Golden Rescue: Poems, Stories, and Contemplation up


Copyright 2009 Chris Cornwall, All Rights Reserved
How do you know
If it was meant be?
Did you pick him
Or did he pick me?

You're just doing your job
Trying to match them well
Of just what they're like
Their story to tell

Security's everything
In safety's deep sleep
You're not even thinking
If they're the one you'll keep

Does he listen real close
When you whisper his name?
And everyday chores?
Is it all just a game?

Is it a glancing look
Or a steely-eyed gaze?
Of that squirrel in the tree
That will taunt him most days?

The wag of a tail
The nudge of a ball
Who would have known
How hard you would fall?

Its a perfect fit
Something hard to do
But you don't have a choice
When they're picking you.

So now you've done it
The dog you've given me
I cannot say no to
It was just meant to be.

From Chris:
"This is the last poem I penned when I decided to keep Rowdy's successor, Josh (the Blonde Bomber)."



Copyright 2008 Chris Cornwall, All Rights Reserved
YOU are my sun,
my alpha,
my reason.
and I am your student,
your friend,
I am yours.

I crave your attention,
your affection,
your presence.

You are my G-d,
and I am yours.

I crave the warmth you crave,
the cool you seek,
the security you need.

Your needs are mine.

Make me yours,
and I will make you mine.

Your family is mine.
You are my pack,
my elders,
my teachers.

The sound of your voice
is music to my ears.

The touch of your presence
reassures my soul.

Being with you
is why I am here.

I am here for you.
It is why I am.
I am yours.

Make me yours.
I want it.
I need it.

What is good for you
is life for me.

I am yours.


Love is the Golden's Light
Copyright 2004 Kathy Anne Harris, All Rights Reserved

Many came to look us over when we were wee golden puffs of fluff
And of their smiles and laughter, well I simply could not get enough
Though I’d miss my siblings and mom, you could have all of the rest
Because being with humans, for me, was just beyond doubt the best

To be in their company, I knew, I would leave all else behind
For thoughts of being with them were always filling my mind
When a young girl and her parents said they had decided on me
There was a smile on my face, and I was bursting with glee

My mom’s human kin said, “You’ll love him, he’s as sweet as can be!”
As my new dad lifted me up, he then said,“ I certainly hope so. We’ll see.”
“Here, take his toy,” she added, and smiled. “From it he does not stray far.”
He sighed, as he tucked it under his arm, then carried me out to their car

When they got home they put me in the backyard with a grizzled little guy
He seemed all bones and fur, and studied me through white-clouded eyes
I stood waiting for him to walk over and check me out, but he was too spent
Too weak to lean forward and give me a sniff; he dropped to the stained cement

The next morning the man came out and gave us each a bowl of dry food
I was hungry; it had been a day since I’d eaten and it sure looked good
But later, as I sat the under the hot, hot sun, I felt bad, then quickly got sick
Afterward, I looked for some water and found only a dripping faucet to lick

I suddenly felt lonely as I looked around ... the older dog had fallen asleep
But, in the gravel, oh what a find. My toy! A treasure that was mine to keep
With toy in my mouth, I returned to the dog, he was trembling as he slept
I dropped down beside him, snuggled close, and whimpering softly, I wept

The girl often came out and spent time with us, she loved to bring us treats
But the first thing she’d do is give us each a bowl of fresh, cool water to drink
Those bright days for my dog companion and me, kept us from feeling alone
When we shared those special hours with her, it was then I felt I was home

She’d lovingly hug the small dog tenderly to her, whisper softly in his ear
Then she would turn to me and we’d lose ourselves in happy, happy play
These were the best of days for me, it felt so good just having her near
It seemed all too soon our fun would end—she was never allowed long to stay

Each time before she’d leave, she would caress her scraggly-furred friend
Then she’d hold my head in her hands, saying, “I, too, wish it wouldn’t end.”
As she gave me my toy she would kiss me, whispering, “Don’t be sad!
“You two are my family and I love you. You’re the best friends I’ve ever had.”

As the summer weeks went by and warm days made way for the cold
I noticed the little dog had grown thinner. And I saw him quickly grow old
One night he couldn’t stop shivering. So I laid next to him to keep him warm
As he leaned into me and sighed his thanks I could tell he was very ill
When morning broke cold and frosty the dog at my side lay so terribly still

He had gone on to Rainbow Bridge and he played now in cool tall grass
I knew he was warm, free, and happy. I licked him once to bid him good-bye
Then the man came out, wrapped him in a bag, and carried him to the trash
I tried to follow. What he did, it seemed so wrong. Then, I heard the girl cry!

Oh, no! I pressed up against the glass. Somebody, please let me in!
I pawed at the sliding door, then I whined and gave a couple good barks
But the man hurried over; pulled shut the blinds and I was forgotten, again

I walked back to the fence, looked across the way, thru the slats at a grassy green park
I gazed longingly at the people there with their dogs, and watched them ’til long after dark

The next night the man led me through the gate; out front where I’d never been
Confused and frightened, where nothing was familiar, I ran back to retrieve my toy
It was there, by the door. I was so happy, I wagged my tail, picked it up, and grinned
Warily, I returned to the man. He then kicked me while hissing, “Get outta here, boy!”

