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The Meaning of Rescue
Now that I'm home, bathed, settled, fed
All nicely tucked in my warm new bed.
I'd like to open my baggage
Lest I forget,
There is so much to carry --
So much to regret.
Hmm . . . Yes there it is, right on the top
Let's unpack Loneliness, Heartache and Loss,
And there by my leash hides Fear and Shame.
As I look on these things I tried so hard to leave --
I still have to unpack my baggage called Pain.
I loved them, the others, the ones who left me,
But I wasn't good enough -- for they didn't want me.
Will you add to my baggage?
Will you help me unpack?
Or will you just look at my things --
And take me right back?
Do you have the time to help me unpack?
To put away my baggage,
To never repack?
I pray that you do -- I'm so tired you see,
But I do come with baggage --
Will you still want me?
Dear God, please send me somebody who'll 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 as a stray.
But now God, I'm tired and hungry and cold,
and I'm so afraid that I'll 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'RE REALLY there!
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 soothe your spirit.
I will cherish you.
Rescue me not to be your pet but to be your friend.
I will give you unconditional love.
Once I Was A Lonely Dog
by David Klein
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 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 to 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 bout 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 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 heartbeat. 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."
Dear Foster Mom
DEAR FOSTER MOM:
There I sat, alone and afraid,
You got a call and came right to my aid.
You bundled me up with blankets and love,
And, when I needed it most, you gave me a hug.
I learned that the world was not all that scary and cold,
That sometimes there is someone to have and to hold.
You taught me what love is, you helped me to mend,
You loved me and healed me and became my first friend.
And just when I thought you'd done all you do,
There came along not one new lesson, but two.
First you said, "Sweetheart, you're ready to go,
I've done all I can, and you've learned all I know."
Then you bundled me up with a blanket and kiss,
Along came a new family, they even have kids!
They took me to their home, forever to stay,
At first I thought you sent me away.
Then that second lesson became perfectly clear,
No matter how far, you will always be near.
And so, Foster Mom, you know I've moved on,
I have a new home, with toys and a lawn.
But I'll never forget what I learned that first day,
You never really give your fosters away.
You gave me these thoughts to remember you by,
We may never meet again, and now I know why.
You'll remember I lived with you for a time,
I may not be yours, but you'll always be mine.
A Letter From Heaven
To my foster family, some things I'd like to say,
But first of all to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this letter from the Bridge - where I now dwell with God above -
Up here there are no tears or sadness, only eternal love.
Please don't be unhappy, just because I am out of sight,
Remember that I am with you, every morning, noon and night.
The other day I had to leave you, when my life on earth was through -
God picked me up and hugged me, and he said, "I welcome you...
Its good to have you back again, you were missed while you were gone...
As for your foster family, they'll be here later on".
When you think of my life on earth, and the neglect in my last years,
Because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry: it does relieve the pain,
Remember there would be no! flowers, unless there was some rain.
God gave me a list of important things, that he would like for me to do,
And foremost on his special list, was to watch over and care for you.
And when you lie down and try to sleep, with the day's chores put to flight,
Remember that God is closest to you, in the middle of the night.
I wish that I could tell you, everything that God has planned,
But even if I could tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my earthly life is over,
I'm more happy, healthy and content, than I ever was before.
If you can help another, who is in sorrow or in pain,
Then you can say to God at night; "My day was not in vain".
And when you're walking down the street, with me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps, only a short trot behind.
There are rocky roads ahead of you, and many hills to climb,
B! ut a rescuer's heart is big and strong, just take it one day at a time.
For it is simply God's nature, and I'd like it for you too,
That as you give to the world, the world will give to you.
And when your time on earth is up, to leave your body and be free,
Remember you are not "going," You are coming up here to me.
A Foster Dog Poem
by Diane Morgan
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.
My Foster Dog is Beautiful
by Martha O'Connor
My foster dog stinks to high heaven. I don't know for sure what breed he is. His eyes are blank and hard. He won't let me pet him and growls when I reach for him. He has ragged scars and crusty sores on his skin. His nails are long and his teeth, which he showed me, are stained. I sigh. I drove two hours for this. I carefully maneuver him so that I can stuff him in the crate. Then I heft the crate and put it in the car. I am going home with my new foster dog.
At home I leave him in the crate till all the other dogs are in the yard. I get him out of the crate and ask him if he wants 'outside.' As I lead him to the door he hikes his leg on the wall and shows me his stained teeth again. When we come in he goes to the crate because that's the only safe place he sees. I offer him food but he won't eat it if I look at him, so I turn my back. When I come back the food is gone. I ask again about 'outside.' When we come back I pat him before I let him in the crate, he jerks away and runs into the crate to show me his teeth.
The next day I decide I can't stand the stink any longer. I lead him into the bath with cheese in my hand. His fear of me is not quite overcome by his wish for the cheese. And well he should fear me, for I will give him a bath. After an attempt or two to bail out he is defeated and stands there. I have bathed four-legged bath squirters for more dog years than he has been alive. His only defense was a show of his stained teeth that did not hold up to a face full of water. As I wash him it is almost as if I wash not only the stink and dirt away but also some of his hardness. His eyes look full of sadness now. And he looks completely pitiful as only a soap-covered dog can. I tell him that he will feel better when he is cleaned. After the soap the towels are not too bad so he lets me rub him dry. I take him outside. He runs for joy: the joy of not being in the tub and the joy of being clean. I, the bath giver, am allowed to share the joy. He comes to me and lets me pet him.
One week later I have a vet bill. His skin is healing. He likes for me to pet him. I think I know what color he will be when his hair grows in. I have found out he is terrified of other dogs. So I carefully introduce him to my mildest four-legged brat. It doesn't go well.
Two weeks later a new vet bill for an infection that was missed on the first visit. He plays with the other dogs.
Three weeks later he asks to be petted. He chewed up part of the rug.
Eight weeks later, his coat shines, and he has gained weight. He shows his clean teeth when his tongue lolls out after he plays chase in the yard with the gang. His eyes are soft and filled with life. He loves hugs and likes to show off his tricks, if you have the cheese.
Someone called today and asked about him, they saw the picture I took the first week. They asked about his personality, his history, and his breed. They asked if he was pretty. I asked them lots of questions. I checked up on them. I prayed. I said yes. When they saw him the first time they said he was the most beautiful dog they had ever seen.
Six months later I got a call from his new family. He is wonderful, smart, well behaved and very loving. How could someone not want him?
I told them I didn't know. He is beautiful. They all are.
A Tribute to Volunteers by Dee Clair - Calgary, Alberta
I greet each day inside my cage
And wait for God to write my page
I wonder if you'll come today?
And let me feel the light of day
My whole life has been dark with pain
And those who caused it -- what did they gain?
They stole my trust, my livelihood
And all because they simply could
I yearn to run through scented fields
Without a cage and lock to yield
To chase a squirrel that can't be caught
To earn a love that can't be bought
But the darkest days have a light
In the quiet mornings that follow night
You come to visit every day
Without a motive, without a pay
You carried me when I was weak
Brought trust I was too pained to seek
You healed my wounds that took their toll
You rescued my slowly dying soul
And now I listen for your voice
Knowing that you're here by choice
You didn't know me at the start
And yet I'm planted in your heart
I'm learning to accept your praise
And not avert my fearful gaze
Forgive me if I cower still
My life has been against my will
I feel that you are growing tired
Within this fight that you've been mired
If you can keep your doubts at bay
It would mean the world if you could stay
I can't predict how this will end
But I know this of you, my friend
You selflessly all played your part
You saved me with your tender heart