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Some Of Our Favorite Poems and Stories

Backyard Puppy

I don't remember much from the place I was born.
It was cramped and dark and we were never played with by the 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 me and my sister 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 or 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 here.
I see humans look at me. I like the "little humans," the kids.
They look so sweet, and fun, like they would play with me!
All day we stay 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 I should be sold at "discount price" so that I would quickly leave the store.
I think my soft whine was the only one that mourned for her
as her body was taken out of the cage in the morning and dumped.
Today, a family came and bought me! Oh happy day!
They are a nice family, they really, really wanted me!
They 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 and 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 so 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 dysplasia, and something about my heart...I heard
the vet say something about backyard breeders and my parents not being tested.
I know not what any of that means, just that it hurts me to see my family so sad,
but they still love me, and I still love them very much!
I am 6 months old now.
Where most 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 breath.
I keep trying my best to be the strong pup I know I'm supposed to be,
but it is so hard. It breaks my heart to see the little girl so sad,
and to hear the Mom and Dad talk about, "it might now be the time."
Several times I have went to that veterinarian's place, and the news is never good.
Always talk about Congenital Problems. I just want to feel the warm sunshine and run,
and play, and muzzle 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 was 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 can only whine in pain.
The veterinarians table is so cold. I am so frightened.
The humans all hug and love me,
they cry into my soft fur. I can feel their love and sadness.
I manage to softly lick their hands.
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 peace descend upon me.
I softly lick her hand. My vision is becoming dreamlike now, and I see my Mother
and 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 a nuzzle of my nose.
I had hoped to spend many, many moons with them, but it was not meant to be.
"You see," said the veterinarian,"Pet shop puppies do not come from ethical breeders."
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.

(Author Unknown)

Healing Hands

Healing hands are what we bring
To this passion of our hearts
Taking broken souls and frames
We try to heal their parts.

We take unwanted from their homes
Take the sad ones from the pounds.
We lift alone ones off the streets
And turn lost ones into "founds."

With gentle care and food and love
These wee ones learn that life
Has much, much more to give to them
Than harsh words, hurt and strife.

They learn that hands can bring good things
Besides hard slaps and fear
That sweet caresses, cookies, hugs
Come to them when they draw near.

They learn that voices can be soft
And not hurt their tender ears
The angry sounds that cut like knives
Are now gone - washed 'way like tears.

Sometimes it's hard for us to bear
And continue on our way
Frustrated there are no foster homes
For the dog who came today.

We try and make room for one more
Within our own cramped space
Our own dogs sharing Mom or Dad
With yet another sad, small face.

How can we cope from day to day
With sad stories, extra fuss?
We, who have the healing hands…
Who is it that heals us?

Surprisingly, our healing comes
From those we choose to heal
The love that's given back to us
When our hearts these wee ones steal.

Watching trust appear in eyes
Once so closed and shuttered in.
Watching flesh appear on ribs
On dogs who were so thin.

Dogs who came, afraid to move
For fear they might be kicked
Meet prospective parents at the door
Demanding THEY be picked

When the time has come to let them go
Off to forever homes
We remember that between new lives and past
We are their stepping stones.

The ones who come and can't be healed
Their small souls can't find peace
Or broken bodies too far gone
Are to the Bridge released.

This final gift that we can give
Is one given through our tears.
Release is given wrapped in our arms
Our love whispered in their ears.

The day we cross the Bridge ourselves
I know that we will meet
Rescued angels who've gone on ahead
They'll be clustered round our feet.

Smiling faces shining up
Bright eyes filled with love
We'll know that they've been watching us
From their soft cloud beds above.

As we helped them in their lives below
And taught them love and trust
They are now OUR stepping stones -
They've now rescued us.

Cyndee Walklet

A Dogs Soul

Every dog must have a soul
Somewhere deep inside
Where all his hurts and grievances
Are buried with his pride.

Where he decides the good and bad,
The wrong way from the right,
And where his judgement carefully
Is hidden from our sight.

A dog must have a secret place
Where every thought abides,
A sort of close acquaintance that
He trusts in and confides.

And when accused unjustly for
Himself, He cannot speak,
Rebuked, He finds within his soul
The comfort he must seek.

He'll love, tho'he is unloved,
And he'll serve tho'badly used,
And one kind word will wipe away
The times when he's abused.

Altho' his heart may break in two
His love will still be whole,
Because God gave to every dog
An understanding Soul!

