Rescue Poems and Prayers

The Gift

By J. Berry
Submitted by Mimi Karsh

Eyes fearful, paws worn

A sorrowful sight So Forlorn

Love they said would be the cure

For the suffering you had endured

So our family grew that day

We brought you home with us you’d stay

Slowly, gently the bond it grew

Faithful, loyal loving, true

Looking back it’s so unclear

How we got by without you here

Trusted companion, devoted friend

You give and give It never ends

They said we were a gift to you

But now we know who rescued who.

Do I Go Home Today?

By Sandi Thompson
Copyright 1991 Sandi Thompson
Submitted by Janet Joers

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.

They even fought to hold the leash, I’m very proud to say.

These 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 bedroom 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 time.

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 embarassed to say why.

They said I caused an allergy, and they then each kissed me goodbye.

If I’d only had some classes, 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?

Dedicated to all Rescue Volunteers

by Arlene Pace (September 18, 1998)
Submitted by Maryanne Schaefer

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 very patiently

The days they came and went.

Today’s the day I thought, my family will be sent.

Then just when I began to think

It wasn’t meant to be,

there were people standing there just gazing down at me.

I knew them in a heart beat,

I could tell they felt it too.

They said, “We have been waiting for a special dog like you.”

Now every night I say a prayerto 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.”

RUFF Words from Rover

Submitted by Sheri Burkholder,
from The Nipawin Journal, Nipawin, Saskatchewan , Canada. Author unknown.

I wish someone would tell me

What I’ve done so wrong;

And why I must be chained outside

and left alone so long.

They seemed so glad to have me

When I came here as a pup;

There were so many things we did

While I was growing up.

My master said he’d train me

His companion dog and friend;

My mistress gave me love forever

I believed in what she said.

The children said they’d feed me

And brush me every day;

They’d play with me and walk me

And teach me SIT and STAY.

But now my Master hasn’t time

My Mistress says I shed;

She won’t allow me in the house

She even threw out my bed.

The children never walk me

They always say “not now”;

I do wish I could please them

Can someone tell me how?

All I had to give was love;

I wish they would explain

Just why they said they wanted me

Then left me—-on a chain.

Author unknown.

The Reason

(Dedicated to all rescue workers from the rescue Kerrries)

Submitted by Marie McGrady
Author unknown

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.

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.

A Poem to My Foster Dog

Author Unknown, submitted by Tracey in Newton, MA

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.

He is Dog

By Judy Peacott
Copyright May 2008

He is good

He is bad

Some times he makes you mad

He listens

He ignores

At times you wish for more

He is dog

You chose him for his looks

You should have read more books

He is naughty

He is nice

You should have sought advice

He is dog

You have choices to make

His life is at stake

Take the training trail

Or choose to quickly bail

His life is in your hands

He is dog

You decide you cannot deal

To a rescue you appeal

The dog is off your plate

You can make the great escape

This is goodbye

He is dog

You move on with life from here

Tell yourself things you want to hear

You tried hard to make it work

But the dog, was just a quirk

That you thought would be a perk

He is dog

Now he?s found his place

With someone who thinks he?s great

Who with patience and some time

Has allowed this boy to shine

All will be fine

He is loved.

I Want to Quit!

I want to quit!

My health is bad. There are days I feel so terrible that I can

barely move. My phone bills are outrageous, and I could have

replaced my van with the funds I have spent these last 30

years—on animals that were not my own.

I want to quit!

I spend hours and hours emailing about dogs. There may be 500

messages when I start–and at 4 AM, when I finally shut down

the computer, there are still 500 emails to be read.

I want to quit!

Gosh, I haven’t the time left to email my friends. I can’t

remember the last book I read, and I gave up my subscription

to my local newspaper—I used to enjoy reading it, cover to

cover, but now it often ends up in the bottom of the

squirrel’s cage—unread.

I want to quit!

I’ve spent days emailing what seems like everyone—trying to

find a foster home, help for a dog languishing in a

shelter—but his time has run out, and the shelter has had

to euthanize to make room for the next sad soul.

