I wait behind these cold, dark walls. Staring eagerly through the bars.
Wondering what I have to do… How to align the stars?
You have your faithful dog at home: Obedient, loyal, and true.
He is your partner, defender, and friend. He is so special to you.
What makes him different? What sets him apart? Do I not deserve the same?
I could be adventurous, devoted, and smart. I could be deserving of the same name.
You grant him a spot at the end of your bed, a collar with jingling tags.
He gets a good dinner, fresh water, & treats; with thanks, his happy tail wags.
You see my photo and read what I’m about, but you don’t know who I want to be.
Take a chance on my life, on my paws, on my heart. Please, take a chance on me.
I could learn to be quiet, cuddly, and calm, or brave and defensive of you.
I could be athletic and strong and compete, I’m ready to begin anew.
Some look at me and imagine the worst: assume I’m discarded for reasons severe.
But all that I want you to understand, is that your dog could have ended up here.
Your dog that you know inside & out, could have wound up stolen or lost.
He’d find his way to a place like this. In the kennel, without thought, he’d be tossed.
In the chaos of the shelter, would his voice be understood?
Amid his confusion and his fear, would anyone see the good?
Without a thing that is familiar, would he still remain the same?
Would he get a fair chance, or would your dog they blame?
I know that you’d do whatever it takes, to bring your pup home, safe & sound.
So why do I wait forever it seems, my fate resting on the clock in the pound?
All I am trying to convey to you is that I’m no different than the pup in your bed.
The one that runs, guards, and plays fetch… The one who gets to live instead.
Though my stay is up, my life not worth your time,
Please help the others who wait, for they have committed no crimes.
They could be brave, quick-witted, & sweet.
Play with your children & sleep at your feet.
They are just like the dog that you call your best friend.
Their lives lie in your hands, for you to defend.
I’ve always felt that a part of the shelter problem lies in people placing their own dogs up on pedestals. We adore our pets, and so therefore we believe that they are above all others. However, the bottom line is that so many of our dogs would not show well in shelters, and so many shelter dogs have the capacity to make amazing family pets. We need to start imagining the dogs we see in shelters as our own dogs, so that there is a higher value placed on their lives.If any of these dogs have captured your heart, please contact me for more information about fostering or adopting: firstname.lastname@example.org