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Rescue Poems

The Mastiff I picked up today..

I saw that big old mastiff head the minute I walked into the kill shelter.
I looked at you and in an instant with out words you said take me home
and love me true please please what ever you do,
Do not keep me for just one day to be sent again and again away..
I need a forever and loving home I am tired of the streets
I have been forced to roam.
I have very lil pride or dignity left, the scar on my hip and the tear
in my ear, even the bald spots and itching I will gladly endure.
For they are nothing to compare,
to the ache in my heart of being dumped left for dead
not being loved never kept warm and seldom fed.
Is it so much I ask for from you? 
all I  want is to be near you? I crave your touch
I quiver at the hope, like a junkie waiting for his dope.
Except mine is the touch of your hand, the feeling I have when
you speak sweetly to me telling me good boy that feeling is sooo
grand..
I will be a good boy just wait and see, a faithful friend until the end.
If you will but give me a chance to get under your skin..
I promise always to be true, I will give my all even my life for you.
If that is what is required
for the touch of your hand and the sound of love in your voice,
I would walk gladly through fire.
For you to love me is my one and only desire..
Helen McClure
9/20/2001

 

 

 

How Could You?
 By Jim Willis 2001

 
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 have 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't let 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.  The prisoner of love had run out of days.  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.  And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not directed at her.  It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of.  I will think of you and wait for you forever.

May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.
 The End


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