Great Danes are Great! Just ask anyone who has a Great Dane … that’s all they talk about. Most of them even carry photos of their Danes!But the ‘uncared for’ ones are out there too, and life for them can be less than ideal.
They are presented as food for thought, and, in some cases, for the less fortunate ones portray life (from a dog’s perspective) as it really is ….
The saddest part of some of these stories is that only those who already care will be affected by it.
The people who are capable of doing some of these things don’t have the heart to feel sorrow or pain in the first place…
Some content may upset some readers, so select your tolerance level from the tabs below!
The Meaning of Rescue
All nicely tucked in my warm bed,
I’d like to open my baggage lest I forget,
There is much to carry – so much to forget
Hmmm . . . Yes, there it is, right on the top
Let’s unpack loneliness, heartache and loss;
And there by my leash hides fear and shame.
As I look on these things I tried so hard to leave –
I still have to unpack my baggage called pain.
I loved them, the others, the ones who left me.
But I wasn’t good enough – for they didn’t want me.
Will you add to my baggage? Will you help me unpack?
Or will you just look at my things – And take me right back?
Do you have the time to help me unpack?
To put away my baggage, to never repack?
I pray that you do – I’m so tired you see.
But I do come with baggage – will you still want me?
Is This Heaven
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall, white arch that gleamed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.
He was pleased that he had finally arrived at heaven, and the man and his dog walked toward the gate. As he got closer, he saw someone sitting at a beautifully carved desk off to one side.
When he was close enough, he called out, “Excuse me, but is this heaven?”
“Yes, it is, sir,” the man answered.
“Wow! Would you happen to have some water?” the man asked.
“Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.”
The gatekeeper gestured to his rear, and the huge gate began to open.
“I assume my friend can come in…” the man said, gesturing toward his dog.
But the reply was “I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept pets.”
The man thought about it, then thanked the gatekeeper, turned back toward the road, and continued in the direction he had been going.
After another long walk, he reached the top of another long hill, and he came to a dirt road which led through a farm gate. There was no fence, and it looked as if the gate had never been closed, as grass had grown up around it.
As he approached the gate, he saw a man just inside, sitting in the shade of a tree in a rickety old chair, reading a book.
“Excuse me!” he called to the reader. “Do you have any water?”
“Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there,” the man said, pointing to a place that couldn’t be seen from outside the gate.
“Come on in and make yourself at home.”
“How about my friend here?” the traveler gestured to the dog.
“He’s welcome too, and there’s a bowl by the pump,” he said.
They walked through the gate and, sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a dipper hanging on it and a bowl next to it on the ground. The man filled the bowl for his dog, he then took a long drink himself.
When both were satisfied, he and the dog walked back toward the man, who was sitting under the tree waiting for them, and asked, “What do you call this place?”
“This is heaven,” was the answer.
“Well, that’s confusing,” the traveler said. “It certainly doesn’t look like heaven, and there’s another man down the road who said that place was heaven.”
“Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates?”
“Yes, it was beautiful.”
“Nope. That’s hell.”
“Doesn’t it offend you for them to use the name of heaven like that?”
“No. I can see how you might think so, but it actually saves us a lot of time. They screen out the people who are willing to leave their best friends behind.”
The Price For Love
A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.
“Mister”, he said, “I want to buy one of your puppies.”
“Well”, said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, “These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money.”
The boy dropped his head for a moment, then, reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer.
“I’ve got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?”
“Sure”, said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle.
“Here, Dolly!” he called. Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight.
As the dogs made their way towards the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring in the doghouse. Slowly, another little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner the little pup began hobbling towards the others, doing its best to catch up …
“I want that one,” the little boy said, pointing to the runt. The farmer knelt down at the boy’s side and said, “Son, you don’t want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would.”
With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down and began rolling up one leg of his trousers.
In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe.
Looking back up at the farmer, he said, “You see, sir, I don’t run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands.”
With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup. Holding it carefully he handed to to the the little boy.
“How much?” asked the little boy,
“No charge,” answered the farmer, “There’s no charge for love.”
My Best Friend
You must expect a few dog hairs to stick to your clothes. I vacuum and clean every day but a Dog lives in this house too.
You may be licked and given a paw a few times but he does this because he loves people and wants to say hello, so if you feel that you are too good for his love then you are not welcome here because this is his home too.
My dog is well mannered and very clean but if you are one of those people who think all animals are dirty and smell then go away. You are not the type of person that I care to associate with.
