[Daily Doggie Bits] [Forgotten] [Dogs] [A Rescuer's Answering Machine]
By Cathy Gladden
Photography by Donna Brooks Brisbin
I spent days outside alone in the cold, wind, rain and hot sun. My fur is only able to protect me from the elements a small amount. My hair has become matted my claws have gotten so long it hurts to stand, I think I have problems with my ears they hurt inside.
I see the 2legs walk by, they don’t notice me or my wagging tail. I guess they forgot I love them or maybe they don’t love me anymore. They do bring me scraps of food sometimes, but I really would rather they talk to me; play with me or even just a pat on the head would be nice. I have prayed someday they will notice me and someday come visit.
Wait a minute one of the 2legs is coming. He is looking at me!! He is putting a leash on me does this mean we are going for a walk or to the park? Are my prayers answered? We are getting in the car, yes yes the park! Wait this isn’t the park what is this place? It smells like dogs and cats. Maybe I will get to play with one. The 2legs is talking to someone he says he doesn’t want me anymore I am too much trouble. I don’t cause trouble I sit alone in a fenced area in the yard. He passes my leash to the other 2legs now where am I going? What? A cage? Oh no this is worse than the fenced yard much smaller. They are going to put me down? What does that mean? They say I am probably not adoptable, that probably no one will want me my hair is so matted and I am so unkempt. All I need is a good bath and combing. I am young and playful. I have lots of love for anyone, someone, and everyone. They are going to euthanize me, kill me, why?
What did I do? Won’t they give me a chance to find someone to love me? They say I am just a mutt another mix that people don’t want because they prefer purebreds. Do purebreds love people more then mutts? Oh this is bad I am really scared they are spraying down all the cages with all the other dogs barking from being sprayed with the hose I think this is gonna hurt, here they come I am going to hide in the corner.
Wow this place is not a nice place I am going to die and have no one to be with me and love me as I go. No one to hold my paw and tell me goodbye.
Who is this? Is this the 2legs that is taking me to be killed? They seem to be nice they are talking to me, petting me, smiling at me. Maybe this is how they get us to go along happily. Well we are going the leash is on. Goodbye world, what little I saw of you I enjoyed. I played with a few butterflies, caught a couple of bugs. I sure thought life would be different. I remember as a puppy the 2legs held and kissed me. They even talk to me like this 2legs is. This is bringing back so many warm memories. Where are we going? Where do they “put me down”? How can they be so sweet and happy and caring at a time like this?
We are getting into a car again this place must be far. Hmmm we stopped I hear other dogs barking they sound so happy. Maybe being “put down” isn’t so bad they seem to be having fun. The 2legs is letting me off the leash telling me I can run and play with the others. Boy I am shaky, what is going on? I have been rescued? What is that?
I have had several days getting a bath, having my matted hair clipped and brushed wow this feels so good now I can scratch behind my ear again. The 2legs that did all this for me I will no longer call just a 2legs, she is a person.. Not, like the 2legs that put me in a pen in the yard. She even scratches behind my ears. She has taught me so much. How to have manners and behave. How to get along with other animals. We take trips to what she said is the vet and I sometimes get shots but I don’t care I feel so much better.
Here comes some people 2 big 2legs and 2 small 2legs. They are smiling, talking and petting me. Wow my tail is wagging so hard I can’t stop it. They are going to take me home with them. They say I get to live with them in a house like I do here at the rescue. They are calling it my forever home. I hear them promising to take good care of me and most of all LOVE me. I am alive again living in dogging heaven on earth thanks to my rescuer. I am young and full of life these people and I are going to have so much fun together and to think those others were going to KILL me at my age when I have so much yet to give.
Thank you all rescuers out there for what you do. We all need you. The strays, the forgotten, the lost, unwanted. You make us wanted. You help us to be wanted. So stop reading this and get out there and save another one of us.
What is a dog to you?
Dogs can be companions, warming the hearts of the alone or elderly.
They can be your best friend and keep all you secrets.
They can be by your side when a tragedy slaps you in the face and they will lick away your tears.
They can be protectors if you feel threatened.
They can watch over your home while you are away.
They can be a happy heart to welcome you home.
They can give you a reason to get out of bed if depression takes over your life, because THEY need you.
They can be playmates for children while showing the child responsibility.
They can be adventurers and go on walks, bicycle rides and hiking with you.
They can help people with both mental and physical disorders to live happier more desirable lives.
