Tag Archives: hope

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. http://www.homewardboundgoldens.org/

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


Just a birdhouse, that’s all…

not a dream, or a well-researched plan, or even

a creative act that, labored under glaze in an American kiln,

was carried in proud maternal hands

all the way to England.

For three years it hung, ignored and empty,

on my daughter’s cottage wall, where the old

climber rose was pruned and trained to grow around it.

Just a birdhouse, that’s all… until this spring

when visiting my growing family, I sat in the sun beneath the old rose.

Above me, the sound of a baby bird from inside a hollow place, cried for attention.

Excited, expectant, we waited for days, watching the terracotta walls and listening.

Nothing happened until early one morning, a scraping flutter, and cries

that couldn’t be mistaken for anything but a bird in distress.

I rushed to get the camera and sat facing the house on the wall.

A mature Great Tit flew onto the little roof, calling to her chick inside…

Scratching and fluttering emerged in response – audible eagerness to escape the nest.

All morning I waited, watching as worried winged parents entreated and coaxed,

offering fat-grub morsels to their love-raised child – if only he’d fly.

 My daughter took the kids to school, but I sat, camera ready, steady

and still, quiet and hopeful; I wondered, did I make the hole big enough?

For hours I kept the camera aimed, while wings fought to scale the inner walls

then fell in defeated exhaustion only to try again and again.  I worried.

Hope waning, I wanted to remove the birdhouse roof and look inside – but wait –

a face appeared in the little round hole – then a body – and wooosh!

The wild winged child, freed from its clay-hidden nest, took his first flight,

landed on a nearby tree, and praised by his parents, was rewarded with grubs.

I sighed, laughed and cried with relief.


A birdhouse sits empty now on my daughter’s wall in England…

Just a plan that I scribbled in a notebook, and kneaded out of clay

then fired and glazed it, and carried it so many miles to hang beside a rose.

Just a birdhouse, that’s all


Filed under Non-Fiction, Poetry, Uncategorized