If you don’t like the sound of barking, then my home is not going to be a comfortable place for you to visit. My dog protects me by letting me know I have a visitor. Whether it be a friend or uninvited stranger. If you are a friend, my dog will consider you his friend too but if you are an unwelcome guest, my dog will protect me with his life as I would his.
Do not expect me to lock my dog in another room during your visit. I have trained my dog well so he will not do anything to you except maybe want a pat on the head. I will not subject him to feel as if he is being punished by locking him away for no reason. That would just be cruel.
When you walk in my home, be careful not to trip on a squeaky toy or a bone. These are my dogs little treasures and I will not take them away from him just to show you that I keep a clean house. He knows where all his toys are. They may not look like much to you, but to him, they are worth more then gold.
You see, This is OUR home.
We have been together since he was a small pup scampering around the house, a tiny bit of a thing only a few weeks old. I raised him into a well mannered, beautifully behaved Dog. I am proud of him. I consider him my personal gift from God. He has done nothing but give me his endless love and devotion for many years. I love him dearly and want to make his years happy ones. As happy as he makes mine.
When you go home to your family, he stays here with me. A fine and loving companion. He is MY family and I wouldn’t change that for the world. When times were hard, we both went hungry. When it was cold and there was no heat, we both kept each warm. When I was sick, he stayed right by my side as I did his when he was not having a good day. A better friend I could not ask for. When no one else cared, my Dog did. He has given me nothing but pure joy and I love him endlessly.
So please understand that I am not being rude.
I’m just looking out for my best friend.
If you allow, the journey will teach you many things, about life, about yourself, and most of all, about love. You will come away changed forever, for one soul cannot touch another without leaving its mark.
Along the way, you will learn much about savoring life’s simple pleasures – jumping in leaves, snoozing in the sun, the joys of puddles, and even the satisfaction of a good scratch behind the ears.
If you spend much time outside, you will be taught how to truly experience every element, for no rock, leaf, or log will go unexamined, no rustling bush will be overlooked, and even the very air will be inhaled, pondered, and noted as being full of valuable information. Your pace may be slower – except when heading home to the food dish – but you will become a better naturalist, having been taught by an expert in the field.
Too many times we hike on automatic pilot, our goal being to complete the trail rather than enjoy the journey. We miss the details – the colorful mushrooms on the rotting log, the honeycomb in the old maple snag, the hawk feather caught on a twig. Once we walk as a dog does, we discover a whole new world. We stop; we browse the landscape, we kick over leaves, peek in tree holes, look up, down, all around. And we learn what any dog knows: that nature has created a marvelously complex world that is full of surprises, that each cycle of the seasons bring ever changing wonders, each day an essence all its own.
Even from indoors you will find yourself more attuned to the world around you. You will find yourself watching summer insects collecting on a screen.(How bizarre they are! How many kinds there are!), or noting the flick and flash of fireflies through the dark. You will stop to observe the swirling dance of windblown leaves, or sniff the air after a rain. It does not matter that there is no objective in this; the point is in the doing, in not letting life’s most important details slip by.
You will find yourself doing silly things that your pet-less friends might not understand: spending thirty minutes in the grocery aisle looking for the cat food brand your feline must have, buying dog birthday treats, or driving around the block an extra time because your pet enjoys the ride. You will roll in the snow, wrestle with chewie toys, bounce little rubber balls till your eyes cross, and even run around the house trailing your bathrobe tie – with a cat in hot pursuit – all in the name of love.
Your house will become muddier and hairier. You will wear less dark clothing and buy more lint rollers. You may find dog biscuits in your pocket or purse, and feel the need to explain that an old plastic shopping bag adorns your living room rug because your cat loves the crinkly sound.
You will learn the true measure of love – the steadfast, undying kind that says, “It doesn’t matter where we are or what we do, or how life treats us as long as we are together.” Respect this always. It is the most precious gift any living soul can give another. You will not find it often among the human race.My Dog’s eyes often made me feel ashamed. Such joy and love at my presence. She saw not some flawed human who could be cross and stubborn, moody or rude, but only her wonderful companion. Or maybe she saw those things and dismissed them as mere human foibles, not worth considering, and so chose to love me anyway.
If you pay attention and learn well, when the journey is done, you will be not just a better person, but the person your pet always knew you to be – the one they were proud to call beloved friend.
