POEMS ABOUT SHELTER AND RESCUE ANIMALS
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I WENT OUT TO RESCUE A DOG THAT DAY
I went out to rescue a dog that day
To give him a really good life
To take him away from the life that he led
And free him from trouble and strife
I thought I would do him a favor
And be a good person to him
And go do my bit for the country
I didn't go out on a whim
But what do you think really did happen?
The day that I did my good deed,
I discovered a love that I'd dreamed of
And fulfilled in myself a strong need.
I now have a dog that I care for,
I see things that I needed to see.
That lovely dog that I rescued
Really ended up rescuing me.
PRAYER OF A STRAY
Dear God please send me somebody who’ll care!
I’m tired or 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 Oh 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 another; “victim of man!”
REALLY, HOW MUCH IS THAT PUPPY IN THE WINDOW?
A pet store is for those of you that just don't understand, that doggie in the window isn't what you planned, before you shed those hundreds of bucks, for your piece of mind, because surely all the dogs they sell are healthy, nice, and kind.
Here's the truth from someone that knows, but don't take my word as wise,
Try and prove me wrong and before long you will be as I. Question yourself, a puppy mill is it really all that bad? It is, I say, and there's not a day that these dogs are not so sad. Confined, confused, abused, and used, often unable to stand. They are housed in crates that are never cleaned, never feeling a loving hand.
Tis the mom of the pups that takes the brunt, as she is the one they need,
Here's a tip, the reason for this is simple financial greed.
For the more she makes, the more he takes in the form of cash in hand.
For this to stop, the requirement, a legislative ban.
Pet Stores don't show behind the scenes, the horrible captive means,
For which to produce those puppies, it’s truly an evil scheme. And, treating them humanely is simply not a thing.
If you think this is sad, and you understand, and it even makes you blue,
Then it's time for you to take a stand and try something new.
Stop the greed and discourage the need,
To use these animals for profit.
Don't go to a Pet Store when you want a dog,
Go to a shelter and adopt it!
-FAR Side Journey (2017)
WHO WILL SHED A TEAR FOR ME?
Who will shed a tear for me as I am put to sleep?
Not you, the one who bred me, even though I earned my keep
Not you, the one who bought me, he’s a fighter it was claimed,
I tried so hard to please you, my body now so maimed.
No good to you, you pass me on, from hand to hand I go
Trying oh so very hard, it was not to be so
You see it’s just not in me, it was a family I needed,
To play, to love, to run with joy, oh how I begged and pleaded
With eyes so full of sorrow, but my looks they let me down,
They come, some stop and look at me, and then I see the frown
The scars, they show, but they can’t know, the dog I am inside
Why won’t they look beyond my skin to see how much I’ve cried
For the life I should have had, oh lord how I have wept
For shelter, kindness, safety, all promises not kept
So as my barred door closes, for this the final time,
I give a last small whimper, I beg, I plead, I whine
Please hold me as I slip away, it means so much to me
To feel some love, however small, as you now set me free
To run in fields so green, so lush, with streams to frolic in
With friends, with love, with happiness, on earth I couldn’t win
Today is the death day of nobody’s dog
Nothing will mark it but a note in the log
I’m faceless and nameless and no tears will fall
For I know in your world I have no worth at all
To you, my sweet someone, I’m a friend and a dear
We ran the wind daily and you held me so near
But the gate was left open – I chanced a walk on my own
I’d have cowered in fear if only I’d known
I know how you cried on the night that I strayed
I know how you searched, I know how you prayed
But I went to a pound far far from our home
Where I crouched in despair in my kennel alone
I know that you phoned for I heard your dear voice
And I hoped you would hear me so I barked myself hoarse
Although I’m a Lab cross with stockings all white
On their form I’m a Staff cross – the description’s not right
So they said I’m not here and I sank to my bed
My kennel cough’s worse and I can’t raise my head
The rescue came yesterday but they hadn’t a place
For an un-neutered cross breed with his mucus-streaked face
If only you’d come to search for me here
You would have known me at once, you would have sensed I was near
You would have sorted my ills, you would have carried me home
And I promise our God no more would I roam
Now my eyes plead for mercy for my seven days are done
And I am waiting with dread for the final vet run
No arms will caress me as they inject me to death
No words will comfort me as I take my last breath
When the body man comes, it is fitting I’m found
In a bin bag in the freezer in the depths of the pound
Thrown away like the rubbish - no respect and no shame
Denied even the time to find you again
My loyalty and devotion they did cruelly betray
Without microchip or name tag, I am just a dispensable stray
Once waggy-tailed, once proud, beloved and free
Oh Dad look with pain at what mankind’s done to me!
LOOK AT ME
I'm waiting here in foster care for you to come and see
The one the others have passed by, please, stop and look at me!
