Rescue Poems



Throughout the years, there have been times where I have been inspired to write a poem. This happened this past Saturday when I had gone to PETCO to visit with the animals that were up for adoption (Romeo, Georgie and Roni). Needless to say, I fell in love with all of them and was quite sad when I had to leave. Thankfulness, however, overshadowed the sadness when I realized how many volunteers have committed themselves to making sure that each and every animal had mattered; hence, the poem "I MATTER". It is my own personal tribute to all of the volunteers. I know the animals
can't say "THANK YOU" with words, but deep down I know they are saying it through their eyes because, as you know, the eyes are the window to the soul.
-Bernadette Oliff



You may have found me on the street or left at someone’s door;
You may have found me all alone on some old dirty floor.

You may have found me cold and wet from being in the rain
You may have found me old and sick from being in so much pain

You may have found me tired and panting as I could walk no more
You may have found me miles away and my paws were really sore

You may have found me hours away from being put to sleep
You may have found me grateful for the rescue, as in your arms I leaped

You may have found me excited as you visited me at the shelter
You may have found the walk you gave me peace from the helter skelter

You may have found me a little sad as I knew you had to leave
You may have found me knowing that in me you did believe

You may have found me happy when on the internet I would be placed
You may have found me surprised to see an actual picture of my face

You may have found me perky, as in my heart there was a song
You may have found me with foster parents and a feeling that I belonged



Author: Bernadette Oliff


"Rescue Me Please"

Rescue me not only with your hands
but with your heart as well.
I will respond to you.

Rescue me not out of pity
but out of love.
I will love you back.

Rescue me not with self-righteousness
but with compassion.
I will learn what you teach.

Rescue me not because of my past
but because of my future.
I will relax and enjoy.

Rescue me not simply to save me
but to give me a new life.
I will appreciate your gift.

Rescue me not only with a firm hand
but with tolerance and patience.
I will please you.

Rescue me not only because of who I am
but who I'm to become.
I will grow and mature.

Rescue me not to revere yourself to others
but because you want me.
I will never let you down.

Rescue me not with a hidden agenda
but with a desire to teach me to trust.
I will be loyal and true.

Rescue me not to be chained or to fight
but to be your companion.
I will stand by your side.

Rescue me not to replace one you've lost
but to soothe your spirit.
I will cherish you.

Rescue me not to be your pet
but to be your friend.
I will give you unconditional love.
Please Rescue Me!

~author unknown~

"My Foster Dog is Beautiful" 

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 teeth.
The next day I decide I can't stand the stink any longer I lead him into the bath with cheese in my hand. 
His fear of me is not quite overcome by his wish 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 there. 
I have bathed four legged bath squirters for more dog 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 his 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 soap 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 pet him. 

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 introduce 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 he asks to be petted. 
He chewed up part of the rug. 
Eight 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 prayed. I said yes. 
When they saw him the first time they said he was the most beautiful dog 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. 

Written by: Martha O'Connor

How Could You?

When I was a puppy I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you’d shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" – but then you’d relent and roll me over for a bellyrub.

My housebreaking took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed, listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.

She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" – still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love."

As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch – because your touch was now so infrequent – and I would have defended them with my life if need be.

I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams. Together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway. There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.

Now you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You’ve made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family.

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog or cat, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son’s fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don’t let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a goodbye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.

After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?"

They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you – that you had changed your mind – that this was all a bad dream...or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table, rubbed my ears and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.

She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I’m so sorry." She hugged me and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn’t be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself – a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. With my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not meant for her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever.

May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.

Copyright Jim Willis 2001


No more lonely cold nights or hearing that I'm bad 
No more growling belly from the meals I never had.

No more scorching sunshine with a water bowl that's dry. 
No more complaining neighbors about the noise when I cry.

No more hearing "shut up", "get down" or "get out of here!"
No more feeling disliked, only peace is in the air.

Euthanasia is a blessing, though some still can't see 
why I was ever born If I wasn't meant to be.

My last day of living was the best I ever had. 
Someone held me very close, I could see she was very sad.

I kissed the lady's face, and she hugged me as she cried. 
I wagged my tail to thank her, then I closed my eyes and died.

Written by an Animal shelter volunteer in Massena, NY


Now that I'm home, bathed, settled and fed,   
All nicely tucked in my warm new bed. 

I'd like to open my baggage Lest I forget,   
There is so much to carry - So much to regret. 

Hmm . . . Yes there it is, right on the top 
Let's unpack Loneliness, Heartache and Loss,

And there by my leash hides Fear and Shame. 
As I look on these things I tried so hard to leave -   
I still have to unpack my baggage called Pain. 

I loved them, the others, the ones who left me,   
But I wasn't good enough - for they didn't want me. 

Will you add to my baggage? Will you help me unpack?   
Or will you just look at my things - And take me right back? 

Do you have the time to help me unpack? 
To put away my baggage, To never repack? 

I pray that you do - I'm so tired you see, 
But I do come with baggage - Will you still want me?   

Author Unknown


Dear God, please send me somebody who'll care!
I'm tired of running, I'm sick with despair.
My body is aching; it's so racked with pain
And dear God I pray as I run in the rain,
That someone will love me and give me a home,
A warm cozy bed and a big juicy bone.

My last owner tied me all day in the yard
Sometimes with no water and God that was hard!
So I chewed my leash God and I ran away.
To rummage in garbage and live as a stray.
But now God I'm tired and hungry and cold.
And I'm so afraid that I'll never grow old.

They've chased me with sticks hit me with stones.
While I run the streets just looking for bones!
I'm not really bad God, please help if you can.
For I have become just a "victim of man!"

