Life4Paws, Animal Rescue, Placement and Education Animal Rescue, Placement and Education
A Non-Profit Organization
(888) 351-2527
Los Angeles, California

Poetry

Stories

DO I GO HOME TODAY ???
by Unknown Author

Have You A Dog In Heaven ?
by Anon

The Reason
by Kim Senke-Rocka

Rescued Cat
by Arlene Pace

Dear Dogs

BEFORE I WAS A DOG MOM

Stray's Prayer

Your Best Friend

A DOGGIE PRAYER

IF

Poem to my Foster Dog
by Diane Morgan

Retribution

THE UNPAID CIRCUS WORKERS
by June Bird (SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA)

Rescue Me
by Terri Onorato

I Died Today

Words from a Foster Parent

Daddy's Day
by Cheryl Costello-Forshey

I Am Famous Now

Odean
by MichelleRivera1@aol.com

Things I Must Remember As A Dog

A Pet's Prayer To Saint Peter
by John Quealy

"T'was the Night Before Christmas, in the Mills of Missouri"
by Robin Pressnall

CHRISTMAS RETURNS

WHEN I GOT MY NEW DOG

We Are Their Heroes
by Jim Willis

THE PIECES OF MY HEART
by Jim Willis

A Puppy's 12 Days of Christmas
by Elise Lewis

CSI O.T. Dog Lover's Prayer

Dogs letter to God

A Rescue Pet's Christmas Poem
by David the Dogman

Fur Coats And Fur
by Guila Manchester

I COULD NEVER WORK HERE!
by Deb McKean

The Journey
by Crystal Ward Kent

A Rescuer's Creed
by Susan M. Pearson

IF A DOG WERE YOUR TEACHER

Animal Voices ~ Poetry

DO I GO HOME TODAY ???

My family brought me home cradled in their arms.
They cuddled me and smiled at me and said I was full of charm.
They played with me and laughed with me and showered me with toys.
I sure do love my family, especially the girls and boys.

The children loved to feed me, they gave me special treats.
They even let me sleep with them - all snuggled in the sheets.
I used to go for walks, often several times a day.
Oh, it was just so wonderful to be able to play and play and play.

They are the things I'll not forget - a cherished memory.
I now live in the shelter - without my family.
They used to laugh and praise me when I played with that old shoe.
But I didn't know the difference between the old ones and the new.

The kids and I would grab a rag, for hours we would tug.
So I thought I did the right thing when I chewed the bathroom rug.
They said that I was out of control, and would have to live outside.
This I did not understand, although I tried and tried.

The walks stopped, one by one, they said they hadn't tiime.
I wish that I could change things, I wish I knew my crime.
My life became so lonely, in the backyard, on a chain.
I barked and barked all day long to keep from going insane.

So they brought me to the shelter but were embarrassed to say why.
They said I caused an allergy, and then they each kissed me good-bye.
If I'd only had some obedience training, as a little pup.
I wouldn't have been so hard to handle when I was all grown up.

"You only have one day left" I heard the worker say.
Does that mean I have a second chance?? DO I GO HOME TODAY??

~~ Unknown Author ~~


Have You A Dog In Heaven?

Have You a dog in heaven, Lord?
And do You pat it's head?
Does he sit up and beg each night
Before he goes to bed?

Does he look up with shining eyes
When he sees Your smiling face?
Does he wag his stubby little tail
When he wants to run a race?

Have You a dog in heaven, Lord?
Is there room for just one more?
'Cause my little dog died today,
He'll be waiting at Your door.

Please take him into heaven, Lord,
And keep him there for me,
Just feed him, pet him, love him, Lord,
That's all he'll ask of Thee.

~~ Anon ~~


The Reason
(to you from all your rescue dogs)

I would've died that day if not for you.

I would've given up on life if not for your kind eyes.
I would've used my teeth in fear if not for your gentle hands.
I would have left this life believing that all humans don't care
Believing there is no such thing as fur that isn't matted
Skin that isn't flea bitten
Good food and enough of it
Beds to sleep on
Someone to love me
To show me I deserve love just because I exist.

Your kind eyes, your loving smile, your gentle hands
Your big heart saved me...

You saved me from the terror of the pound,
Soothing away the memories of my old life.
You have taught me what it means to be loved.
I have seen you do the same for other dogs like me.

I have heard you ask yourself in times of despair
Why you do it
When there is no more money, no more room, no more homes
You open your heart a little bigger, stretch the money a little tighter
Make just a little more room to save one more like me.
I tell you with the gratitude and love that shines in my eyes
In the best way I know how
Reminding you why you go on trying.

I am the reason
The dogs before me are the reason
As are the ones who come after.
Our lives would've been wasted, our love never given
We would die if not for you.

~~ Kim Senke-Rocka ~~


Rescued Cat

Once I was a lonely cat,
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 what ever 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 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.
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 cat 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 cats
in the pound and on the street.
And send a Rescue Person
to lift them off their feet."

~~ Arlene Pace ~~


Dear Dogs

Dear Dogs,

When I say to move, it means go someplace else, not switch positions with each other so there are still two dogs in the way.

The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help, because I fall faster than you can run.

I can not buy anything bigger than a king size bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue to sleep on the couch to ensure your comfort. Look at videos of dogs sleeping, they can actually curl up in a ball. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space used is nothing but doggy sarcasm.

