If you have men who will exclude any of God's
from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have
men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
- Saint Francis of Assisi-
Rescue related poetry and quotes
Until you have held a tiny puppy in your arms as it kissed your face with
slobbery puppy breath … and felt the love,
Until you have held an injured or severely ill dog in your arms … and
felt their pain
Until you have looked into the eyes of a tired aging senior dog … and
felt their wisdom,
And until you have seen and understood the look in your dogs eyes that tell
you their time on earth with you is over ....
and you humanely let them go,
You will never understand the life of a rescuer.
We find beauty in the most incomprehensible places and the otherwise homely
It is our gift to see beyond the dirt, terror, sadness and defeat and find
the true soul that lies within.
We are Rescue.
~ Kathie Sullivan-Parkes, East Corinth, VT.
My Foster Dog
by Unknown Author
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
The next day I decide I can't stand the stink any longer.
I lead him into the bath with cheese in my hands. His fear of me is not
quite overcome by his longing 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
have bathed four legged bath squirters for more 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 the 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 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
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
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 his coat shines, 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, his breed. They
asked if he was pretty. I asked them lots of questions.
I checked up on them.
I said yes.
When they saw him the first time they said he was the most
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.
We are very grateful to those who volunteer their time, their homes and their
finances to help us place all the dogs we do each year.
Volunteers open their hearts and homes to homeless Dals, evaluate
dogs in shelters, transport dogs however far, and help with fund raising.
Some volunteers are willing to work with those dogs who have special needs,
and provide them with food and supplies. We also thank those people willing
to sponsor a dog financially.
If Not for You
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.
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained
” Hebrews 13:2
My Name Is Sam
by Chris Benton
After I was discharged from the Navy, Jim and I moved back to Detroit to use
our GI Bill benefits to get some schooling. Jim was going for a degree in
Electronics and I, after much debating, decided to get mine in Computer Science.
One of the classes that was a requirement was Speech.
Like many people, I had no fondness for getting up in front of people for
any reason, let alone to be the center of attention as I stuttered my way
through some unfamiliar subject. But I couldn't get out of the requirement,
and so I found myself in my last semester before graduation with Speech as
one of my classes.
On the first day of class our professor explained to us that he was going
to leave the subject manner of our talks up to us, but he was going to provide
the motivation of the speech. We would be responsible for six speeches, each
with a different motivation. For instance our first speech's purpose was to
inform. He advised us to pick subjects that we were interested in and knowledgeable
about. I decided to center my six speeches around animals, especially dogs.
For my first speech to inform, I talked about the equestrian art of dressage.
For my speech to demonstrate, I brought my German Shepherd, Bodger, to class
and demonstrated obedience commands. Finally the semester was almost over
and I had but one more speech to give. This speech was to take the place of
a written final exam and was to count for fifty per cent of our grade. The
speeches motivation was to persuade.
After agonizing over a subject matter, and keeping with my animal theme,
I decided on the topic of spaying and neutering pets. My goal was to try to
persuade my classmates to neuter their pets. So I started researching the
topic. There was plenty of material, articles that told of the millions of
dogs and cats that were euthanized every year, of supposedly beloved pets
that were turned in to various animal control facilities for the lamest of
reasons, or worse, dropped off far from home, bewildered and scared. Death
was usually a blessing.
The final speech was looming closer, but I felt well prepared. My notes were
full of facts and statistics that I felt sure would motivate even the most
naive of pet owners to succumb to my plea. A couple of days before our speeches
were due, I had the bright idea of going to the local branch of the Humane
Society and borrowing a puppy to use as a sort of a visual aid. I called the
Humane Society and explained what I wanted. They were very happy to accommodate
me. I made arrangements to pick up a puppy the day before my speech.
The day before my speech, I went to pick up the puppy. I was feeling very
confident. I could quote all the statistics and numbers without ever looking
at my notes. The puppy, I felt, would add the final emotional touch. When
I arrived at the Humane Society I was met by a young guy named Ron. He explained
that he was the public relations person for the Humane Society.
He was very excited about my speech and asked if I would like a tour of the
facilities before I picked up the puppy. I enthusiastically agreed. We started
out in the reception area, which was the general public's initial encounter
with the Humane Society. The lobby was full, mostly with people dropping off
various animals that they no longer wanted Ron explained to me that this branch
of the Humane Society took in about fifty animals a day and adopted out twenty.
As we stood there I heard snatches of conversation: "I can't keep him,
he digs holes in my garden." "They such cute puppies, I know you
will have no trouble finding homes for them." "She is wild, I can't
control her." I heard one of Humane Society's volunteer explain to the
lady with the litter of puppies that the Society was filled with puppies and
that these puppies, being black, would immediately be put to sleep. Black
puppies, she explained, had little chance of being adopted. The woman who
brought the puppies in just shrugged, "I can't help it," she whined.
"They are getting too big. I don't have room for them."
We left the reception area. Ron led me into the staging area where all the
incoming animals were evaluated for adoptability. Over half never even made
it to the adoption center. There were just too many. Not only were people
bringing in their own animals, but strays were also dropped off. By law the
Humane Society had to hold a stray for three days. If the animal was not claimed
by then, it was euthanized, since there was no background information on the
There were already too many animals that had a known history eagerly provided
by their soon to be ex-owners. As we went through the different areas, I felt
more and more depressed. No amount of statistics, could take the place of
seeing the reality of what this throw-away attitude did to the living, breathing
animal. It was over overwhelming.