I must caution you that this journey is not without pain. Like all paths of true love, the pain is part of loving. For as surely as the sun sets, one day your dear animal companion will follow a trail you cannot yet go down. And you will have to find the strength and love to let them go.
A pet’s time on earth is far too short – especially for those that love them. We borrow them, really, just for awhile, and during these brief years they are generous enough to give us all their love, every inch of their spirit and heart, until one day there is nothing left.
The cat that only yesterday was a kitten is all too soon old and frail and sleeping in the sun. The young pup of boundless energy wakes up stiff and lame, the muzzle now gray. Deep down we somehow always knew that this journey would end. We knew that if we gave our hearts they would be broken.
But give them we must for it is all they ask in return. When the time comes, and the road curves ahead to a place we cannot see, we give one final gift and let them run on ahead – young and whole once more. “God speed, good friend,” we say, until our journey comes full circle and our paths cross again.
Author – Crystal Ward Kent
A Dog's Plea
Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me things you would have me learn.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal no longer accustomed to bitter elements. I ask for no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food that I may stay well to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life should your life be in danger.
And, my friend, when I am very old, and no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun. Please see that my trusting life is taken gently. I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw, that my fate was always safest in your hands. Author … June Payne Hart
I would’ve died that day if not for you.
I would’ve given up on life if not for your kind eyes.
I would’ve used my teeth in fear if not for your gentle hands.
I would have left this life believing that all humans don’t care.
Believing that there is no such thing as fur that isn’t matted;
Skin that isn’t flea bitten; Good food and enough of it;
Beds to sleep on; Someone to love me,
To show me that I deserve love, just because I exist.
Your kind eyes, your loving smile, your gentle hands, your big heart saved me…
You saved me from the terror of the pound, Soothing away memories of my old life.
You have taught me what it means to be loved.
I have seen you do the same for other dogs like me.
I have heard you ask yourself, in times of despair, why you do it.
When there is no more money, no more room, no more homes,
you open your heart a little bigger, stretch the money a little tighter,
make just a little more room… to save one more like me.
I tell you with the gratitude and love that shines in my eyes,
in the best way I know how,
reminding you why you go on trying.
I am the reason;
The dogs before me were the reason;
As are the ones who come after.
Our lives would’ve been wasted,
Our love never given,
We would die if not for you!
The Senior Dogs
One by one, they file past 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 grey, 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 all 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 through the grey and the legs bent with age
And felt that 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 that will hear
Of the person who made my last days
oh, so dear
No more lonely cold nights or hearing that I’m bad,
No more growling belly from the meals I never had.
No more scorching sunshine with a water bowl that’s dry,
No more complaining neighbors about the noise when I cry.
No more hearing “Shut up”, “get down” or “get out of here!”.
No more feeling disliked, only peace is in the air.
Euthanasia is a blessing, though some still can’t see,
Why I was ever born if I weren’t meant to be.
My last day of living was the best I ever had.
Someone held me very close; I could see she was very sad.
I kissed the lady’s face, and she hugged me as she cried.
I wagged my tail to thank her, then I closed my eyes and died.
(Written by an animal shelter volunteer in Massena, NY.)
For Sale To A Good Home
I was born in summer a few years ago
Quite why I was born, I will never know.
Some folks owned my mother and decided to breed,
No justifiable reason, only pure blatant greed.
I know I was hungry, I know I was cold,
They sold me quite early, at just five weeks old.
My number one owners seemed friendly at first,
And life was quite good till my small bubble burst.
They started to argue, their marriage split up,
The ad then went in–for sale, cute little pup.
Some people arrived, the next ones in line,
They treated me kindly and life was just fine.
But my master dropped dead and then she couldn’t cope,
So I was sold once again–for the last time I hope
I now had a new home right up in the sky,
We went up in a lift at least six floors high.
The new folks were kind but they left me all day,
I was bursting to wee and had nowhere to play.
It was boredom I guess, when I chewed up the chair,
They agreed I should go, as it just wasn’t fair.
The next home was good and I thought “this is it”,
They started to show me and I won…well, a bit.
Then someone told them that I had unsound bone,
Then in went the ad For Sale…needs a good home.
The next lot were awful, they wanted me only to guard,
I didn’t know how although I tried really hard.
One night they were burgled and I failed to bark,
They tied me up in the shed, left me alone in the dark.
For six months I lay, in that cold pitch black shed,
With only some paper, covered in sack for a bed.