When I am playing the pinball machine, jumping up and trying to grab the ball through the glass is not helpful. Barking at me because I'm not helping you achieve your goal does not win you any extra brownie points.

My compact discs are not miniature Frisbees.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, try to turn the knob, or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. In addition, I have been using bathrooms for years, canine attendance is not mandatory.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell other dogs butts. I can not stress this enough. It would be such a simple change for you guys to make.


BEFORE I WAS A DOG MOM

I made and ate hot meals unmolested.
I had unstained, unfired clothes.
I had quiet conversations on the phone,
even if the doorbell rang.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I slept as late as I wanted
And never worried about how late I got to bed
or if I could get into my bed.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I cleaned my house every day.
I never tripped over toys, stuffies, chewies
Or invited the neighbor's dog over to play.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I didn't worry if my plants, cleansers, plastic bags,
toilet paper, soap or deodorant were poisonious or dangerous.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had never been peed on
Pooped on
Drooled on
Chewed on
Or pinched by puppy teeth.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had complete control of
My thoughts,
My body and mind.
I slept all night without sharing the covers
or pillow.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I never looked into big, soulful eyes and cried.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop a hurt.
I never knew something so furry and four-legged
could affect my heart so deeply.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had never held a sleeping puppy just because I
couldn't put it down.
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was well.
I didn't know how warm it feels inside to feed a hungry puppy.
I didn't know that something so small could make
me feel so important.

Before I was a Dog Mom:
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being
A Dog Mom.


Stray's Prayer

Dear God
Please send me somebody who will 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
And God I ran away
To rummage in garbage
And live life as a stray

But now God
I'm tired and hungry and cold
And I'm so afraid
That I will never grow old

They've chased me with sticks
And hit me with stones
While I run the streets
Just looking for bones!

I'm not really bad
God please help if you can
Or 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
And I won't chew their shoes
And I'll do as I should

I'll 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 so all alone

Each night as I sleep in the bushes
I cry
Cause I'm so afraid God
That I'm gonna die

And I've got so much love
And devotion to give
That I should be given
A new chance to Live!

So Dear God
Please answer my prayer
And send me someone
Who will REALLY care

That Is
Dear God
If You Are Really There!


Your Best Friend

You took me in when I was alone.
You loved me when no one was home.
You were never angry when I was bad.
And you dried my tears when I was sad.

They said I was a pest, a rogue.
No longer cute, no longer vogue.
I don't know what I did that was so wrong.
But with you I sing a different song.

They gave me to strangers, people unknown.
They gave me away, like a tossed away bone.
But one day you came into my life.
You took me home, you ended my strife.

And now dear mistress, I shall not roam.
You saved my life, you gave me a home.
For you dear mamma, I'll lay down my strife.
As your dog and friend, your companion, for life.

And when the time comes for me to go.
Don't cry dear Mistress, for I'll not be alone.
Walk with me to the end, walk with me that last mile.
And as my eyes close, I'll see love in your smile.

Don't cry for me, Mistress, don't shed any tears.
You gave me all of my happiest years.
And when your time comes to walk the last mile.
I'll be there to meet you, and my eyes they will smile.
 


A DOGGIE PRAYER

So do not grieve for me, my friend, 
as I am with my kind...

My collar is a rainbow's hue
My leash a shooting star
My boundaries are the milky way
Where I sparkle from afar.

There are no pens or kennels here
For I am not confined
But free to roam God's heavens
Among my special kind.

I nap the day on a snowy cloud
With gentle breezes rocking me
I dream the dreams of earthlings
And how it used to be.

The trees are full of liver treats
And tennis balls abound
And milk bones line the walking ways
Just waiting to be found.

There even is a ring set up
The grass all lush and green
And everyone who gaits around
Becomes the "Best Of Breed".

For we're all winners in this place
We have no faults you see
And God passes out the ribbons
To each one--even me.

At night I sleep in angels' arms
Their wings protecting me
And moonbeams dance about us
As stardust falls on thee.

So when your life on earth is spent
And you reach heaven's gate
Have no fear of loneliness
For here, you know I wait.


IF

If you can start the day without caffeine or pep pills,
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,
If you can overlook people taking things out on you when, 
through no fault of yours,something goes wrong,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,

If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can do all these things,

Then you are probably the family dog (or cat)!


Poem to my Foster Dog

I am the bridge
Between what was and what can be. 
I am the pathway to a new life. 
I am made of mush,
Because my heart melted
When I saw you,
Matted and sore, limping, depressed,
Lonely, unwanted, afraid to love.
For one little time you are mine.
I will feed you with my own hand
I will love you with my whole heart
I will make you whole.
I am made of steel.
Because when the time comes,
When you are well and sleek,
When your eyes shine,
And your tail wags with joy-Then comes the hard part.
I will let you go-- not without a tear,
But without a regret.
For you are safe forever.
A new dog needs me now.

~~ Diane Morgan ~~
Basset Hound Rescue
In Memory of My Shawn 1974-1988


Retribution

The families dog was bought for a guard,
Chained to a post in a chilly backyard,
Housed in a shed that was airless and dark,
And every few weeks had a run in the park.
When boredom set in with no fun and no work,
One day it broke loose and went quietly berserk.
Pa couldn't fathom just why it went wild,
As it flattened his wife and then bit his child.
The police were called in to sort out the mess,
And the whole sorry tale was revealed by the press,
The Rescue Society was really annoyed,
So, the dog was re-homed--and the owners destroyed.


