Rescued Hearts
Taking care of rescue dogs
Is something I do best.
I know because I've done it,
And I've surely passed the test.
The dogs I've bathed, the food I've fed,
The vacuuming I've done,
And all to watch a frightened soul
Sit dreaming in the sun.
My own dogs I've neglected,
But I tell them everyday
That I love and cherish each of them
Though a new dog's come to stay.
I know they understand this,
For in their eyes I see
The love that I have given them
Come shining back at me.
Some people think I'm crazy,
Some others think I'm great.
But very few can understand
What really is at stake.
If I can love and help a dog
To find a better way,
My own life is much richer,
I look forward to each day.
So now you know my secret,
It's there for all to see,
The love I give, the life I save,
I do it all for me.
~Kathleen Parsons~ 

Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in the entire world is more grateful for your kindness than mine. Don't be angry with me for long, and don't lock me up as punishment. After all, you have your job, your friends, and your entertainment. I only have you. I am YOUR dog -


We Are Rescue

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.
I was angry.
“God”, I said, “This is terrible! Why don’t you do something?”
God was silent for a moment and then spoke softly,
“I have done something,” was his reply.
“I created you.”


He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
You are his life, his love, his leader.
He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. -- Author Unknown



"The sadness I feel, looking into the cages, is nothing compared to how it must feel looking out."
- author unknown

The Pet's Bill of Rights


1. We have the right to be full members of your family. We thrive on social interaction, praise, and love.

2. We have the right to stimulation. We need new games, new toys, new experiences, and new smells to be happy.

3. We have the right to regular exercise. Without it, we could become hyper, sluggish...or fat.

4. We have the right to have fun. We enjoy acting like clowns now and then; don't expect us to be predictable all the time.

5. We have the right to quality health care. Please stay good friends with our vet!

6. We have the right to a good diet. Like some people, we don't know what's best for us. We depend on you.

7. We have the right not to be rejected because of your expectations that we be great show dogs or show cats, watchdogs, hunters, or baby-sitters.

8.We have the right to receive proper training. Otherwise, our good relationship could be marred by confusion and strife - and we could become dangerous to ourselves and others.

9. We have the right to guidance and correction based on understanding and compassion, rather than abuse.

10. We have the right to live with dignity...and to die with dignity when the time comes.

-- Author Unknown

10 COMMANDMENTS FOR RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS (author unknown)

1. My life is likely to last 10-15 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 it.

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 un-cooperative, 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.

Animal Rescuer Poem

I am an animal rescuer;
My job is to assist God's creatures.
I was born with the drive to fulfill their needs.
I take in helpless, unwanted, homeless creatures without planning or selection.
I have bought dog food with my last dime.
I have patted a mangy head with a bare hand.
I have hugged someone vicious and afraid.
I have fallen in love a thousand times,
And I have cried into the fur of a lifeless body too many times to count.
I have animal friends and friends who have animal friends.
I don't often use the word "pet".
I notice those lost at the road side, and my heart aches.
I know of no creature unworthy of my time.
I want to live forever if there aren't any animals in heaven,
But, I believe there are.
Why would God make something so perfect, and leave it behind.
Some may think we are masters of the animals,
But the animals have mastered themselves.
Some people still haven't learned…
War and abuse make me hurt for the world,
But a rescue that makes the news gives me hope for mankind.
We are a quiet, but determined army,
And we 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 I've been privileged to rescue,
I have been rescued.
I know what true unconditional love really is,
For I've seen it shining in the eyes of so many…
Grateful for so little.
I am an animal rescuer,
My work is never done,
My home is never quiet,
My wallet is always empty,
But my heart is always full!
-Author unknown

Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
Love, Meredith.

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all
the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, "To Meredith" in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called,
"When a Pet Dies." Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I am wherever there is love.

