Lucky Dog

Homeward Bound’s Golden Taxi

Loaded up nine dogs today and drove ’em all the way

Highway 5 – Fresno to Sacramento.

See Rusty here? His owner died, leaving him tied

to the house. He’s been there since March.

People fed him, but no one thought, for four months,

(that’s one hundred twenty days or two thousand eight hundred eighty hours, and God-knows-how-many-minutes)

that Rusty needed more than food and water.

Shadow, the next dog down, has a tumor hanging from his testicles,

an ugly festering thing that bleeds and smells.

His owner said, get that dog the hell outa here.

And this pretty dog, Shady, was a lady, blonde and small

yet someone thought she could fend for herself

in the desert outside LA. She couldn’t.

Nearly died from hunger and fear;

When found, she was so weak she couldn’t run,

just hoped the strangers who approached wouldn’t kill her.

The big dog over there, with the dark red coat,

nobody knows his name. He answers to anything you call him.

He’s just glad to have somebody call him at all.

Doc needs to take the foxtail out of his eye

Then he can stop hurting and pretending he’s okay.

Digger there is a family dog, but his family can’t keep a job or a house,

so they sure as heck can’t keep Digger.

He watched them walk away after the boy said,

“Stay, Digger. Be good now.” The boy left, wiping his face

on a sleeve, and Digger stopped wagging his tail.

Trixie wasn’t sure if she even was a Golden.

Retriever, that is. She’s gold all right, but we suspect

she’s got more cocker than retriever in her genes.

We gave her the benefit of the doubt.

Some old lady who can’t have a big dog

will be mighty glad to have Trixie at her house.

Those two over there are Sam and Isabella.

Brother and sister, been together all their lives.

Long ones, too. They’re both over twelve. Nobody wants old dogs,

They say old dogs will break their hearts and die,

but Nobody never asks whether dogs’ hearts break.

At the sanctuary the old dogs get to live in the house

and sleep on big, soft clean couches

and wide fluffy beds, where there’s lots of space

for cranky old bones to settle down and sleep.

Last of all, there’s this poor boy here. Both his legs

got run over and he got left since nobody could afford to pay

for his surgery; This fella needs pins and long term care

so he can walk again, chase tennis balls and play.

Doc here will give him everything he needs.

Somehow we’ll pick up the tab and save the dog.

They’re all worth saving.

We named him Lucky.

If you want to help rescue a golden retriever, please visit Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary’s website. Donations of money, items, volunteering time, foster parents and adoptive parents are always greatly needed and appreciated.

To the world we are dog rescuers, but to these dogs, we are the world. Please join us!



Filed under Flash & Micro Fiction, Poetry, Uncategorized

26 responses to “Lucky Dog

  1. This was one helluva moving poem… I am still scared of dogs (have always been).. but I ain’t cruel to them… I just stay away from them, never ever hurting them! Too afraid to do that! But this poem sure brought a lump in my throat, and welled up eyes with tears!

    Every animal deserves to live well, no matter what, and NOT have their hearts broken! And you are doing an AWESOME job at giving them the life they need… Bless you for that, Cindy! You are too kind and sweet!
    A heartrending poem… phew.. but very hopeful and positive too (thanks to you!)..

    • I’m just a pt. time volunteer driver and foster parent for old goldens (one at a time); the real heroes are the folks who run this organization, Jody and Mike and the team of full-time and part time volunteers who do so much for the love of a dog. Each time I bring a van load of dogs back to the sanctuary, I’m struck by the patience of these wonderful animals, their trust in us, and the joyful faces and loving arms that greet the dogs and help them get settled in their new home while forever homes are found for them. Every time I pull in the drive, I choke up with happy tears, knowing nine more dogs, or six more, or (last Saturday) fourteen more are safe. Anyone who is interested in donating or volunteering can find out more by visiting their website: Thanks so much for your kind heart and response.

  2. Thanks to you and anyone else who helps suffering and neglected animals. Enjoyed your poem. Thanks for sharing it today for One Shot Poetry! cheers

  3. so glad you took care of this dog – golden retriever’s are my favorite dogs – so “Lucky” you found him..

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting, Claudia. I visited your blog and read some of your work – nice stuff! I like your oh-so-easy to fall into the scene writing. Tried to leave comments on your blog but kept getting an error message. Put your site on my blogroll too. Look forward to reading more. Cheers.

      • Cindy, I too faced some problem while trying to leave comments on blogs at blogspot, using my WordPress Open ID credentials. I guess they are having some trouble there..
        Anyway, I tried using the option “Name/URL” while leaving comments, and that seemed to work fine…
        So maybe you should give it a shot too.. who knows.. it might just work..
        Tech stuff, as helpful as it is, when it conks, it’s quite irritating! 🙂

  4. What Lucky dogs and animals these are, to have people like you and your friends to care for them in their desperate hour…Bless you for the work you do for these innocent victims of man’s cruelty and forgetting. Enjoyed this post so much. heartspell

    • Thank you heartspell. I visited your post as well – sobering, difficult yet beautiful stuff. Put you on my blogroll too. Looking forward to following your work. Thanks for your kind comments and heart.