THE UNPAID CIRCUS WORKERS

Fun, excitement, balloons, colourful kites,
The circus is in town...oh what dizzying heights..
...the trapeze artists swing...the clowns
smile broadly and then feign rage...
but spare a thought for me....
I'm the one in the cage.

I'm here in 23 hours out of every 24,
there's nothing but bars and a padlock on the door.
Not an ounce of freedom but lots of fresh food,
if I was a household cat my owners would be sued.

My friend the elephant is so terribly sad;
what did he do to deserve this.. ? He was never bad..
He wears a cute hat and stands on one leg,
when once proud...now forced to beg.

I dream of running with the rest of my pride;
I dream of freedom... PLEASE be on my side ..
Understand my plight and think of me now and then -
all you animals lovers; children, ladies and men.

The circus comes and goes, we're off to another town I fear,
I lie down wishing my death would come...
another performance........another tear.

~~ June Bird ~~
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA


Rescue Me

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 only 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 sooth your spirit. I will cherish you. 

Rescue me not to be your pet but to be your friend. I will give you unconditional love. 

Rescue me with true love in your heart and I will give you these things all the days of my life.

~~ Terri Onorato ~~


I Died Today

Dear Mom and Dad,

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 dirty and too small, but the lady took it off before she sent me to the Rainbow Bridge.

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 that I had to go at all. There are books and 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 anti-flea medicine, I couldn't get them off of 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'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 manners to me? You didn't pay attention to me after the first week or so, but I spent all my time waiting for you to love me.

I died today.


Words from a Foster Parent

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 an other'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 forgiven 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.


Daddy's Day

Her hair was up in a ponytail 

Her favorite dress tied with a bow. 

Today was Daddy's Day at school, 

And she couldn't wait to go. 

But her mommy tried to tell her, 

That she probably should stay home. 

Why the kids might not understand, 

If she went to school alone. 

But she was not afraid; 

She knew just what to say. 

What to tell her classmates 

Of why he wasn't there today. 

But still her mother worried, 

For her to face this day alone. 

And that was why once again, 

She tried to keep her daughter home. 

But the little girl went to school, 

Eager to tell them all. 

About a dad she never sees 

A dad who never calls. 

There were daddies along the wall in back, 

For everyone to meet. 

Children squirming impatiently, 

Anxious in their seats. 

One by one the teacher called, 

A student from the class. 

To introduce their daddy, 

As seconds slowly passed. 

At last the teacher called her name, 

Every child turned to stare. 

Each of them was searching, 

For a man who wasn't there. 

"Where's her daddy at?" 

She heard a boy call out. 

"She probably doesn't have one," 

Another student dared to shout. 

And from somewhere near the back, 

She heard a daddy say, 

"Looks like another deadbeat dad, 

Too busy to waste his day." 

The words did not offend her, 

As she smiled up at her Mom. 

And looked back at her teacher, 

Who told her to go on. 

And with hands behind her back, 

Slowly she began to speak. 

And out from the mouth of a child, 

Came words incredibly unique. 

"My Daddy couldn't be here, 

Because he lives so far away. 

But I know he wishes he could be, 

Since this is such a special day. 

And though you cannot meet him, 

I wanted you to know. 

All about my daddy, 

And how much he loves me so. 

He loved to tell me stories 

He taught me to ride my bike. 

He surprised me with pink roses, 

And taught me to fly a kite. 

We used to share fudge sundaes, 

And ice cream in a cone. 

And though you cannot see him, 

I'm not standing here alone. 

"Cause my daddy's always with me, 

Even though we are apart 

I know because he told me, 

He'll forever be in my heart" 

With that, her little hand reached up, 

And lay across her chest. 

Feeling her own heartbeat, 

Beneath her favorite dress. 

And from somewhere in the crowd of dads, 

Her mother stood in tears. 

Proudly watching her daughter, 

Who was wise beyond her years. 

For she stood up for the love 

Of a man not in her life. 

Doing what was best for her, 

Doing what was right. 

And when she dropped her hand back down, 

Staring straight into the crowd. 

She finished with a voice so soft, 

But its message clear and loud. 

"I love my daddy very much, 

He's my shining star. 

And if he could, he'd be here, 

But heaven's just too far. 

But sometimes when I close my eyes, 

It's like he never went away." 

And then she closed her eyes, 

And saw him there that day. 

And to her mother's amazement, 

She witnessed with surprise. 

A room full of daddies and children, 

All starting to close their eyes. 

Who knows what they saw before them, 

Who knows what they felt inside. 

Perhaps for merely a second, 

They saw him at her side. 

"I know you're with me Daddy," 

To the silence she called out. 

And what happened next made believers, 

Of those once filled with doubt. 

Not one in that room could explain it, 

For each of their eyes had been closed. 

But there on the desk beside her, 

Was a fragrant long-stemmed pink rose. 

And a child was blessed, if only for a moment, 

By the love of her shining bright star. 

And given the gift of believing, 

That heaven is never too far.


I Am 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 littermates 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 anyways. 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.


Odean

He woke with a start
could not figure out where he was.
Why am I warm, why am I safe,
why is the world suddenly soft?
Oh yes, the lady that talks so sweet
she rubs my ears and cooches my belly.
I like it here
wonder if she'll send me back?

