? Of course you don't remember this. After all, she is only a dog.
Do you remember this baby crying because she was afraid and alone? Do you remember screaming at her to be quiet and finally going out there to kick her to drive home the lesson? Of course you don't remember this. After all, she is only a dog.
Do you remember the many times you noticed her water bowl was empty and her food bowl was covered with mold and thinking that it was the kids' job to take care of her ? Do you remember seeing that her coat was dull and lifeless and, in many places, chewed away down to the skin because of the parasites no one took the time to rid her of? Of course you don't remember this. After all, she is only a dog.
Do you remember her first heat and the neighbor's male visiting her night after night? Do you remember thinking that letting her have the puppies would be a good experience for the kids? Do you remember that every one of those pups died because their mother was no more than a puppy herself? Of course you don't remember this. After all, she is only a dog.
I know you remember the animal control officer coming to the house, accusing you of animal cruelty and taking her away because you couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. After all, she is only a dog.
I thought you might be interested in how this girl is doing today. You see, once she found a home that gave her love, attention and proper care, she blossomed into a beautiful, loyal companion. To these people, she is much more than only a dog.
She became a therapy dog and now goes to nursing homes and hospices where she brightens the lives of the infirm and dying. To some of these people, she has given hope. To others, she's given them a reason to keep living. To others, she's given them the will to die peacefully, with a smile on their lips. To these people, she is much more than only a dog.
Just last week, she helped find a little boy that was lost in the woods. She spent a long, cold winter's night, lying over him to keep him warm and risked her own life to protect his. To this little boy and his family, she is much more than only a dog.
What is the difference? Why did that filthy, flea ridden animal chained in your backyard suddenly become so important to so many? Because she never gave up her trust in people and she never once thought, "After all, he is only a human."
A DOG SITS WAITING by Kathy Flood
A dog sits waiting in the cold autumn sun. Too faithful to leave, too frightened to run.
He's been here for days now with nothing to do But sit by the road, waiting for you.
He can't understand why you left him that day. He thought you and he were stopping to play.
He's sure you'll come back, and that's why he stays. How long will he suffer? How many more days?
His legs have grown weak, his throat's parched and dry. He's sick now from hunger and falls, with a sigh.
He lays down his head and closes his eyes. I wish you could see how a waiting dog dies.
THE STRAY DOG
Dear God please send me somebody who'll care! I'm tired of running, I'm sick with despair. My body is aching, it's so racked with pain And dear God I pray as I run in the rain. That someone will love me and give me a home A warm cozy bed and a big juicy bone. My last owner tied me all day in the yard Sometimes with no water and God that was hard! So I chewed my leash God and I ran away To rummage in garbage and live as a stray. But now God I'm tired and hungry and cold And I'm so afraid that I'll never grow old. They've chased me with sticks hit me with stones While I run the streets just looking for bones! I'm not really bad God, please help if you can For I have become just a "victim of man!" I'm wormy dear God and I'm ridden with fleas and all that I want is an owner to please! If you find one for me God, I'll try to be good I won't chew their shoes, and I'll do as I should. I will love them, protect them and try to obey When they tell me to sit, to lie down or to stay! I don't think I'll make it too long on my own Cause I'm getting so weak and I'm Oh so alone. Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry Cause I'm so afraid God, that I'm gonna die! I've got so much love and devotion to give That I should be given a new chance to live. So dear God please, please answer my prayer and send me somebody who will really care,