I'm wormy dear God and I'm ridden with fleas,
And all that I want is an owner to please!
If you find one for me God, I'll try to be good.
I won't chew their shoes, and I'll do, as I should.
I will love them, protect them and try to obey,
when they tell me to sit, to lie down or to stay!

I don't think I’ll make it too long on my own,
Cause I'm getting so weak and I'm Oh so alone.
Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry
Cause I'm so afraid God, that I'm gonna die!
I've got so much love and devotion to give
That I should be given a new chance to live.

So dear God please, please answer my prayer
And send me somebody who will really care.

Author Unknown


As dawn broke, an old man was walking down the beach
and spotted a young man flinging starfish into the sea.
The old man asked the youth why he was doing that. 
The answer was that they'd die if left to the sun.
"But the beach goes for miles and there are millions of them,"
the old man countered. "What difference is it going to make?"
The young man looked at the starfish and said, as he threw it to safety,
"It makes a difference to this one."


Hear our humble prayer, O God,
for our friends the animals,
especially for animals who are suffering;
for any that are hunted or lost, or deserted or frightened or hungry;
for all that must be put to death.

We entreat for them all thy mercy and pity
and for those who deal with them we ask a
heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words.

Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals
and so to share the blessings of the merciful.

Albert Schweitzer


Good Morning, may we help you, is how we start our day.
"You won't kill them?" are the first words you say.

They're female, mostly female, nine in this litter,
I gritted my teeth trying not to sound bitter.

You bring LIFE to us and briskly come in.
The novelty now faded along with your whim.

You smile as you offer what to you seems a present.
We smile right back and try to be pleasant.

Your gift is the third since our office just opened.
We're your last resort - but you were just hoping.

For a miracle - nine people to rush in
And choose each pup for a friend.

Our heart has grown heavy - our soul quite sad
You thought we would thank you and surely be glad.

Glad to relieve your careless mistake.
To appear in six months for another retake?

We're a shelter, a place for unwanted animals
Where everyone loses and so many gamble

Humane workers are desperate, weary, forlorn
Concerned for those that should never be born.

This is not what we wanted to be.
Please understand - don't you see? Won't you see?

The hurt that's inside because we do care.
About those nine pups you have over there.

Bouncy and cuddly, cute - so much more,
But you only shrug as you walk out the door.

You left them for us to make the decision
Which ones will die or go right on living.

Only one of of ten will be given a home
And for how long a time will she belong

To a family who chooses, for whatever reason,
To return her to us when she is in season.

History repeats, for she will have been bred.
She trembles it seems with fear and with dread.

The face of each worker can plainly be read,
Because they know she will be dead.

We feel that we love her more than you,
There are so many, what else can we do?

You point your finger and say, "Oh the shame.
You put them to sleep, you are to blame.

Little do you realize how we try not to hate you.
And strive with much effort to educate you.

You didn't stay till the end to see us weep
When we had to take them and put them "to sleep".

Euthanasia - a kind death, by definition.
Less birth would be kind, is our declaration

But you go on in your merry ole way,
Forgetting too soon and without much delay

That you cause the problem - You are the SOURCE.
You just won't admit it, of course.

You give our best for the animals and for you
Although the thank-yous are sparse and quite few.

Love and concern carry us through every day
We need you help. THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY.

Barbara Smith


O Lord of humans, make my master faithful to his fellow men as I am to him. 
Grant that he may be as devoted to his friends and family as I am to him.
May he be open faced and undeceptive as I am; 
may he be true to trust reposed in him as I am to his.
Give him a face cheerful like unto my wagging tail. 
Give him a spirit of gratitude like unto my flicking tongue.
Fill him with patience like unto mine that awaits
 his footsteps uncomplainingly for hours.
Fill him with my watchfulness, my courage, 
and my readiness to sacrifice comfort or life itself.
Keep him always young in heart and endowed with the spirit of play, as I am.
Make him as good a man as I am a dog. And make him worthy of me, his dog.




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's 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.

by Beth Norman Harris


O Lord, don't let me once forget,
How I love my trusty pet -

Help me learn to disregard
canine craters in my yard.

Show me how to be a buddy
even when my sofa's muddy.

Don't allow my pooch to munch
postal carriers for lunch.

Shield my neighbor's cat from view,
guide my steps around the doo.

Train me not to curse and scowl
when it's puppy's night to howl.

Grant I shan't awake in fear
with a cold nose in my ear.

Give me patience without end -
Help me be "A DOG'S BEST FRIEND."

by an unknown dog owner

The Rainbow Bridge

There is a bridge connecting heaven and earth. 
It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. 
Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land 
of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.

When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place.
There is always food and water and warm spring weather.
The old and frail animals are young again.
Those who are maimed are made whole again.
They play all day with each other.

There is only one thing missing. 
They are not with their special person who loved them on earth. 
So, each day they run and play until the day comes
when one suddenly stops playing and looks up!
The nose twitches! 
The ears are up!! 
The eyes are staring!! 
And this one suddenly runs from the group!

You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet,
you take him or her in your arms and embrace. 
Your face is kissed again and again and again and again, 
and you look once more in the eyes of your trusting pet. 
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, 
never again to be separated. 

Be sure to look at my other pages of Dog Quotes:

Dog Humor

Doggie One-Liners

Dog Briefs

Dog Stories

Those Hard Good-byes

Many of these I've been collecting for years.
If you know of authors where none are credited, please contact me.

4817 Big Horn Ave.
Sheridan, WY 82801
(307) 674-4800