It is quiet but I can hear life about me
it is a calm, safe feeling.
One I have never known
but have dreamt of.
I have only been here a day
wonder if they'll let me stay?

Maybe if I'm good and sweet
they won't put me on the street.
I'm so confused
the lady talks so nice all the time.
I got my own dinner last night
without a fight.
I hear some noise
wonder if she'll send me back?

She is calling my name
how sweet she sounds.
I am here, right here
waiting for my ear rub.
Better wag my tail
let her know I like her a lot.
There she is, she is so soft
wonder if she'll let me stay?

Time to go out she says
better not do it on the floor.
Out side with all the others
they seem happy here too.
I hope she lets me stay.

Wow food again
and all my own!
She just rubbed my head
and said 'what a good boy.'
Me a good boy
wow me a good boy!
Oh that smile of hers
hope she lets me stay.

Looks like play time
hey I can play too.
She is laughing
I remember that sound.
They used to do that when
I was little and they liked me.
You know the other people
then they just stopped laughing.
Please don't make me go back.

She is on the phone
thought I heard my name.
She is looking at me
she is smiling.
Better get over there and
get one of those ear rubs.
She is talking about me
Please don't make me go back.

Still talking about me
Wonder what she meant.
She said 'looks like a keeper to me.'
I hope she'll let me stay.

I was never allowed to give kisses
wonder what she would do?
Think I'll try.
Oh my, she's got tears in her eyes!
Oh what have I done?
A big hug, maybe she'll let me stay.

She said I'm home now
talks to me a lot, real nice.
Wow, what a day and
it's only just begun!
Imagine having many days
like this all together.
Oh, Please let me stay!

Thanks to all the rescues for all you do.

~~ MichelleRivera1@aol.com ~~


Things I Must Remember As A Dog
(in order to keep my present living arrangements)

  1. The garbage collector is not stealing our stuff.

  2. I do not need to suddenly stand straight up when I'm lying under the coffee table.

  3. I will not roll my toys behind the fridge, behind the sofa or under the bed. 

  4. I must shake the rainwater out of my fur before entering the house.

  5. I will not eat the cats' food, before they eat it or after they throw it up.

  6. I will stop trying to find the few remaining pieces of clean carpet in the house when I am about to get sick.

  7. I will not throw up in the car.

  8. I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc., just because I like the way they smell.

  9. I will not munch on "leftovers" in the kitty litter box; although they are tasty, they are not food.

  10. I will not eat any more Kleenex or napkins and the redeposit them in the backyard after processing.

  11. The diaper pail is not a cookie jar.

  12. I will not chew my humans' toothbrushes and not tell them.

  13. I will not chew crayons or pens, especially not the red ones, or my people will think I am hemorrhaging.

  14. When in the car, I will not insist on having the window rolled down when it's raining outside.

  15. We do not have a doorbell. I will not bark each time I hear one on television.

  16. I will not steal my mom's underwear and dance all over the back yard with them.

  17. The sofa is not a face towel; neither are Mom and dad's laps.

  18. My head does not belong in the refrigerator.

  19. I will not bite the officer's hand when he reaches in for Mom's driver's license and registration.

  20. I will not play tug of war with dad's underwear when he's on the toilet.

  21. I will not roll around in the dirt right after just getting a bath.

  22. Sticking my nose into someone's crotch is not an acceptable way of saying hello.

  23. I will not come in from outside and immediately drag my butt across the carpet.

  24. The toilet bowl is not a never ending water supply and, just because the water is blue, doesn't mean it's cleaner.

  25. I will not sit in the middle of the living room and lick my crotch when company is over.

  26. I will remember that suddenly turning around and smelling my rear end can quickly clear a room.

  27. The cat is not a squeaky toy so when I play with him and he makes that noise, it's usually not a good thing.



A Pet's Prayer To Saint Peter

I have traveled far to reach this Pearly Gate

But I do not want to wander beyond this place.

I just need to rest awhile for my friend I wait.

Please let them know I love them still.

Let them know that I understand

What they did, they did with love.

With my body gone, my spirit flew

On the wings of a dove

To my Creator's Heaven above.

Now I ask that I may wait.

I will lay quietly here by the gate.

For if I entered now without my friend,

It wouldn't be Heaven at all.

~~ John Quealy ~~


"T'was the Night Before Christmas, in the Mills of Missouri"

T'was the night before Christmas, and all through the mills,
not a puppy was stirring, it was strangely quite still.
While back at the pole, Santa readied the sleigh,
to pick up these mill dogs, it was such a long way!

The reindeer were dressing all quick in a hurry
They were headed for RESCUE, and straight for MISSOURI!
On Dasher, on Dancer, on Comet and Cupid.
Those pups go to Pet Shops! We know! We're not stupid!

As his sleigh did approach, the mill gates opened wide,
Santa called to them all, and they all jumped inside!
On Poodles, on Bichons, on Golden Retrievers!
Grab up the babies, we save those for grievers!

On Westies, on Lhasas, on cute Weenie Boogers,
On Shih Tzus and Scotties, they're all sweet as sugar!
On Schnauzers, and Maltese, on Wire Haired Fox Terriers!
We've got room for ALL, the more now, the merrier!

And the sleigh just grew bigger as they all made more room,
These pups lives were changing! No more gloom and doom!
While out on the lawns there arose such a clatter
The millers ran out to see what was the matter.