  5. i am glad there are people with hearts to take care of these animals…it makes me sick those that abuse them…when there are those that would love them. thanks for linking up to one shot!

    • Thankfully, the majority of dogs we rescue aren’t so much abused as abandoned, whether willingly or due to circumstances out of the owners’ control. Many puppies are surrendered after the family realises how much care they need and more mature dogs handed in due to relocation, family split-ups, or medical reasons. I fostered a 13 year old until he died at 15 and a half. His family had to surrender him because their blind child needed a seeing-eye dog for going to school, and other pets are not allowed in the home of a working service dog. It broke their hearts, but lucky for him and especially for me, he found a good retirement home through Homeward Bound, and now when I drive the Golden Taxi, I feel his spirit riding there, right beside me, telling all those dogs not to worry – they’re on the best ride of their life.

  6. nice poem,i love animals in general..never owned one,because i believe they need their freedom,but i am fond of dogs in specific! this poem touched me..sensitive,thank you for sharing..:)

    • Thank you, Desert – in the same way your poetry speaks of longing for ‘his touch’ dogs long for ours. Not sexual, of course, but soulful. Long removed from their days of wild, breeding and cell memory have made them man’s perfect partner – they live to please us, and they need us to survive in today’s world. All too often we let them down, yet they trust us again and again and again.

  7. I had to wipe the tears away reading this, I am a avid animal lover and you have touched my heart so much with this!!!! OMG…I have to read this again…thanks so very much from my heart for sharing !!! You are wonderful and I send you much love~Amanda x

  8. mel

    bittersweet in it’s loveliness, this one.

    we have a rescue JRT and have fostered in the past — our old JRT wasn’t coping well with the fosters so we had to stop for now — i am endlessly amazed at the warmth and courage of the teams of volunteers that move heaven and earth to bring these wonderful animals to safety and their forever homes…

    blessings to you…

    • Nice to hear from a foster-mum and friend of sweet Jack R. Wonderful dogs! Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave kind comments behind. I read your post for today, was intrigued with the first, drawn in and fascinated with the second, and kept reading. When I got to Magpie Tales #22, I was blown over by your crisp and perfect handling of a long, long story in such a few words. What a wonderful story!! I can’t wait to go back and read more…

  9. moondustwriter

    My heart breaks for these dear souls who only want to bring happiness into the lives of those fortunate to own one.
    We almost lost our Goldie last year – one day the Vet was going to put her down and a few days later she rallied back. I think she willed herself to live for us.

    Thanks for this real life “Tail’

    Glad you posted it on One Shot

    The moon’s doggies are wagging their fluffy tails

  10. The SOBERING reality to what we have done to these animals. Humans cause insurmountable suffering to the natural world and our pets suffer the most unable to care for themselves we discard them like yesterdays newspaper,
    We need more then compassion here we need people to help and respond.
    You are doing a wonderful job in posting getting the word out and the rescue efforts, I cannot thank you enough for your work.


    • Joanny, thank you. You got straight to the point – we need people to help and respond. Sympathy and sorrow should be more than indulgences that allow us not to feel responsibility. To really make a difference, we must go beyond sorrow and be part of the solution.; to get up and do something, give something, say something – anything we can do – to work towards a better situation. This is one reason why I love Homeward Bound and the work they do. They never see anything as insurmountable problems; they see only opportunities for finding solutions. And find those solutions? They do – every day. Last Saturday when I arrived at the pick-up point in Fresno, a stranger came over and handed me $10 towards gas money (it takes $50 to fill the tank). She had tears in her eyes – tears of sorrow, but with the $10, she created joy. Joy for 14 dogs, because she helped to bring them home. Joy for me because I saw the simple generous act of one person raise my belief that human beings are truly beautiful, and under their skin, they have hearts as big as those golden dogs we rescue. Thank you so much for seeing the point. Thanks for your support, and thanks everyone else who responded today. On my homepage, there is a direct link under Organizations to the Homeward Bound website. Please ‘drop in’ and and have a read. Meet the dogs up for adoption or fostering. Sign on as a volunteer, buy a T-shirt, a coffeemug, or remind a friend who lost their beloved dog to death, that the best cure for grief is to help another dog. Support your local sanctuary and be responsible for your pets. Thank you – today I truly felt your hearts and they were full of love.

  11. This just broke my heart. Thank goodness there are kind people like you to gather them close and make sure that they get the love and attention they deserve.

  12. Hi, been away for a week so am catching up with all the great posts on One Shot…I think i echo everyone sentiments above and thank heavens that there are people that care..great share..cheers Pete

  13. This just made me cry, not in a bad way. Just a sense of those nine dogs, who they are, their history, their future…this may be my favorite one of your poems so far. I’m going to send it to my son who is a vet tech. I think it will touch his heart.

  14. I loved the image of the old dogs resting on the couches and beds. So sweet.

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