A small dish of water, all slimy and green,
The state I was in, to be believed, had to be seen.
I longed for destruction and an end to the pain,
But more new folks came and I changed homes again.
Well now I’m with rescue and this home is good,
There’s walks in the country and I eat as I should.
There’s kisses and cuddles to greet me each day,
But…I dread the time they will send me away.
But for now here I stand, skin and bone on all fours,
PLEASE…DON”T LET ME happen to any of yours.
How Could You
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 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 andlight 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.
(Author – Jim Willis, copyright)
Puppy Mill Prodigy
I do remember the day I was taken from Mom. I was so sad and scared, my milk teeth had only just come in, and I really should have been with Mom still, but she was so sick, and the Humans kept saying that they wanted money and were sick of the “mess” that me and my sister made. So we were crated up and taken to a strange place. Just the two of us.
We huddled together and were scared, still no human hands came to pet or love us. So many sights and sounds, and smells!
We are in a store where there are many different animals! Some that squawked! some that meowed! Some that Peeped! My sister and I are jammed into a small cage, I hear other puppies here and wish they could play with me! All day we stay in the small cage, sometimes mean people will hit the glass and frighten us. Every once in a while we are taken out to be held or shown to humans. Some are gentle some hurt us. We always hear “Awe they’re are so cute! I want one!” but we never get to go with anyone.
My sister died last night, when the store was dark. I laid my head on her soft fur and felt the life leave her small, thin body. I had heard them say she was sick and that I should be sold at a “discount price” so that I would quickly leave the store. I think my soft whine was the only thing that mourned for her as her body was taken out of the cage in the morning and dumped.
Today, a family came and bought me! Oh happy day! They are a nice family, they really, really wanted me! They had bought a dish and food and the little girl held me so tenderly in her arms. I love her so much! The mom and dad say what a sweet and good puppy I am! I am named Angel.
I love to lick my new humans! The family takes such good care of me They are loving and tender and sweet. They gently teach me right and wrong, give me good food and lots of love! I want only to please these wonderful people! I love the little girl and I enjoy running and playing with her.
Today I went to the veterinarian. it was a strange place and I was frightened. I got some shots but my best friend the little girl held me softly and said it would be OK so I relaxed. The Vet must have said sad words to my beloved family, because they looked awfully sad. I heard severe hip dysplasia and something about my heart. I heard the vet say something about back yard breeders and my parents not being tested. I know not what any of that means, just that it hurts me to see my family so sad. But they still love me and I still love them very much!
I am 6 months old now. Where most other puppies are robust and rowdy, it hurts me terribly just to move. The pain never lets up. It hurts to run and play with my beloved little girl and I find it hard to breath. I keep trying my best to be the strong pup I know I am supposed to be but it is so hard. It breaks my heart to see the little girl so sad and to hear the Mom and Dad talk about “it might now be the time” . Several times I have been taken to that veterinarian’s place and the news is never good. He always talks about congenital problems.
I just want to feel the warm sunshine and run and play and nuzzle with my family.
Last night was the worst. Pain is my constant now. It hurts even to get up and get a drink. I try to get up but can only whine in pain. I am taken in the car one last time. Everyone is so sad and I don’t know why. Have I been bad? I tried to be good and loving. What have I done wrong? Oh if only this pain would be gone! If only I could soothe the tears of the little girl. I reach out my muzzle to lick her hand but can only whine in pain. The veterinarians table is so cold. I am so frightened. The humans all hug and love me. They cry into my soft fur. I can feel their love and sadness. I manage to lick softly their hands. Even the vet doesn’t seem so scary today. He is gentle and I sense some kind of relief for my pain. The little girl holds me softly and I thank her for giving me all her love.
I feel a soft pinch in my foreleg. The pain is beginning to lift, I am beginning to feel a peace descend upon me. I can now softly lick her hand. My vision is becoming dreamlike now and I see my Mother and my brothers and sisters, in a far off green place. They tell me there is no pain there, only peace and happiness. I tell the family, good-bye in the only way I know how, a soft wag of my tail and a nuzzle of my nose. I had hoped to spend many, many moons with them but it was not meant to be. “You see,” said the veterinarian “Pet shop puppies do not come from ethical breeders.”
The pain ends now and I know it will be many years until I see my beloved family again. If only things could have been different.
(This story may be published or reprinted in the hopes that it will stop unethical breeders and those who breed only for money and not for the betterment of the breed. – Copyright 1999 J. Ellis)