One By One – A Dog’s Prayer
I read this today and thought I would like to share it. It makes you stop and think. Although it is about a dog it applies just as well to rescuing any type of animal and reminded me of the last time I was at a cat rescue centre.
Between Christmas and New Year someone had dumped 6 kittens by the roadside in a beer box and the story appeared in the local paper. We had just lost a male cat to old age in the December and also one of our beloved bunnies. She had made it to 8and a half. The loss of both of them so close together had left a big gap in the ‘family’.
We contacted the RSPCA and said we would give one of the kittens a home, preferably a female. We already had 3 males and 1 female so thought we’d balance things out a bit. We were told we could have a male because all the females had been taken and we were lucky to be on the waiting list. It suddenly dawned on us that as there were people queueing for the kittens we should really take on an older cat.
We went to the RSPCA shelter and met several wonderful cats. We chose a lovely female cat to re-home but for some reason I suddenly asked “Which will be the most difficult for you to re-home?” Immediately the woman said “These two” and pointed to a pen with a black cat in it. We asked why and she said “because he is black, old and frail whilst she is tabby, young and pretty – BUT they must stay together”.
We went into the pen to meet them. The female seemed uninterested but when I tickled her head she came alive. It was almost as if she’d stopped paying attention to visitors because no one wanted her and her companion. The male cat was beside himself with purring and even when we left the pen he sat there rocking gently from side to side still purring and looking up at us adoringly.
So we took them of course! They settled in very well with everyone else and we knew we’d made the right decision. Tessa is still very pretty, loving and showered us with ‘gifts’ (mice, baby rabbits, shrews, a baby mole and various other poor creatures). Ronnie was more wobbly than we realised and we called him Wobbly Ron. Despite his frailty he could still jump onto the table to try and pinch some food, or jump into your lap for a big long cuddle! Eventually age got the better of him and he passed away last November. But he was loved and happy to the end and I miss him terribly.
Which reminds me – I was supposed to be sharing something about a dog….
One by one, they pass by my cage, too old, too worn, too broken, no way.
Way past his time, he can’t run and play.
Then they shake their heads slowly and go on their way.
A little old man, arthritic and sore, it seems I am not wanted anymore.
I once had a home, I once had a bed, a place that was warm, and where I was fed.
Now my muzzle is gray, and my eyes slowly fail. Who wants a dog so old and so frail?
My family decided I didn’t belong, I got in their way, my attitude was wrong.
Whatever excuse they made in their head, can’t justify how they left me for dead.
Now I sit in this cage, where day after day, the younger dogs get adopted away.
When I had almost come to the end of my rope, you saw my face, and I finally had hope.
You saw thru the grey, and the legs bent with age, and felt I still had life beyond this cage.
You took me home, gave me food and a bed, and shared your own pillow with my poor tired head.
We snuggle and play, and you talk to me low, you love me so dearly, you want me to know.
I may have lived most of my life with another, but you outshine them with a love so much stronger.
And I promise to return all the love I can give, to you, my dear person, as long as I live.
I may be with you for a week, or for years, we will share many smiles, you will no doubt shed tears.
And when the time comes that God deems I must leave, I know you will cry and your heart, it will grieve.
And when I arrive at the Bridge, all brand new, my thoughts and my heart will still be with you.
And I will brag to all who will hear, of the person who made my last days so dear.