Rocky’s Life

December 12, 2008 on 8:25 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Today started like any normal day would, until I received an email BEGGING me to help a chained Rottweiler in Baltimore City. I knew I had to help him, but how. The woman from feline rescue, Lizzy, told me that she was going to try to talk to the man and see what he would do. Knowing that she had NO experience with the Rottie breeds, I told her I was going with her.

Between both of our work schedules, we wouldn’t be able to go there until after 7pm. This meant it was dark out, the only way to see the dog was thru the alley, and the neighborhood the dog was in is crime rate number 1. They walk around with guns in their pockets like it’s nothing, and here I am going to try to take a dog away from someone. If anyone knows anything about Baltimore City, we were in the middle of Park Heights Ave and Shirley street, which can send chills up your back. I figured tonight was my night to either have a bullet lodeged in my head, have my arms behind my back in handcuffs from being arrested, or if all worked out I’d walk away with a dog.

Well, all worked out. After trying to have a somewhat decent conversation with a man that talked a totally different language them me, he finally realized he needed to hand over the dog. He kept telling me his dog is happy and loves living outside. He considers 2 kinds of animals in this world. 1 is a pet and 1 is a guard dog, and what he had was a guard dog. He said they don’t belong in the house. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. He started yelling at me a couple times, and all I could say was “Sir, I’m not yelling at you, so do not yell at me” I was trying to keep it cool otherwise the dog would suffer. Finally, after telling the man he needed to produce vacine records, show me a license or he would be fined $500 and I would have animal control here at about 4 am in the morning, to take his dog, he started calming down. Then I had to do a little more bullshitting. I said to the man “Look, do you love your dog, do you care about your dog, or is he just a guard dog?’. I didn’t give him a chance to answer yet, cuz then I said (bullshitting to him) “Look sir, don’t tell me you don’t care about your dog, you’ve been feeding him, giving him water, and he looks great, so that means you care, so why don’t you care enough and let us take your dog and find a family that will keep him inside and give him a home, keep him warm and have a life” The man must have gotten a heart all the sudden cuz he said “you want my dog, you wanna take him now?” I said to him,yes we do, we have a leash with us. And that’s when Lizzy pulled it out of her jacket. The man looked at us in shock. I guess he thought he’d play our bluff, but we weren’t playing. He said “Go around and get him”. I told the man I need him to get the dog and hand him over to us. So we went and met him in the back of the house, in the alley again. The guy came down the steps, walked over to me (i was on the other side of the fence in the alley) and said “come in and get hime”. I said “sir, you must unlock this gate and bring your dog out to me”. Dammed if he was getting me for trespassing and stealing his dog. I had witnesses to prove he gave me his dog.

Well, it took him 10 mins to get the chain unhooked from the collar. The dog had been wearing that same chain that was only 2 ft long since he was 8 weeks old, 24/7, 3-4 yrs now. He had never been off the chain, never ran around, never had a toy, and never got rubs.

Here is a picture of the dogs HELL HOLE Of a house for his life. In one of the pictures you’ll notice a dark shadow, that is the dog. (We think he said the name was either Blacky or Rocky (speaking english was not his sprciatly). The pics of the shed were taken when Feline Rescue was there this afternoon.



The next pic is of Blacky/Rocky getting his first ride ever to a new life


This is a picture of Blacky/Rocky when he first walked into his foster home for the night. Notice the collar, you’ll see a closer look in a few.
This is the first time he’s ever seen or played with a toy


Heres the collar that has been on him for a very long time. Notice the hair that is still attached to it.
Notice how filthy and old it looks


These last 2 pics are Rocky in is foster home getting used to it for the night (this is only a temp for the night) and getting ready to be fed. Notice he now has a new collar on him.



We were not ready to have to take in a new dog at the present time because of everything going on with Ernie, but how could you say no to a dog that has been chained his whole life? So if there is any way you can help us with either the vet bil (vaccines, neuter, checking his eyes/ears/neck–they all have marks on them and he may have glaucoma in one eye) this would be greatly appreciated. We are also looking for a permanent home or foster home for Blacky/Rocky (his name will be changing very soon). If you are able to foster please contact Susan at If you are able to help with the unexpected bills of saving this chained dog, please use the paypal link or you can mail in your donation. Thank you for any help you can give.

Letters To A Dog

December 12, 2008 on 8:16 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Letters To A Dog~~~Source Unknown

January 6

Dear Dog,
I saw you today for the first time, just a couple houses from my own.

The school bus stopped to let out your kids, and your mom opened the
front door to let you run out and greet them.
You are a wiggly, bouncy
and happy little puppy with a full belly and a shiny coat.
Your kids
grabbed you up, hugged you, held you and toted you inside.
Your tail was
wagging the entire time.
I thought to my self, how sweet, what a way to
end a long hard day.
I spoke to your mom this evening and she said that
they got you from the Animal Shelter, and the kids named you Lucky.

March 10

Dear Lucky,
I saw you today as I always do on my way home from work.
You were
already outside to greet the kids today, which seemed a little odd.
little girl got off the bus and shooed you away; she appeared to not
want you jumping on her.
The boy got off the bus and gave you a quick
playful pat on the head, then smelled his hand and brushed you aside.

You looked confused and sad, as you went to lie by the porch.
You curled
up in a tight ball on the cold ground and let out a huge sigh.
My heart
felt heavy that day.

