2011-12-07 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

The first poem below honors those who dedicate their lives to helping homeless and distressed animals. These kind people often do more than multitask; they “multi-care,” juggling several pets in need simultaneously. They know the pace never slows, and understand once one dog or cat is safe and restored to health, others will instantly appear on their rescue radar:

Rescue Angels

Tail tucked between your legs,
Confusion in your eyes
I know it’s hard to understand
That someone heard your cries.
When loneliness is all you know
And pain is all you feel
And no one can be trusted,
And hunger’s all too real­— That’s the time the Lord sees you
And lets you know He’s there
That’s when He sends His messengers,
With hearts that love and care.
Yes, rescuers are angels
You cannot see their wings.
They keep them neatly folded
As they do their caring things.
The medicine to make you well
Good food to make you strong.
And finally to help you learn
That hugs are never wrong.
The perfect place must then be found
The home where you can live
Secure and safe and happy
With joy to get and give.
When you reach your forever home,
The place to feel whole,
The angels smile, and off they go—
To save another soul.
—Author Unknown

The next poem, in a familiar format, comes from the Kanawha Humane Association in West Virginia. While asking us to consider giving a shelter pet the gift of life this holiday season, it also reminds us that a pet is a lifetime commitment, and so much more than a disposable toy:

Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town, every shelter is full – we are lost, but not found. Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare, we hope every minute that someone will care. They’ll come to adopt us and give us the call, “Come here, Max and Sparky – come fetch your new ball!!” But now we sit here and think of the days when we were treated so fondly – we had cute, baby ways. Once we were little, then we grew and we grew. Now we’re no longer young and we’re no longer new. So out the back door we were thrown like the trash, they reacted so quickly – why were they so rash? We “jump” on the children, “don’t come when they call,” we “bark when they leave us,” climb over the wall.” We should have been neutered; we should have been spayed, now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made. If only they’d trained us, if only we knew… We’d have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too. We were left in the backyard, or worse -let to roam, now we’re tired and lonely and out of a home. They dropped us off here; they kissed us goodbye… “Maybe someone else will give you a try.” So now here we are, all confused and alone in a shelter with others who long for a home. The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat, with so many to care for, they can’t stay to chat, they move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer. We know that they wonder how long we’ll be here. We lay down as sweet dreams fill our heads- Of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds. Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears – From our friends filled with emptiness, worry and fear. If you can’t adopt us and there’s no room at the Inn – could you help with the bills and fill our food bin? We count on your kindness each day of the year – can you give more than hope to everyone here? Please make a donation to pay for the heat… and help get us something special to eat. The shelter that cares for us wants us to live, and more of us will, if more people will give.

Most LI municipal and private shelters have wish lists. Please consider donating canned pet food, treats, cleaning supplies, old blankets and towels, new leashes or collars to the shelter of your choice. If possible, a monetary gift can help purchase much needed medicines and help defray the cost of veterinary care.

For adoption at Babylon Shelter (631-643-9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon: Take a look at “Hope” #94561 the smiling female Shepherd mix who is hoping someone nice, like you, will notice her. “Munchkin” #20924 a tabby kitten will take off his holiday sweater when he is neutered tomorrow. He will be ready “to go” by the time this column is published.

Great Dogs: “Mae,” “Buddy,” “Marty,” “Otis,” and “Murphy.”

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