When they found their "stock" gone, how the millers did sob,
while a Voice from above boomed, "GO GET A REAL JOB!"
As it seemed it could not get much better than this,
I started to wake, did I dream all of this???

There was no red sleigh, no reindeer with wings.
I guess it was sadly, just one of those things,
That you dream and you dream, till one day 'twill be.
That glorious day, when the mills are history!

And I think as we tell them, and tell them again,
Soon it will be that we all know that when,
One buys from a pet shop, there are pups you don't see.
The Mama and Daddy, who are longing to be
loved by a family, and scratched on their heads.
Not sleeping on wire, that are now called their beds.

One day it will be, oh how great that will feel!
We won't mill our puppies like paper and steel!
And I heard it exclaimed as I woke up that night,
We won't stand for this, we'll stand up and fight!

With each breath we do have and each word we do say,
we'll tell about the mills, till that glorious day,
when the mills are all outlawed, and all over Missouri,
The occupation of milling, will be but a memory.

~~ Robin Pressnall ~~


CHRISTMAS RETURNS

Santa comes quietly long before dawn
While shops are still busy and lights are still on
While dinners are cooking and kitchens are warm
And children count presents they'll open by morn.

He slips past the trees in windows aglow
Through the gate to the backyard
As icy winds blow
To find the pup he brought last year
Chained up in the snow
And, kneeling, he whispers,
“Are you ready to go?”

There are too many stops like this one tonight
Before the beginning of his regular flight
He leaves not a note or footprint in sight
Just an unbuckled collar
On a cold Christmas night.....


WHEN I GOT MY NEW DOG

I asked for strength that I might rear him perfectly;
I was given weakness that I might feed him more treats.

I asked for good health that I might rest easy;
I was given a "special needs" dog that I might know nurturing.

I asked for an obedient dog that I might feel proud;
I was given stubbornness that I might feel humble.

I asked for compliance that I might feel masterful;
I was given a clown that I might laugh.

I asked for a companion that I might not feel lonely;
I was given a best friend that I would feel loved.

I got nothing I asked for,
But everything that I needed.


We Are Their Heroes

If you worry that you have not made a difference, you have, for only
those who do not worry about it have not.

If you feel overwhelmed, if the weight of problems is too heavy to bear,
remember it is a shared burden and the strength of numbers can accomplish much.

If you think society and government are blind, it only serves to remind
that we need to change one mind at a time, one law after another. We
effect change by cooperation, not by isolation.

If you consider that we cannot save them all, and what difference does
one make?, you ought to know the joy of the one who is saved. Mourn
those we cannot save. It is a eulogy to their being. Do not let their
loss be in vain.

Be kind to yourself, remember your needs and those of your family and
friends of every species. If you give everything, what will you have
left for yourself, or for them? Strive to be happy and healthy. You are
needed. Achieving balance in life is a lifelong struggle.

We who help those who do not have all that they need should be among the
most grateful for what we have.

Be proud of your accomplishments, not your opinions. The quality of your
efforts is more important than the quantity.

Forgive your own deficiencies - sometimes your caring is sufficient.
Everyone can do something, it is up to you to do the thing you can. A
kind word and a gentle touch can change a life.

If a seething anger wells up within you, because people are the problem,
remember your humanity and that people are also the solution.

Concentrate on specific needs, pay attention to the individual - they
make up the whole. See beyond the unlovable, the unattractive, the
impure and the wounded - see that their spirit is as deserving as the
rest. Help them heal. Their eyes are windows to their soul and the
mirror of your sincerity.

All species, all beings, share this Earth in a chain of life. Care more
about what makes us alike than what separates us.

Policies, rules and regulations are not infallible. Apply them
judiciously, interpret them wisely.

No decision based purely on money is ever the right one. Listen to your
heart. Sometimes we have to do that which we are most afraid of. Be true
to yourself and your beliefs.

Family may abandon you, friends may disappoint you, strangers will
ridicule you. People shun what they do not understand. Help them to
understand - kindly, softly, gently.

Those who do not respect all life are to be pitied. Often the wrongdoer
is as in need of help as his victims. Forgive, then teach by example.
Educate yourself or you cannot hope to teach others.

No action based in hatred is ever right and anger drowns out wisdom.

Yours may be a voice crying in the wilderness, make it a voice to be respected.

Listen more than you talk, be courteous and reliable. Learn to ask for help.

Never waiver from the truth.

Know that it takes a lot of strength to cry and with every defeat, we learn.

All Creation celebrates that which is in its own best interest. The
Children are our hope - nurture them. Nature is our legacy - protect it.
The Animals are our brethren - learn from them.

Your rewards will not be material, but they will be meaningful, and the
courage of your convictions can survive anything. We are small boats
cast adrift on a cruel sea, but someday the tide will turn toward a safe
harbor. No matter how dark the storm clouds, or deep the pain of
heartbreak - never forget:

We are their heroes.

~~ Copyright Jim Willis 2001 ~~

 **Dedicated to all who have worked for change.  
May your efforts be blessed. You have made a difference.


THE PIECES OF MY HEART 
(On Fostering)

Our paths will cross for only a short time,
but while you are in my care I will be devoted to you.
If memories of your former life are painful, I will help erase them.
No longer will you hunger and I will help to heal your wounds.
If your former life was good, I will promise you an even better future.

One day our time together will come to an end
and you will go off to your new home, healthy, happy and healed.
As a parting gift, I will give you a piece of my heart to remember me by.
I may shed a tear...not for my loss, but for your gain.

