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I Remember

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying. You found it hard to sleep.
I whinnied to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the barn today. Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your burdens, I wish I could do more.
I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.
I want to re-assure you, that I'm not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my nose on you, I smiled and said "It's me."
You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It's possible for me to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew...
in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning<
and say "Good-night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out... then come home to be with me.

~Author unknown~





CREATION

When God made the earth and sky, the flowers and the trees,
He then made all the animals, the fish, the birds, the bees.
And when at last He'd finished, not one was quite the same.
He said I'll walk this world of mine and give each one a name.
And so he traveled far and wide and everywhere he went,
A little creature followed him until its strength was spent.
When all were named upon the earth and in the sky and sea,
The little creature said, "Dear Lord, there's no name left for me!"
Kindly the Father said to him, "I've left you to the end,
I've turned my own name back to front and called you Dog, my friend."


~Author unknown~


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 and 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, and 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, 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 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 and 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.
And 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 directed at 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.


~ Jim Willis 2001 ~




I Talk To Horses

You know I talk to horses, as peculiar as that be,
The more I talk to horses, the more they talk to me.
Now I was minding my own business, while at the barn that day,
But this horse out in the pasture, had something big to say.
The field was pretty muddy, so she slid into a stop.
She said her name was Sundance, and she wondered what was up.
She said she'd soon be leaving to some place she'd never been.
She wondered if I'd ask around, to see just where and when
"There's a horse already in my stall, I eat my meals out here."
"Sure I'll ask around," I told her, "And I'll tell you what I hear."
Well, the vet says she's got navicular, and it'll just get worse.
Sundance's days are over. They say "no feet no horse."
It'll cost about three hundred just to have that horse put down.
But she'll bring about five hundred at the auction out of town.
The trainer says, "She's outta here, I just do what I am told.
I just load 'em and I haul 'em. Far as I'm concerned she's sold."
Then Sundance started calling. In her voice I heard her fears.
I couldn't bear to listen, so I covered up my ears.
I reached deep in my pockets, and I counted all I had.
But you just can't buy compassion, that's what makes it all so sad.
I knew I'd have to tell her, so I walked up to the fence.
Her eyes were wide and helpless, her muscles all were tense.
"Where you're goin', Sundance, riders cue with just a thought.
The horses all enjoy their work, and like the way they're taught.
There's always buckets full of treats, and the grass is ever green.
The bedding's thick and fluffy, and the stalls are fresh and clean.
The stall doors all are open, and the cross ties all are free.
You'll come and go just as you please and be were you want to be."
And then I just got angry. Oh, God, it isn't right!
I swung around with fisted hands, but there was no one there to fight.
I can't believe they'd sell you, for a few cents on the pound.
I promise that blood money will curse the place it's found!
And if there is some justice, and what we give comes back,
That which we have taken we'll soon find that we lack.
Yes, I'll tell them what you told me, 'Bout the way you'd rather go,
In a place where you feel comfort, among the ones you know.
No, there's no one here to see you off. You'll have to settle for me.
They send you their apologies, there's somewhere else they had to be.
I'm glad I met you, Sundance, I'll tell them about our talk.
We're not as strong as we pretend. Come on, let's take a walk.
You know it's just not easy, to bear this heavy load,
To lead you down the painless path, not to send you down the road.
So I hope to see you Sundance, when I cross over too.
I hope my journey's easier, than it will be for you.
I had a friend who told me once, (And I believe it's true),
That God appointed angels to watch over ponies like you
So, Sundance, you load easy, girl, now don't you kick or rear.
I'll load that angel by your side, she'll help to calm your fear.
You know, I talk to horses, as peculiar as that be,
The more I talk to horses, the more they talk to me.
~Author unknown~


We Patronize Them ...

"We patronize them for their incompleteness,
for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves.
And therein we err, and greatly err.
For the animal shall not be measured by man.
In a world older and more complete than ours,
They move finished and complete,
Gifted with extensions of the sense we have lost or never attained,
Living by voices we shall never hear.
They are not brethren;
They are not underlings;
They are other nations,
Caught with ourselves in the net of life and time,
Fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of earth."

~Author Unknown~

NOT AN ANGEL

The young pup and the older dog lay on shaded sweet grass, watching the reunions.
Sometimes a man, sometimes a woman, sometimes a whole family would approach the Rainbow Bridge, be greeted by their loving pets and cross the bridge together.
The young pup playfully nipped at the older one:"Look! Something wonderful is happening!"
The older dog stood up and barked:"Quickly! Get over to the path." "But that's not my owner," whined the pup, but did as he was told.
Thousands of pets surged forward as a figure in white walked toward the bridge.
As the glowing figure passed each of the animals, that animal bowed it's head in love and respect.
The figure finally approached the bridge, and was met by a menagerie of joyous animals.
Together they walked over the bridge and disappeared.
The young pup was still in awe. "Was that an angel?" he whispered.
"No, son" the older dog replied. "That was more than an angel. That was a RESCUER!"


~Author unknown~

What does it matter?

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or
sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will
feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.
~Anonymous


Solace for Your Grief

I'll lend you for a little while
My grandest foal, He said.
For you to love while she's alive
And mourn for when she's dead.

It may be one or twenty years,
Or days or months, you see.
But will you, till I take her back
Take care of her for me?

She'll bring her charms to gladden you,
And should her stay be brief
You'll have treasured memories
As solace for your grief.

I cannot promise she will stay,
Since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught on earth
I want this foal to learn.

I've looked the wide world over
In my search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes
With trust, I have selected you.

Now will you give her your total love?
Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come
To take her back again?

I know you'll give her tenderness
And love will bloom each day.
And for the happiness you've known
Forever grateful stay.

But should I come and call for her
Much sooner than you'd planned
You'll brave the bitter grief that comes
And someday you'll understand.

 


~Author Unknown