Love, God

I adopted your pet today...
The one you left at the pound;
The one you had for ten years
And no longer wanted around.
******
I adopted your pet today...
Did you know that he's lost weight?
Did you know he's scared and depressed
And seems to have lost all faith?
******
I adopted your pet today...
He had fleas and a little cold;
Guess you don't care what shape he's in
You abandoned him I am told.
******
I adopted your pet today...
Were you having a baby or moving away?
Did you suddenly develop allergies,
Or was there NO reason he couldn't stay
******
I adopted your pet today...
He doesn't play or even eat much;
I guess he's very sad inside and
It'll take time for him to trust.
******
I adopted your pet today...
And here he is going to stay;
He's found his FOREVER home
And a warm bed in which to lay.
******
I adopted your pet today...
And shall give him all that he will need
Patience, love, and security,
So he can forget your selfish deed.


SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good looking girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy, I'll be waiting...

Over 15,000 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society about an 8-week-old black Labrador retriever


The Rescuer's Creed

I promise I will take your unwanted animals.

I will heal their wounds, their diseases, their broken bones.

I will give them the medical attention they need and deserve.

I will nurture their starvation and give them a warm place to sleep.

I will spay and neuter them, vaccinate them against the diseases that can harm them.

I will treat them and honor them.

I will buy them toys, blankets, balls, and teach them to play.

I will speak softly to them.

I will try to teach them not to fear, not to cry, and not to hate.

I will whisper sweet, kind, gentle words into their ears, while gently trying to stroke their fear, their pain, and their scars away.

I will face their emotional scars and give them time to overcome them.

I will socialize them, potty train them, teach them to be obedient, show them dignity, and hold their paws, and stroke their ears if they have endured too much and walk them over the Rainbow Bridge,

BUT most of all I will teach them LOVE.

Author Unknown

A Letter from a Shelter Manager

I think our society needs a huge "Wake-up" call. As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all...a view from the inside if you will.

First off, all of you breeders/sellers should be made to work in the "back" of an animal shelter for just one day. Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would change your mind about breeding and selling to people you don't even know.

That puppy you just sold will most likely end up in my shelter when it's not a cute little puppy anymore. So how would you feel if you knew that there's about a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it is going to be dumped at? Purebred or not! About 50% of all of the dogs that are "owner surrenders" or "strays", that come into my shelter are purebred dogs.


The most common excuses I hear are; "We are moving and we can't take our dog (or cat)." Really? Where are you moving too that doesn't allow pets? Or they say "The dog got bigger than we thought it would". How big did you think a German Shepherd would get? "We don't have time for her". Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs! "She's tearing up our yard". How about making her a part of your family? They always tell me "We just don't want to have to stress about finding a place for her we know she'll get adopted, she's a good dog".


Odds are your pet won't get adopted & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Well, let me tell you, your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off. Sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn't full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy. If it sniffles, it dies. Your pet will be confined to a small run/kennel in a room with about 25 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it. If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers in that day to take him/her for a walk. If I don't, your pet won't get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose. If your dog is big, black or any of the "Bully" breeds (pit bull, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door.


Those dogs just don't get adopted. It doesn't matter how 'sweet' or 'well behaved' they are.


If your dog doesn't get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn't full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed it may get a stay of execution, but not for long . Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment. If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because shelters just don't have the funds to pay for even a $100 treatment.


Here's a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being "put-down".


First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk happy, wagging their tails. Until they get to "The Room", every one of them freaks out and puts on the brakes when we get to the door. It must smell like death or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there, it's strange, but it happens with every one of them. Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs depending on the size and how freaked out they are. Then a euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They will find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the "pink stuff". Hopefully your pet doesn't panic from being restrained and jerk. I've seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood and been deafened by the yelps and screams. They all don't just "go to sleep", sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves.


When it all ends, your pets corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back with all of the other animals that were killed waiting to be picked up like garbage. What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? You'll never know and it probably won't even cross your mind. It was just an animal and you can always buy another one, right?


I hope that those of you that have read this are bawling your eyes out and can't get the pictures out of your head I deal with everyday on the way home from work.

I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you people make some changes and realize that the lives you are affecting go much farther than the pets you dump at a shelter.