Perhaps our paths may cross again for a fleeting instant
and I will be comforted by the aura of love that surrounds you.
There will always be a bond between us,
though we walk separate paths through this life.

After we reach our heavenly reward our paths may cross again.
You may try to return the piece of my heart
with thanks for all that I did for you.
I will tell you to keep it and thank you
for showing me that I could be better
than I thought I could be,
and that I learned in giving came the greatest gifts.

The pieces of our hearts are like grains of sand.
They are pulled along a current beyond our control
until they come together and form a safe haven.

I, like you, came to understand what it meant to be saved.

~~ Copyright Jim Willis 2001 ~~


A Puppy's 12 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my puppy gave to me 
The Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the second day of Christmas my puppy gave to me 
Two leaking bubble lights 
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the third day of Christmas my puppy gave to me 
Three punctured ornaments 
Two leaking bubble lights 
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me 
Four broken window candles 
Three punctured ornaments 
Two leaking bubble lights 
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me 
Five chewed-up stockings 
Four broken window candles 
Three punctured ornaments 
Two leaking bubble lights 
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me 
Six yards of soggy ribbon 
Five chewed-up stockings 
Four broken window candles 
Three punctured ornaments 
Two leaking bubble lights 
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas my puppy gave to me 
Seven scraps of wrapping paper 
Six yards of soggy ribbon 
Five chewed-up stockings 
Four broken window candles 
Three punctured ornaments 
Two leaking bubble lights 
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me 
Eight tiny reindeer fragments 
Seven scraps of wrapping paper 
Six yards of soggy ribbon 
Five chewed-up stockings 
Four broken window candles 
Three punctured ornaments 
Two leaking bubble lights 
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me 
My wreath in nine pieces 
Eight tiny reindeer fragments 
Seven scraps of wrapping paper 
Six yards of soggy ribbon 
Five chewed-up stockings 
Four broken window candles 
Three punctured ornaments 
Two leaking bubble lights 
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

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

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

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

~~ Elise Lewis 1997 ~~


CSI O.T. Dog Lover's Prayer

Dear God,

Please remember these few things when taking care of my boy.

He likes to walk back and forth in the pond, chasing the blue gills, watching close for you to reel in the "big one." He will then "hold" the stringer for you. Please take him fishing.

The lizards in the tree stumps won't be safe anymore, so you'd better hide the lizards. If you put dog bones in your robes, he will "wave" at you until you give him one. Give him two.

His day bed is the one closest to the fireplace. If there is a girl lying in it he will come and rest his head on your knee until you remove her. His bedtime is 8 pm; please help him up the stairs.

Don't leave freshly baked pies on the counter, no matter how crippled he becomes, he will always eat it. Blueberry is his favorite, with just a little cinnamon.

If there is a child in the water he will bring it out, especially if it is having a good time. If there is a small child walking with a cracker, he will keep the child from overeating. Please give him a child to follow.

Don't leave any ladders leaning against your house, he will be found on the roof. I hope there is a playground nearby with lots of kids, he will wait his turn at the slide, and bark when he gets to the bottom.

Be careful when you spell out words like "C-A-R R-I-DE" and "E-A-T, "even "B-U-N-N-Y." He knows how to spell, you had better be ready to follow through.

When you take him on a trip, and stop to rest, just tell him to "be a good Boy," he will lift his leg whether he has to go or not. He can't "go" with a leash on, it makes him cough. In fact don't even show him a leash, he will choke. He also can't go for a walk without his Dummy in his mouth, He can't make it past the gate, he likes the orange one the best.

The top of his head will become pointed if you don't kiss it often during the day. Then his hats won't fit. He can't sleep unless he is on the right side of the bed.

When you give him a marrow bone, make sure his mom is there too, he likes to use her back as a table and get her all slimy.

If you tell him to "stay," make sure you come back to release him, he will stay there for days.

During the football games, if you get a chip, he gets a chip. He doesn't like the nuts with the shell on them, peel them please.

If you go to the lake then stop for ice cream on the way home, he always gets the first lick and then the bottom of the cone too, please.

Don't use a Buoy to tie off your boat, he will spend all afternoon trying to drag it to shore. If you take him camping, he has to sleep between you and Mrs. God, on the softest part of the foam pad. 

Don't get mad at him when you come home and his head is in the dog food bin, He has to stretch his stomach muscles every now and then.

That's all for now God. Tell him we love him, miss him and hope he likes the food up ther


Dogs letter to God

Dear God,
How come people love to smell flowers, but seldom, if ever, smell one another? Where are their priorities?


Dear God,
When we get to Heaven, can we sit on your couch? Or is it the same old story?

Dear God,
Excuse me, but why are there cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the mustang, the colt, the stingray, and the rabbit, but not one named for a dog? How often do you see a cougar riding around? We dogs love a nice ride! I know every breed cannot have its own model, but it would be easy to rename the Chrysler Eagle the Chrysler Beagle!

Dear God,
If a dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad dog?

Dear God,
When my foster mom's friend comes over to our house, he smells like musk! What's he been rolling around in?

Dear God,
Is it true that in Heaven, dining room tables have on-ramps?

Dear God,
If we come back as humans, is that good or bad?

Dear God,
More meatballs, less spaghetti, please.

Dear God,
When we get to the Pearly Gates, do we have to shake hands to get in?