March 21

Dear Lucky,
I saw you today.
I was headed home, and the kids got off the bus, walked
to the house, and you ran out as far as you could on your heavy chain to
let them know you were there.
The little girl ignored you, the little
boy told you to be quiet, when you barked for his attention.
My neighbor
commented that they needed to do something with your barking because you
keep them up at night.
You had a bucket of water and a bowl of food, a
relatively nice doghouse, but your eyes were sad and empty.
I shook my
head and let out a huge sigh.

April 30

Dear Lucky,
I worried for you today.
You look thin, your chain heavy on your neck,
your coat is dirty and falling out, you don’t get up to do much anymore.

Your bucket is turned over, and I have not seen your food bowl for a few
days now. I spoke to the neighbor and asked about you.
He said you still
bark at night and he saw the man of the house throw something at you the
other day as he scolded you.
I shook my head in despair as I went back
into my house.

June 4

Dear Lucky,
My heart sank today. I was headed home, and you weren’t in your yard.
large part of me hoped you got away, another large part of me was
frightened at all the other possibilities.
I asked my neighbor about
you, and he said your family went on vacation and sent you back to the
Animal Shelter.
I shook my head and cried for you as I went into my

June 5

Dear Dog,
I went to the shelter today.
I found you huddled in the back of a cage
that had a bucket, a bowl of food, and a blanket for you to lie on.
looked up at me as if you knew me, and my heart broke as I read your
They did not even care enough to give them your name, and the card
simply said, “male, neutered retriever mix. Owners did not want.
” I
cried when a gentleman from the kennel said, “That’s a sad one there.
came from here, you know, last Christmas.
Guess they just got tired of
him. He’s too frightened, no one will adopt him.
” I went to the counter
and told them I would be back tomorrow and please don’t do anything just
yet. They all kind of nodded like they heard that one before.

June 6

Dear Dog,
I brought you home today.
You were scared and untrusting, but a small
part of you somewhere allowed you to wag the tip of your tail when I
told you that you were a good boy and that I loved you.
I gave you a new
name, “Happy”, because you aren’t and I hope that someday you will be.

You had an accident on the floor, and when I came back to clean it up
with paper towel you slunk down and whimpered as if the hand was coming
for you.
I tried to choke back the tears when I thought of what you must
have gone through in the past six months.
I reached out and patted you
and your eyes closed and your body went limp at such a gentle gesture.

“We’re going to be all right,” I told you.
I showed you your food, and
you ate voraciously, and you marveled at the treats and toys I got for

December 25

Dear Happy,
Good morning my best friend! You woke me, as always, popping out from
under the covers on your side of the bed, licking my face to tell me it
was time for our walk.
We went through the living room and you sniffed
what Santa left for us.
I hugged you and said, “Last year you were a
Christmas gift, now this year, these are all yours!” Your coat is shiny,
your belly always full, and even though we found out at your first vet
visit you had heartworms, you are healthy now.
As we went out for our
walk, we saw your old family in the front yard.
They look at you each
time as if they recognize you in a way, but you don’t give them a second
— Then I believe both our hearts stopped as we saw the
children emerge from the yard holding a small playful puppy.
“Isn’t she
just precious? We got her from the animal shelter.
Hope this one works
out, the other dog we got from there was so much trouble.
” I sighed and
refrained from pointing out that you were not the trouble.
You looked up
at me as if to say, “Thank you, mom.
” I kneeled down and whispered in
your sweet ear, “No, it is I who thank you.

Forgotten Dogs Christmas

December 12, 2008 on 8:13 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Forgotten Dogs Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas,.. when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St.Nicholas soon would be there

The were nestled all snug in their beds
With no thought of the dog filling their head

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap
Knew he was cold but didn’t care about that

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter

Away to the window I flew like a flash
Figuring the dog was free of his chain and into the trash

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But Santa Claus – with eyes full of tears

He un-chained the dog, once so lively and quick
Last year’s Christmas present, now painfully thin and sick

More rapid than eagles he called the dog’s name
And the dog ran to him, despite all his pain

‘Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!

To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Let’s find this dog a home where he’..ll be loved by all.’

I knew in an instant there would be no gifts this year
For Santa Claus had made one thing quite clear

The gift of a dog is not just for the seaso..n
We had gotten the pup for all the wrong reasons

In our haste to think of the kids a gift
There was one important thing that we missed

A dog should be family, and cared for the same
You don’t give a gift then put it on a chain

And I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight
‘You weren’t given a gift! You were given a LIFE!’

Author Unknown

I Died Today~~Author Unknown

December 12, 2008 on 8:12 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

I Died Today: Author Unknown

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 too dirty and too small, and 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 I had to go at all. There are books on 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 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 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 me manners? You didn’t pay attention to me after the first week or so, but I spent my time waiting for you to love me.

I died today.

Author Unknown

How Could You~~By Jim Willis

December 12, 2008 on 8:01 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

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 belly rub.

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 good-bye 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 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.

The End

A note from the author:

If “How Could You?” brought tears to your eyes as you read it, as it did to mine then please pass this on. It is because it is the composite story of the millions of formerly owned pets who die each year in American and Canadian animal shelters. Anyone is welcome to distribute the essay for a noncommercial purpose, as long as it is properly attributed with the copyright notice. Please use it to help educate, on your websites, in newsletters, on animal shelter and vet office bulletin boards. Tell the public that the decision to add a pet to the family is an important one for life, that animals deserve our love and sensible care, that finding another appropriate home for your animal is your responsibility and any local humane society or animal welfare league can offer you good advice, and that all life is precious. Please do your part to stop the killing, and encourage all spay and neuter campaigns in order to prevent unwanted animals.

Copyright Jim Willis 2001, all rights reserved

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