I'm not alone here in my quest to find myself a place
Where someone will have love for me and softly stroke my face.
We're not so young in years they say, although we're young at heart
If you'll take a chance with us -- please know we'll do our part.
Our faces have a bit of white, our legs a slower gait
Our hearts so full of love to give -- but still we sit and wait.
A younger dog is what folks want, one who romps and plays
They won't take the time to look at us -- just think we're old and grey.
Little do they know the things we have to offer them
Manners learned and quiet souls -- good dogs all we've been.
There are those here too, whose souls were damaged and in pain
Before they came to this safe place and learned to trust again.
When new folks come and look at them, they seem withdrawn and shy.
Time is all they need to learn that new bonds they can tie.
Patience, love and gentle hands is all they ask of you
In exchange - their hearts they give you in their lives so new.
We may not be the perfect dogs in everybody's eye
Too big, too small, too brown, too slow, too black, too old, too shy.
But unless you sit and take the time and see all that we can be
You'll miss the best that is right here
Please stop --HEY-- Look at ME!
JUST A STAFFY CROSS
Today is just another day - to me they're all the same
I have the worst of genes you see, I bear the "Staffy" shame.
The shame is in our numbers, there's thousands with no home.
Thousands just like me you'll find, in kennels all alone.
My mum was "just a Staffy", my father - well who knows?
Mum, too, became unwanted, as the last puppy goes.
And then begins the process, of money-making deals
A life of "moving on" unfolds, who cares how the Staffy feels?
If you have the cash to hand, the Staffy pup is yours
But that pup is getting bigger now, just look at those big paws.
You brought me for your image, thought I'd make you look more tough
But you'll find my boisterous nature has already got too much.
If you had thought to train me, with kindness and with praise
You would have had a faithful friend to share your darkest days.
I would lay down my life for you, but you simply cannot see
You make sure you get your money back on what you paid for me.
And on it goes, until one day, I'm no longer worth a dime
The retail on an adult staff - not worth the waste of time.
So what happens to a Staffy now? Do you really want to know?
Do you care what will become of us, when we leave our final home?
Have you ever thought to wonder, "Where is that Staffy now?"
The "Staffy" has another name; he's become a "stray" somehow.
Me, I was put into a car and driven far away
The door held open, I jumped out, I thought to run and play.
It was with joy and happy heart I turned to look for you
You drove away with all my trust and a piece of my heart too.
I wondered round for many days before I was brought here.
Now I wait with heavy heart, trepidation and with fear.
Seven days is all I have you see, seven days for you to claim
The little dog that you threw out, for which you have no shame.
This is my last goodbye now my seven days are up
If only more thought had gone into the future of that pup
As the needle empties to my veins I lay down with one last sigh
I'm sorry I was born a Staffy, because it means that I must die.
- Trudie James -
FOR THE RESCUERS
Once I was a lonely dog, just looking for a home.
I had no place to go, no one to call my own.
I wandered up and down the streets, in rain in heat and snow.
I ate whatever I could find, I was always on the go.
My skin would itch, my feet were sore, my body ached with pain.
And no one stopped to give a pat or a gently say my name.
I never saw a loving glance, I was always on the run.
For people thought that hurting me was really lots of fun.
And then one day I heard a voice so gentle, kind and sweet,
and arms so soft reached down to me and took me off my feet."
No one again will hurt you," was whispered in my ear.
"You'll have a home to call your own where you will know no fear."
You will be dry, you will be warm, you'll have enough to eat.
And rest assured that when you sleep, your dreams will all be sweet."
I was afraid I must admit, I've lived so long in fear.
I can't remember when I let a human come so near.
And as she tended to my wounds and bathed and brushed my fur,
she told me about the rescue group and what it meant to her.
She said, "We are a circle, a line that never ends.
And in the center there is you, protected by new friends."
And all around you are the ones that check the pounds,
and those that share their home after you've been found."
And all the other folk are searching near and far
to find the perfect home for you, where you can be a star."
She said, "There is a family, that's waiting patiently,
and pretty soon we'll find them, just you wait and see."
And then they'll join our circle they'll help to make it grow,
so there'll be room for more like you, who have no place to go."
I waited very patiently, the days they came and went.
Today's the day I thought, my family will be sent.
Then just when I began to think it wasn't meant to be,
there were people standing there just gazing down at me.
I knew them in a heart beat, I could tell they felt it too.
They said, "We have been waiting for a special dog like you."
Now every night I say a prayer to all the gods that be.
"Thank you for the life I live and all you've given me."
But most of all protect the dogs in the pound and on the street.
And send a Rescue Person to lift them off their feet."
Arlene Pace September 18, 1998