Finally Ron stopped in front of a closed door. "That's it," he
said, "except for this." I read the sign on the door. "Euthanization
Area." "Do you want to see one?" he asked. Before I could decline,
he interjected, "You really should. You can't tell the whole story unless
you experience the end." I reluctantly agreed.
"Good," He said " I already cleared it and Peggy is expecting
you." He knocked firmly on the door. It was opened immediately by a middle
aged woman in a white lab coat. "Here's the girl I was telling you about,"
Ron explained. Peggy looked me over. "Well I'll leave you here with Peggy
and meet you in the reception area in about fifteen minutes. I'll have the
puppy ready." With that Ron departed, leaving me standing in front of
the stern-looking Peggy.
Peggy motioned me in. As I walked into the room, I gave an audible gasp.
The room was small and spartan. There were a couple of cages on the wall and
a cabinet with syringes and vials of a clear liquid. In the middle of the
room was an examining table with a rubber mat on top. There were two doors
other than the one I had entered. Both were closed. One said to the incinerator
room, and the other had no sign, but I could hear various animal noises coming
from behind the closed door.
In the back of the room, near the door that was marked incinerator were the
objects that caused my distress: two wheelbarrows, filled with the bodies
of dead kittens and puppies. I stared in horror. Nothing had prepared me for
this. I felt my legs grow weak and my breathing became rapid and shallow.
I wanted to run from that room, screaming.
Peggy seemed not to notice my state of shock. She started talking about the
euthanization process, but I wasn't hearing her. I could not tear my gaze
away from the wheelbarrows and those dozens of pathetic little bodies. Finally,
Peggy seemed to notice that I was not paying attention to her. "Are you
listening?," she asked irritably. "I'm only going to go through
this once." I tore my gaze from the back of the room and looked at her.
I opened my mouth to say something, but nothing would come out, so I nodded.
She told me that behind the unmarked door were the animals that were scheduled
for euthanasia that day. She picked up a chart that was hanging from the wall.
"One fifty three is next," she said as she looked at the chart.
"I'll go get him." She laid down the chart on the examining table
and started for the unmarked door. Before she got to the door she stopped
and turned around. "You aren't going to get hysterical, are you?",
she asked, "Because that will only upset the animals." I shook my
head. I had not said a word since I walked into that room. I still felt unsure
if would be able to without breaking down into tears.
As Peggy opened the unmarked door I peered into the room beyond. It was a
small room, but the walls were lined and stacked with cages. It looked like
they were all occupied. Peggy opened the door of one of the lower cages and
removed the occupant. From what I could see it looked like a medium-sized
dog. She attached a leash and ushered the dog into the room in which I stood.
As Peggy brought the dog into the room I could see that the dog was no more
than a puppy, maybe five or six months old. The pup looked to be a cross between
a Lab and a German shepherd. He was mostly black, with a small amount of tan
above his eyes and on his feet. He was very excited and bouncing up and down,
trying to sniff everything in this new environment.
Peggy lifted the pup onto the table. She had a card in her hand, which she
laid on the table next to me. I read the card. It said that number one fifty
three was a mixed Shepherd, six months old. He was surrendered two days ago
by a family. Reason of surrender was given as "jumps on children."
At the bottom was a note that said "Name: Sam."
Peggy was quick and efficient, from lots of practice, I guessed. She laid
one fifty three down on his side and tied a rubber tourniquet around his front
leg. She turned to fill the syringe from the vial of clear liquid. All this
time I was standing at the head of the table. I could see the moment that
one fifty three went from a curious puppy to a terrified puppy. He did not
like being held down and he started to struggle.
It was then that I finally found my voice. I bent over the struggling puppy
and whispered "Sam. Your name is Sam." At the sound of his name
Sam quit struggling. He wagged his tail tentatively and his soft pink tongue
darted out and licked my hand. And that is how he spent his last moment. I
watched his eyes fade from hopefulness to nothingness. It was over very quickly.
I had never even seen Peggy give the lethal shot. The tears could not be contained
any longer. I kept my head down so as not to embarrass myself in front of
the stoic Peggy. My tears fell onto the still body on the table.
"Now you know," Peggy said softly. Then she turned away. "Ron
will be waiting for you."
I left the room. Although it seemed like it had been hours, only fifteen
minutes had gone by since Ron had left me at the door. I made my way back
to the reception area. True to his word, Ron had the puppy all ready to go.
After giving me some instructions about what to feed the puppy, he handed
the carrying cage over to me and wished me good luck on my speech.
That night I went home and spent many hours playing with the orphan puppy.
I went to bed that night but I could not sleep. After a while I got up and
looked at my speech notes with their numbers and statistics. Without a second
thought, I tore them up and threw them away. I went back to bed. Sometime
during the night I finally fell asleep.
The next morning I arrived at my Speech class with Puppy Doe. When my turn
came to give my speech. I walked up to the front the class with he puppy in
my arms. I took a deep breath, and I told the class about the life and death
When I finished my speech I became aware that I was crying. I apologized
to the class and took my seat. After class the teacher handed out a critique
with our grades. I got an "A." His comments said "Very moving
Two days later, on the last day of class, one of my classmates came up to
me. She was an older lady that I had never spoken to in class. She stopped
me on our way out of the class room.
"I want you to know that I adopted the puppy you brought to class,"
"His name is Sam."