Dear God,
We dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent IDs, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?

Dear God,
Are there dogs on other planets, or are we alone? I have been howling at the moon and stars for a long time, but all I ever hear back is the collie across the street.

Dear God,
Are there mailmen in Heaven? If there are, will I have to apologize?

Dear God,
Is it true that dogs are not allowed in restaurants because we can't make up our minds what NOT to order? Or is it the carpets again?

Dear God,
When my family eats dinner they always bless their food. But they never bless mine. So, I've been wagging my tail extra fast when they fill my bowl. Have you noticed my own blessing?

Dear God,
I've always lived at the shelter and I have everything I need. But many of the cats here have names and I don't. Could you give me a name please? It would be good for my self-esteem.

Dear God,
The new terrier I live with just peed on the Oriental rug and I have a feeling my family might blame me 'cuz they think I'm jealous of this stupid dog. Since they have no sense of smell, how can I convince them I'm innocent? Does PetsMart sell lie detectors?


A Rescue Pet's Christmas Poem

This is the time of year that I ask you all to help you local animal rescue society. Thank you, 

'Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town, every shelter is full - we are lost but not found, Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare, we hope every minute that someone will care, They'll come to adopt us and give us the call, "Come here, Max and Sparkie - come fetch your new ball!! But now we sit here and think of the days we were treated so fondly - we had cute, baby ways. Once we were little, then we grew and we grew, now we're no longer young and we're no longer new. 

So out the back door we were thrown like the trash, they reacted so quickly - why were they so rash? We "jump on the children:, "don't come when they call", we "bark when they leave us", climb over the wall. We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed, now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made. If only they'd trained us, if only we knew, we'd have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too. We were left in the backyard, or worse - left to roam, now we're tired and lonely and out of a home. They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye, "Maybe someone else will give you a try." 

So now here we are, all confused and alone, in a shelter with others who long for a home. The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat, with so many to care for, they can't stay to chat, They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer, we know that they wonder how long we'll be here. We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads, of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds. Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears, our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear. 

If you can't adopt us and there's no room at the Inn, could you help with the bills and fill our food bin? We count on your kindness each day of the year, can you give more than hope to everyone here? Please make a donation to pay for the heat and help get us something special to eat. The shelter that cares for us wants us to live, and more of us will, if more people will give.

~~ David the Dogman ~~


Fur Coats And Fur

Your fur coat cost a pretty price;
My fur was almost free. 
The only thing I had to pay 
Was just a kennel fee.

Your fur coat now is snowy white
And lined with softest silk.
My fur is just a little ball
That still is lapping milk.

I wouldn't trade your fur for mine;
I'd be ashamed to wear it.
I know the way it came about;
I simply could not bear it.

It's made of pain and blood and cries
And the agony in a mother's eyes
While a baby seal was stripped of skin
So you could wear that coat you're in.

It's not an easy death to die,
So please think hard before you buy
And if you really want a fur,
Then get the kind that bark or purr.

It may not keep you warm outside,
But you can hold your head with pride
and in the world so filled with pain
Know you, at least, are not to blame.

~~ Guila Manchester ~~


I COULD NEVER WORK HERE!

When you say to an animal shelter or humane society employee "I could never do your job, it would break my heart, I love animals too much" or words to that effect, it sounds like you are saying:

  1. That we don't also love the animals, even though we've taken minimum wage (or no wage) jobs in order to work with homeless animals. For many of us, it is our life's work.

  2. That we, somehow, don't get our hearts broken.

  3. That in order to do this job one has to be either cold hearted or an animal hater.
Your declaration leaves us with some questions.

If you can't do this job, who will? Someone must.

When we've euthanized the 500th kitten for the month, because there are no homes available, will you take the 501st? Our hearts are completely torn out and we just can't kill one more. You already have enough pets? We understand, we do too. Our cages are over capacity, our foster homes are all full. Do you have a solution? If so, please tell us, we hate this part of the job. Right now, at this moment, there is a dog or cat in a shelter employee's arms and there is no where on earth for this creature to go. There is no cage space, no foster home, no forever home. Nowhere. It is a heartbreaking feeling.

There is a really nice yellow lab mix named Jake. He's 3 years old, healthy, housebroken, loves kids, loves everyone! But, he can't find a home because he's quite generic looking, not real flashy and he's not an eight week old puppy ("I want a dog to grow up with the kids"). We've had him here for 3 months, but can no longer justify taking up valuable cage space for a dog that's showing no signs of becoming adopted. What would you do? There are 10 dogs that came in today. We have two open runs. Who has to die?

Walking through the kennel, having to choose which ones have no more time is the worst part. It breaks our hearts. If you know of a way to keep Jake alive and still be fair to the other animals, please tell us. We've grown so attached -- it's our hearts again you know -- they're breaking into a million pieces this time.

Will you talk to the woman who brings in a blind, 10 yr. old peek-a-poo with bad skin and says "Don't kill her! Find her a good home!"? Oh puhleeeeeeze. We can't find homes for the healthy 1-year-olds, who's going to adopt a 10 year old, unhealthy dog? You? No, not me either. I already have four dogs that were considered unadoptable. Because we can't get this owner to face reality and allow us to euthanize right away, the dog has to spend her last 24 hours on earth in a holding cage, wondering what happened.