Between 9 and 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I do my best to save every life I can but rescues are always full, and there are more animals coming in everyday than there are homes.


My point to all of this DON'T BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE!

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

"We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. - M. Facklam

"Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate." - poopy butt

"The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." - Anonymous

"Dogs need to sniff the ground; it's how they keep abreast of current events. The ground is a giant dog newspaper, containing all kinds of late-breaking dog news items, which, if they are especially urgent, are often continued in the next yard." - Dave Barry

"Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog." - Franklin P. Jones

"If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise." - Unknown

"I wonder what goes through his mind when he sees us peeing in his water bowl." - Penny Ward Moser

"A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn round three times before lying down." - Robert Benchley

"No animal should ever jump up on the dining-room furniture unless absolutely certain that he can hold his own in the conversation." - Fran Lebowitz

"I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult." - Rita Rudner

"My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $3.00 a can. That's almost $21.00 in dog money." - Joe Weinstein

"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful." - Ann Landers

"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face." - Ben Williams

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself." - Josh Billings

"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person." - Andrew A. Rooney

"If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons." - James Thurber

"He cannot be a gentleman that loveth not a dog." - Old English Proverb

I RESCUED A HUMAN TODAY

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering apprehensively into the kennels. I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her. I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid. As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I had in the back of my cage. I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today. Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my past. I only have the future to look forward to and want to make a difference in someone's life. She got down on her knees and made
little kissy sounds at me. I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort her. Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship. A tear fell down her cheek
and I raised my paw to assure her that all would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly jumped into her arms. I would promise to keep her safe. I would promise to always be by her side. I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and sparkle in her eyes. I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor. So many more humans are out there who haven't walked the corridors. So many more humans to be saved. At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.



I died today.

You got tired of me and took me to the shelter.

They were overcrowded and I drew an unlucky number. I am in a black plastic bag in a landfill now.

Some other puppy will get the barely used leash you left. My collar was dirty and too small, but the lady took it off before she sent me to the Rainbow Bridge .

Would I still be at home if I hadn’t chewed your shoe? I didn’t know what it was, but it was leather, and it was on the floor. I was just playing. You forgot to get puppy toys.

Would I still be at home if I had been housebroken? Rubbing my nose in what I did only made me ashamed that I had to go at all. There are books and obedience teachers that would have taught you how to teach me to go to the door.

Would I still be at home if I hadn’t brought fleas into the house? Without anti-flea medicine, I couldn’t get them off of me after you left me in the yard for days.

Would I still be at home if I hadn’t barked? I was only saying, “I’m scared, I’m lonely, I’m here, I’m here! I want to be your best friend.”

Would I still be at home if I had made you happy? Hitting me didn’t make me learn how.

Would I still be at home if you had taken the time to care for me and to teach manners to me? You didn’t pay attention to me after the first week or so, but I spent all my time waiting for you to love me.

I died today. Love, Your Puppy

Rites of Passage

Some of the most poignant moments I spend as a veterinarian are those spent with my clients assisting the transition of my animal patients from this world to the next. When living becomes a burden, whether from pain or loss of normal functions, I can help a family by ensuring that their beloved pet has an easy passing.

Making this final decision is painful, and I have often felt powerless to comfort the grieving owners. That was before I met Shane.

I had been called to examine a ten-year-old blue heeler named Belker who had developed a serious health problem. The dog's owners - Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane - were all very attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer.

I told the family there were no miracles left for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home. As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for the four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt Shane could learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on.

Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me - I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, "Everybody is born so that they can learn how to live a good life - like loving everybody and being nice, right?" The four-year-old continued, "Well, animals already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

-- Author Unknown

The rescuer at Rainbow Bridge

Unlike most days at the Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray.
All the recent arrivals at the Bridge did not know what to think, as
they had never seen such a day. But the animals who had been waiting
longer for their beloved people to accompany them across the Bridge knew
what was happening, and they began to gather at the pathway leading to
the Bridge.