I want to quit!

I swear, I walk away from my computer to stretch my legs—let

the dogs out—and come back to find another dog in

desperate need. There are times I really dread checking my

email. How will I find the funds, the help, to save yet

another dog?

I want to quit!

I save one dog, and two more take its place. Now an owner who

doesn’t want his dog—it won’t stay in his unfenced yard. An intact

male wanders… This bitch got pregnant by a stray… This

3-month-old pup killed baby chicks… The dog got too big…

This person’s moving and needs to give up his pet. I ask

you, friends—what town, what city, what state doesn’t

allow you to own a pet?

I want to quit!

I just received another picture, another sad soul with

tormented eyes that peer out of a malnourished body. I hear

whimpering in my sleep, have nightmares for


I want to quit!

I just got off the phone. “Are you [Kerry] Rescue? We want to

adopt a male to breed to our female.” How many times do

I have to explain? I have tried to explain about genetics,

about health and pedigrees. I explain that rescue NEUTERS!

I usually end up sobbing, as I explain about the vast numbers

of animals dying in shelters across the country, as I

describe the condition many of these animals are found in. I

wonder if they really heard me…

I want to quit!

It is not like I don’t have enough rescues of my own to

worry about—but others have placed dogs improperly and

aren’t there to advise the new owners.

I want to quit!

I have trusted the wrong people— had faith and heart


I want to quit!


My dog, lays his head in my lap, he comforts me with his gentle

presence—and the thought of his cousins suffering stirs my heart.

I want to quit!


One of those 500 emails is from an adopter. They are thanking me

for the most wonderful dog on earth—they cannot imagine

life with out their friend—their life is changed, and they

are so grateful.

I want to quit!


One of my adopted Rescues has visited a nursing home. A patient

that has spent the last few years unable to communicate, not

connecting—Lifts his hand to pat the huge head in his lap,

softly speaks his first words in ages— to this gentle


I want to quit!


A Good Samaritan has found and vetted a lost baby, “I

can’t keep him, but I’ll take care of him until you

find his forever home.”

I want to quit!


“Jamie took his first steps holding on to our [Kerry].”

“Joan, you should see this dog nursing this hurt kitten!”

“I was so sick, and this dog never left my side…

I want to quit!


I get an email from a fellow rescuer, “Haven’t heard

from you in a while—you OK? You know I think of you…”


A dozen rescuers step up to help, to transport, to pull, and

to offer encouragement. I have friends I have never seen,

but we share tears, joys, and everything in between. I am

not alone. I am blessed with family of the heart, my fellow Rescuers.

Just days ago it was a friend who shared her wit and wisdom,

whose late night email lifted my heart. Sometimes it is

friends who only have time to forward you a smile. Often, it

is my friends who forward me the notices of dogs in need.

There are Rescuers who see a flailing transport and do everything

they can do find folks to pull it together for you. Rescuers

who’ll overnight or foster your dog while you seek

transport. There are Rescuers not used to or comfortable

with your breed, but who put aside their discomfort to help.

There are Rescuers whose words play the music of our hearts.

Foster homes that love your Rescue, and help to make them

whole again—body and spirit. Foster homes that fit your

baby in, though it may not be their breed. Rescuers whose

talents and determination give us tools to help us. Rescuers

we call on for help in a thousand ways, who answer us, who

hear our pleas. Rescuers who are our family,

our strength, our comrades in battle.

I know I cannot save every dog in need. I know my efforts are

a mere drop in a sea. I know that if I take on just one

more—those I have will suffer.

I want to quit! But I won’t.

When I feel overwhelmed, I’ll stroke my dogs head while

reading my fellow Rescuers emails. I’ll cry with them,

I’ll laugh with them—and they will help me find the

strength to go on.

I want to quit! But not today.

There’s another email, another dog needing Rescue.

This piece is dedicated, with love and gratitude, to all my fellow Rescuers.
The author is unknown.

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