WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO DO RESCUE? – Author Unknown
Your rescue “kit” should include:
- A heart of gold to accept those creatures that don’t measure up as “perfect” in the eyes of the rest of the world.
- The people skills of a salesperson. . . to convince those that are looking for perfection that they will find it in a rescue dog if they are willing to look a little deeper.
- A heart of steel to be able to say no when there just isn’t any more room for just one more dog.
- The knowledge that you can’t save them all.
- The ability to smile and speak rationally when the 10th person for the day says “I don’t want this stupid dog anymore. . . take him or I am gonna shoot him.”
- Some medical knowledge. . . or your rescue vet bill will be bigger than the national debt.
- The fine art of fund raising. . . so your vet bill can be reduced to just under the size of the national debt.
- Patience for: breeders who don’t care, won’t help, turn their backs and say it’s not their problem.
- Patience for: dogs that were incorrectly placed and come to rescue with so much excess baggage that you think they will never be adoptable.
- Patience for: owners who want a quick fix.
- Patience for: a world that no longer looks at life as a gift and the lives that we create as breeders as nothing short of miracles.
- A sense of humor. . . because sometimes a smile on your face is the only way to hide the agony and turmoil in your heart.
- A husband with housekeeping skills that are so outstanding that they could be highlighted in Good Housekeeping Magazine. . . so you can devote your time to all the rescues and be secure in the knowledge that the local Board of Health will not condemn your house.
- Personal dogs that will tolerate the never ending stream of four legged orphans, waifs and street urchins that will start arriving the moment you say. . . “I have room.”
- Children that like being the “token” child to socialize every dog that comes thru the door. . . being able to say “good with kids” is a real selling point.
- Magician skills so you can change anything that comes thru the door, from black tri male to long tail and brown eyes, into blue merle female, good with kids, housebroke, crate trained and obedience trained.
- The ability to face the paperwork head-on and deal with it. . . or someone you can send it to and say. . . “Here, do something with this mess!”
- Grooming skills for those ugly ducklings waiting for their chance to be a swan. . . with a little help from you.
I Have Done Something - Author Unknown
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.”
10 COMMANDMENTS OF OWNING A DOG – From ASPCA/Dear Abby column
1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be very painful.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me – it is crucial for my well-being.
4. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment. I HAVE ONLY YOU!
5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice when it’s speaking to me.
6. Be aware that however you treat me, I’ll never forget.
7. Before you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.
8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I’ve been out in the sun too long, or my heart may be getting old and weak.
9. Take care of me when I get old. You, too, will grow old.
10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say “I can’t bear to watch it” or “Let it happen in my absence”. Everything is easier for ME if you are there. Remember, I Love You.
THE FOSTER DOG – by Diane Morgan
I know I don’t look like much.
My ears aren’t the longest –
But I can hear everything you say.
My coat isn’t very shiny, either –
But I love to be brushed.
I am not a perfect dog, I guess.
Sometimes I make mistakes in the house,
Mostly when I get scared.
And I get really frightened when my foster mom
I know what it’s like to be abandoned forever.
What if she never, never comes back?
I get awfully possessive about my food sometimes.
I know what it’s like not to have any.
And big people with loud hard voices scare me
When they try to clip my nails.
I’ve been hurt bad.
And sometimes kids run and scream,
One of them hit me once. And one kicked me.
I feel better than I used to,
But I still get kind of sick sometimes.
I don’t know what’s wrong,
But sometimes I just like to lie down in the sun
I like my foster mother very well.
She’s a really nice person.
And I have been here a long time now.
She likes me too.
But I wish I had someone to really, really love me.
Some very nice people came to look at me one time.
They petted me and took me for a walk!
I was so sure.
But they went away.
They said I was too old.
I wonder what that means.
Does that mean I won’t ever get my own home?
“How Could You?” – Copyright Jim Willis 2001
When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child, and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was “bad,” you’d shake your finger at me and ask “How could you?” – but then you’d relent, and roll me over for a bellyrub.
My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed and listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because “ice cream is bad for dogs,” you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.
Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.
She, now your wife, is not a “dog person” – still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a “prisoner of love.”
As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears, and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch – because your touch was now so infrequent – and I would have defended them with my life if need be. I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams, and together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway. There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered “yes” and changed the subject. I had gone from being “your dog” to “just a dog,” and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.
Now, you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You’ve made the right decision for your “family,” but there was a time when I was your only family.
I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said “I know you will find a good home for her.” They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog, even one with “papers.” You had to pry your son’s fingers loose from my collar as he screamed “No, Daddy! Please don’t let them take my dog!” And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life.
You gave me a 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 and rubbed my ears, and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief.
The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her, and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.
She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured “How could you?”
Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said “I’m so sorry.” She hugged me, and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn’t be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself – a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. And with my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my “How could you?” was not directed at her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever. May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.
A Note from the Author: Jim Willis
If “How Could You?” brought tears to your eyes as you read it, as it did to mine as I wrote it, it is because it is the composite story of the millions of formerly “owned” pets who die each year in American and Canadian animal shelters. Anyone is welcome to distribute the essay for a noncommercial purpose, as long as it is properly attributed with the copyright notice. Please use it to help educate, on your websites, in newsletters, on animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards. Tell the public that the decision to add a pet to the family is an important one for life, that animals deserve our love and sensible care, that finding another appropriate home for your animal is your responsibility and any local humane society or animal welfare league can offer you good advice, and that all life is precious. Please do your part to stop the killing, and encourage all spay and neuter campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals.
You are a quiet but determined army
and are making a difference every day.
There is nothing more necessary than warming an orphan,
nothing more rewarding than saving a life,
no higher recognition than watching them thrive.
There is no greater joy than seeing a baby play
who, only days ago, was too weak to eat.
By the love of those who have been privileged to be rescued,
You have been rescued.
You know what true unconditional love really is,
for you seen it shining in the eyes of so many,
grateful for so little.
Your true calling is to assist God’s creatures.
You were born with the drive to fulfill their needs.
You take in helpless, unwanted, homeless creatures
without planning or selection.
You have bought cat,dog and even squirrel feed with your last dime.
You have patted a mangy head with a bare hand.
You have hugged someone vicious and afraid.
You have fallen in love a thousand times.
And you have cried into the fur of a lifeless body
too many times to count.
Your work will never be done,
Your home will never be quiet
Your wallet will most likely always empty
But your heart will always be full
When you lay your head to rest,
Listen carefully my child,
For I say unto you, at then end of each day.
Well done Rescuer…Well done