Soon an elderly dog came into view, head hung low and tail dragging. He
approached slowly, and though he showed no sign of injury or illness, he
was in great emotional pain. Unlike the animals gathered along the
pathway, he had not been restored to youth and vigor upon arriving at
the Bridge. He felt out of place, and wanted only to cross over and find
happiness.

But as he approached the Bridge, his way was barred by an angel, who
apologized and explained that the tired and broken-spirited old dog
could not cross over. Only those animals accompanied by their people
were allowed to cross the Bridge. Having nobody, and with nowhere else
to turn, the dog trudged into the field in front of the Bridge. There he
found others like himself, elderly or infirm, sad and discouraged.
Unlike the other animals waiting to cross the Bridge, these animals were
not running or playing. They simply were lying in the grass, staring
forlornly at the pathway across the Rainbow Bridge. The old dog took his
place among them, watching the pathway and waiting, yet not knowing for
what he was waiting.

One of the newer dogs at the Bridge asked a cat who had been there
longer to explain what was happening. The cat replied, "Those poor
animals were abandoned, turned away, or left at rescue places, but never
found a home on earth. They all passed on with only the love of a
rescuer to comfort them. Because they had no people to love them, they
have nobody to escort them across the Rainbow Bridge." The dog asked the
cat, "So what will happen to those animals?" Before the cat could
answer, the clouds began to part and the cold turned to bright sunshine.
The cat replied, "Watch, and you will see."

In the distance was a single person, and as he approached the Bridge the
old, infirm, and sad animals in the field were bathed in a golden light.
They were at once made young and healthy, and stood to see what their
fate would be. The animals who had previously gathered at the pathway
bowed their heads as the person approached. At each bowed head, the
person offered a scratch or hug.

One by one, the now youthful and healthy animals from the field fell
into line behind the person. Together, they walked across the Rainbow
Bridge to a future of happiness and unquestioned love. The dog asked the
cat, "What just happened?" The cat responded, "That was a rescuer. The
animals gathered along the pathway bowing in respect were those who had
found their forever homes because of rescuers. They will cross over when
their people arrive at the Bridge. The arrival here of a rescuer is a
great and solemn event, and as a tribute they are permitted to perform
one final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort all those poor
animals they couldn't place on earth across the Rainbow Bridge."

The dog thought for a moment, then said, "I like rescuers." The cat
smiled and replied, "So does heaven my friend. So does heaven.

If It Should Be

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain does keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done
For this - the last battle - can't be won.

You will be sad I understand
But don't let grief then stay your hand.
For on this day, more than the rest
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.

Take me to where my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end.
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.

Don't grieve that it must now be you
Who has to decide this thing to do.
We've been so close - we two -these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BORDER COLLIES

I will chase anything that moves - get used to it.

I consider myself to be an integral part of the family - don't treat me like a mere dog.

I will stick my nose into everyone's business and feel compelled to comment upon my observations.

If you should leave me behind, I shall consider this an aberration of proper behavior and will voice my disapproval. ..loud and long...often accompanied by frantic twirling and jumping.

I will determine which of your friends is worthy of my affection, and which are to be observed at a distance, before a verdict is rendered. All decisions are final.

I will follow you to the ends of the earth, and ALWAYS into the bathroom.

No door is considered to be closed as long as I can push it open with my nose.

Give me plenty of toys and activities to keep me busy. You don't want me finding tasks on my own - trust me on this.

I have absolutely no qualms about stealing FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD from any source available, even if it is from the mouths of babes.

I will sense your every mood and will be happy or sad along with you.

I will give you the best moments of our lives and memories you will
cherish forever.

The large flat device in the bedroom is intended for my pleasure. Do not be upset if I sprawl out in all directions from smack dab in the middle. Please remember that I am a border collie and have been on the go since the crack of dawn. You, on the other hand, have been sitting on your fat fanny at a desk for most of the day. Be honest. Which one of us is more in need of a good night's rest? So I snore. Get over it.

A Dog's Prayer

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements, and I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth...though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshipper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.

And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest... and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.

-- Beth Norman Harris