But, we held her as often as we could and tried to comfort her... because you can't. It would break your heart. "Wait!" you say, "Someone might want her!" It's quite unlikely that there is someone that wants an elderly dog that needs a few hundred dollars worth of veterinary care, but maybe you're right. Our crystal ball is broken, but if you think she can find a home and you want to save her please go back to the kennel and pick which young, healthy dog has to give up it's space here.

OK. You can't work at a animal shelter. Not everyone can. Can you help in other ways? Can you buy us a bag of food when you buy for your own pet? Can you come in and talk to the cats? Walk the dogs? We are so busy running the place that we often don't have time. When you come back next week we won't tell you the final disposition of your favorite one if you don't want to know. We are, after all, a compassionate group and we understand about broken hearts. Could you go to your friend or neighbor and offer to get their pet spayed/neutered? Could you trap one of those stray cats in your neighborhood and get it vaccinated and neutered? That will be one more free-roaming cat that's out of the reproduction loop.

Maybe you could just an item from their wish list. Anything at all would help.

I know you mean well. I know you mean to say "I couldn't work here because my own emotions get in the way of doing what has to be done for the animals, thank you for doing it."

~~ Deb McKean (1993-2000) ~~


The Journey

When you bring a pet into your life, you begin a journey - a journey that will bring you more love and devotion than you have ever known, yet also test your strength and courage

If you allow, the journey will teach you many things, about life, about yourself, and most of all, about love. You will come away changed forever, for one soul cannot touch another without leaving its mark.

Along the way, you will learn much about savoring life's simple pleasures - jumping in leaves, snoozing in the sun, the joys of puddles, and even the satisfaction of a good scratch behind the ears.

If you spend much time outside, you will be taught how to truly experience every element, for no rock, leaf, or log will go unexamined, no rustling bush will be overlooked, and even the very air will be inhaled, pondered, and noted as being full of valuable information. Your pace may be slower - except when heading home to the food dish - but you will become a better naturalist, having been taught by an expert in the field.

Too many times we hike on automatic pilot, our goal being to complete the trail rather than enjoy the journey. We miss the details - the colorful mushrooms on the rotting log, the honeycomb in the old maple snag, the hawk feather caught on a twig. Once we walk as a dog does, we discover a whole new world. We stop; we browse the landscape, we kick over leaves, peek in tree holes, look up, down, all around. And we learn what any dog knows: that nature has created a marvelously complex world that is full of surprises, that each cycle of the seasons bring ever changing wonders, each day an essence all its own.

Even from indoors you will find yourself more attuned to the world around you. You will find yourself watching summer insects collecting on a screen. (How bizarre they are! How many kinds there are!), or noting the flick and flash of fireflies through the dark. You will stop to observe the swirling dance of windblown leaves, or sniff the air after a rain. It does not matter that there is no objective in this; the point is in the doing, in not letting life's most important details slip by.

You will find yourself doing silly things that your pet-less friends might not understand: spending thirty minutes in the grocery aisle looking for the cat food brand your feline must have, buying dog birthday treats, or driving around the block an extra time because your pet enjoys the ride.

You will roll in the snow, wrestle with chewie toys, bounce little rubber balls till your eyes cross, and even run around the house trailing your bathrobe tie - with a cat in hot pursuit - all in the name of love.

Your house will become muddier and hairier. You will wear less dark clothing and buy more lint rollers. You may find dog biscuits in your pocket or purse, and feel the need to explain that an old plastic shopping bag adorns your living room rug because your cat loves the crinkly sound.

You will learn the true measure of love - the steadfast, undying kind that says, "It doesn't matter where we are or what we do, or how life treats us as long as we are together." Respect this always. It is the most precious gift any living soul can give another. You will not find it often among the human race.

And you will learn humility. The look in my dog's eyes often made me feel ashamed. Such joy and love at my presence. She saw not some flawed human who could be cross and stubborn, moody or rude, but only her wonderful companion. Or maybe she saw those things and dismissed them as mere human foibles, not worth considering, and so chose to love me anyway.

If you pay attention and learn well, when the journey is done, you will be not just a better person, but the person your pet always knew you to be - the one they were proud to call beloved friend.

I must caution you that this journey is not without pain. Like all paths of true love, the pain is part of loving. For as surely as the sun sets, one day your dear animal companion will follow a trail you cannot yet go down. And you will have to find the strength and love to let them go. A pet's time on earth is far too short - especially for those that love them. We borrow them, really, just for awhile, and during these brief years they are generous enough to give us all their love, every inch of their spirit and heart, until one day there is nothing left.

The cat that only yesterday was a kitten is all too soon old and frail and sleeping in the sun. The young pup of boundless energy wakes up stiff and lame, the muzzle now gray. Deep down we somehow always knew that this journey would end. We knew that if we gave our hearts they would be broken. But give them we must for it is all they ask in return. When the time comes, and the road curves ahead to a place we cannot see, we give one final gift and let them run on ahead - young and whole once more. "Godspeed, good friend," we say, until our journey comes full circle and our paths cross again.

~~ by Crystal Ward Kent ~~


A Rescuer's Creed

**Just a reminder of why we do this. . .

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. 

Reprinted from AnimalTalk 
~~ by Susan M. Pearson ~~


IF A DOG WERE YOUR TEACHER 

You would learn stuff like.....

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in
your face to be pure ecstasy.

When it's in your best interest -- practice obedience.

Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

Take naps and stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into
the guilt thing and pout ... run right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit
close by and nuzzle them gently.