They are always there when you need a hug.
Maybe it isn’t a coincidence that dog is GOD spelled backwards.
Poem by Cathy Gladden
Photo: Majik Clark
Hello: You have reached ___-____, Tender Hearts Rescue.
Due to the high volume of calls we have been receiving, please listen closely to the following options and choose the one that best describes you or your situation:
Press 1 if you have a 10-year-old dog and your 15-year-old son has suddenly become allergic and you need to find the dog a new home
Press 2 if you are moving today and need to immediately place your 150 pound, 8-year-old dog.
Press 3 if you have three dogs, had a baby and want to get rid of your dogs because you are the only person in the world to have a baby and dogs at the same time.
Press 4 if you just got a brand new puppy and your old dog is having problems adjusting so you want to get rid of the old one right away.
Press 5 if your little puppy has grown up and is no longer small and cute and you want to trade it in for a new model.
Press 6 if you want an unpaid volunteer to come to your home TODAY and pick up the dog you no longer want.
Press 7 if you have been feeding and caring for a "stray" for the last three years, are moving and suddenly determine it's not your dog.
Press 8 if your dog is sick and needs a vet but you need the money for your vacation.
Press 9 if you are elderly and want to adopt a cute puppy who is not active and is going to outlive you.
Press 10 if your relative has died and you don't want to care for their elderly dog because it doesn't fit your lifestyle.
Press 11 if you no longer have "the time" to take care of your dog. Where did your time go and who has it now?
Press 12 if you can no longer afford to feed you 10 lb dog who only eats about 1/2 cup of dog food a day.
Press 13 if your dog has gotten bigger than some of the other dogs that you have seen of the same breed so now you want to get rid of her.
Press 14 if you are calling at 6 a.m. to make sure you wake me up before I have to go to work so you can drop a dog off on your way to work.
Press 15 to leave us an anonymous garbled message, letting us know you have left a dog in our yard in the middle of January, which is in fact, better than just leaving the dog with no message.
Press 16 if you are going to get angry because we are not going to take your dog that you have had for fifteen years, because it is not our responsibility.
Press 17 if you are going to threaten to take your ten year old dog to be euthanized because I won't take it.
Press 18 if you're going to get angry because the volunteers had the audacity to go on vacation and leave the dogs in care of a trusted volunteer who is not authorized to take your personal pet.
Press 19 if you want one of our PERFECTLY trained, housebroken, kid and cat friendly purebred dogs that we have an abundance of.
Press 20 if you want us to take your dog that has a slight aggression problem, i.e. has only bitten a few people and killed your neighbor's cats.
Press 21 if you have already called once and been told we don't take personal surrenders but thought you would get a different person this time with a different answer.
Press 22 if you want us to use space that would go to a stray to board your personal dog while you are on vacation, free of charge, of course.
Press 23 if it is Christmas Eve or Easter morning and you want me to deliver an eight week old puppy to your house by 6:30 am before your kids wake up.
Press 24 if you have bought your children a duckling, chick or baby bunny for Easter and it is now Christmas and no longer cute.
Press 25 if you want us to take your female dog who has already had ten litters, but we can't spay her because she is pregnant again and it is against your religion.
Press 26 if you're lying to make one of our younger volunteers feel bad and take your personal pet off your hands.
Press 27 if your cat is biting and not using the litter box because it is declawed, but you are not willing to accept the responsibility that the cat's behavior is altered because of your nice furniture.
Press 28 if your two year old male dog is marking all over your house but you just haven't gotten around to having him neutered.
Press 29 if you previously had an outdoor only dog and are calling because she is suddenly pregnant.
Press 30 if you have done "everything" to housebreak your dog and have had no success but you don't want to crate the dog because it is cruel.
Press 31 if you didn't listen to the message asking for an evening phone number and you left your work number when all volunteers are also working and you are angry because no one called you back.
Press 32 if you need a puppy immediately and cannot wait because today is your daughter's birthday and you forgot when she was born.
Press 33 if your dog's coat doesn't match your new furniture and you need a different color or breed.
Press 34 if your new love doesn't like your dog and you are too stupid to get rid of the new friend (who will dump you in the next month anyway) instead of the dog.
Press 35 if you went through all these 'options' and didn't hear enough. This press will connect you to the sounds of tears being shed by one of our volunteers who is holding a discarded old dog while the vet mercifully frees him from the grief of missing his family.
~Author Unknown, but much appreciated