Author Unknown

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 bellyrub.

My housetraining 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,
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. 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 or cat,
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 goodbye 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,
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.
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 meant for 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

Author Jim Willis

The Animals' Savior Copyright Jim Willis 1999

I looked at all the caged animals in the shelter...
the cast-offs of human society.
I saw in their eyes love and hope, fear and dread,
sadness and betrayal. And I was angry.

"God," I said, "this is terrible! Why don't you do something?"

God was silent for a moment and then He spoke softly.
"I have done something," He replied. "I created You."

Animal Rescuer's Creed

I'll never bring about world peace.
I won't single-handedly save the rain forest.
I'm not a brain surgeon and I'll never transplant an organ to save a life.
I don't have the ear of a powerful politician or world power.
I can't end world hunger.
I'm not a celebrity, and God knows I'm not glamorous!
I'm not looked up to by millions around the world.
Very few people even recognize my name.
I'll never win the Nobel prize or end global warming.
There are a lot of things that I'll never do or become.
But today I helped place an animal!
It was a small, scared, bundle of flesh and fur that
was dumped at a shelter, or on the streets by unfeeling people who
didn't care what happened to it, but yet who were responsible
for it having existence in the first place.
I helped find it a loving home.
It now has contentment and an abundance of love,
and a warm place to sleep and plenty to eat.
Two little girls have a warm and playful new friend
who will give them unending affection and teach them about
responsibility and love.
A wife and mother has a new free spirit to cuddle,
nurture and care for A husband and father has a furry friend
to sit in his lap at the end of a hard day
of work and help him relax and enjoy life and a sense of satisfaction,
that when he is gone all day at work, that there is a gentle
spirit in his home keeping watch over his family.
No, I'm not a rocket scientist. But today, I made a difference!
And I'll do it tomorrow, too, if given a chance.

-Author Unknown-


Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge,
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 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 a 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 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 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?" "That was a rescuer. 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." "I think I like rescuers", said the first animal.
"So does GOD", was the reply.
---- Author Unknown

A Wish

I wish I was a Rottweiler and I could carry a gun
I'd go after all those folks, who think that torture's fun.
I gather up a gang of us, a Spitz, a Chi, a Hound
We'd travel in a motorhome, and hunt these people down.
We'd start with all the puppy mills, we'd open all their doors
And tell them all "run like the wind, and head for golden shores".
There's someone there that's waiting, with open arms for you
I promise you can trust them, they're animal res-cue.
If I could talk, I'd call the millers out into the night
I'd bear my teeth, and hold my gun and watch them shake in fright.
And then I'd laugh and laugh and laugh and then I'd laugh some more
As I threw them in the wire cage and slammed the metal door.
So its on to the next, Oh this is fun as we joke around with each other
We start drawing maps and making plans.
Got alot of ground to cover.
There's a Pit on the road someone has dumped
We offer him a ride,
It's not hard to see the life he has led by the pain that's in his eyes.
We give him lots of food and drink, and he shows no aggression
He hears our plan and wants to join, and teach mankind a lesson.
We're off again, to search this land for the murderers who went free
To teach the ones who stomped and burned and hung dogs from a tree.
One by one we paid them back for everything they've done
And repeated their words back to them, "isn't torture fun"?
After days and days of traveling, gathering troops along the way
Thinking of our forever homes and the people who threw us away.
We long for a loving family, Oh wouldn't that be neat!!!
Instead, they dump or beat us or have us put to sleep.
Maybe we are not thru yet, there's many more folks to see
The judges and lawyers, the USDA or maybe the AKC.
We give all politicians giardia and mange, heartworms too
And take away their voices, and their water and their food.
We'll take the rest and dump them on the highway by the side of the road
And strip them of their dignity, give them fleas and ticks abode.
I smile to myself as this vision dances in my head
My eyes grow very heavy, as I snuggle in this soft bed.
I can hear in a far distance, dogs whining and then a scream
When I wake up, I realize that this was all a dream.
The wire digs into my side, my feet and body sore
As I look down to the ones below that cold, hard, wire floor.
I start to beg like all the rest, please set me free today
I pray to God, I'd rather be dead then live this horrible way.
And guess what, I'm not a Rottie, nor do I have a gun
I'm just a little Dachshund, put on earth to play and run.
To be loved by ALL humans, like every dog should be.
But if I did have a gun right now, I'd use that gun on me.

Written by Barbara Lewis