I slowly looked around me, I didn’t know what to do and I had no where to go
but there in the park, above a stone bench and patch of grass, one bright light shone
I heard the gate close behind me, I looked right and left, then strode across the street
I curled up under the bench thinking of the old dog and the girl, and finally fell asleep

Deep into the rough winter, from country roads to busy towns I did roam
Looking for someone who would take me in, for a place that I could call home
Then came spring and I grew so tired, I became sick and lost track of time
I collapsed in a field of dried grass and dust with no person or place to call mine

Then, through the haze of my fevered dreams, I saw her standing at my side
She was murmuring as she bent down and reached out to cradle my head
“You poor babe! How long have you lain here? Come on, we’re going for a ride.”
I wagged my tail, kissed her hand, tried to get up, but fell into darkness instead

When I awoke I was on a table, in an examining room, at the office of a vet
The doctor took some blood for tests, checked my heart, my eyes, and my ears
“He’s so thin and dehydrated. Where will he be going? Have you decided yet?”
“Yes, I’ll foster him at home with me.” She hugged me and I felt the wet of her tears

I was at the vet’s for a very long time, receiving treatments that would make me well
I had surgery, shots, and pills to take and I can’t say I liked all of what they had done
When my foster mom would visit, she’d say with a smile, “You’re getting better, I can tell.”
On a cool autumn morn she took me to her home, a place, amid hills lit gold by the sun

Wagging my tail I carried it gently then laid in the palm of her hand, my toy
A gift from my heart and all that I’d had to keep me company and give me joy
I wanted her to know that now I would wait with her to find my forever home
It was my way to thank her, for I had no plans or desires at all now to roam

Mine is not the happiest of tales, but it certainly is not the worst
We are a goldmine, if those of you searching would just see our worth

When you look at me now you’ll see a smile, and a question in my eyes
Have you a place in your heart and your home for this faded Golden boy?
If you spend some time with me, it shouldn’t take you too long to realize
The dog standing there—with his faded, dirty, and beloved old toy...
is so willing for you to take him home, to give him a fresh new start
And given time he is the Golden whose love will capture your heart!


The Rescuer's Creed
I promise I will take your unwanted animals.

I will heal their wounds, their diseases, their broken bones.

I will give them the medical attention they need and deserve.

I will nurture their starvation, and give them a warm place to sleep.

I will spay and neuter them, vaccinate them against the disease that can harm them.

I will treat them and honor them.

I will buy them toys, blankets, balls, and teach them to play.

I will speak softly to them. I will try to teach them not to fear, not to cry, and not to hate.

I will whisper sweet, kind, gentle words into their ears, while gently trying to stroke their fear, their pain, and their scars away.

I will face their emotional scars and give them time to overcome them.

I will socialize them, potty train them, teach them to be obedient, show them dignity, and hold their paws, and stroke their ears if they have endured too much and walk them over the Rainbow Bridge, but most of all

I will teach them Love.

Special Addendum to The Rescuer’s Creed

By Nancy E. Holmes, Affenpinscher Friends Foundation, Inc.

I will do my very best not to hate the animal’s breeders or previous owners and to understand that people sometimes act in ways I cannot comprehend for reasons that are deeply personal and seldom fully revealed.

I will empathize with family situations that force a parting with a beloved but four-footed family member.

I will be true to the trust they place in me to care for their pets properly when they cannot.

I will try to see that in many cases the people need as much compassion as the helpless animals that have been in their care.

And if I am unable to do that at the very least I will not take my frustrations and angers out on people who’s lives I only touch when they are parting with their animal. For the humans I come in contact with need my pledge as much as the animals that come into my care.


10-Karat Reasons To Adopt a "Mature" Golden
By Anna Sonser, Canadian Golden Retriever Adoption Service
Goldens don’t get older, they get better. If you’re considering adopting, look at the pleasures of companions who wear their 9, 10 or even 12 years lightly & have lots of love left to give.
1. Call them Mellow Yellow—a Golden Oldie is less demanding than a younger pup. You enjoy quiet walks — they enjoy quiet walks. You like to read by the fire—they’re more than happy to keep you company.
2. They sleep in!
3. You’ll have your slippers forever. Chewing is a thing of the past.
4. They won’t run circles around you. Their energy levels complement yours.
5. Mellow Yellows love to cuddle—but without all that squirming.
6. Share in their quiet smarts and years of experience. They have lots to teach us and we have lots to learn from them.
7. Golden Oldies know their manners. No puddles to mop. No jumping up.
8. Like a lot of older people you may know, mature Goldens have lots of vitality and zest for life that they’re willing to share. They’ll go to the cottage. Hop in that boat. Join in the picnic—they’re ready to go and without a lot of fuss!
   9. This is not a fourteen year commitment.
10. The best is yet to come—whether you enjoy each other for one year or five — a mature Golden will thank you over and over again for coming to the rescue in their Golden years.



I Want To Quit!
By Joan C. Fremo, May 16, 2001

I want to quit! My health is bad. There are days I feel so terrible that I can barely move. My phone bills are outrageous, and I could have replaced my van with the funds I have spent these last 3 years—on animals that were not my own.

I want to quit! I spend hours and hours emailing about dogs. There may be 500 messages when I start—and at 4 AM, when I finally shut down the computer, there are still 500 emails to be read.

I want to quit! Gosh, I haven’t the time left to email my friends. I can’t remember the last book I read, and I gave up my subscription to my local newspaper—I used to enjoy reading it, cover to cover, but now it often ends up in the bottom of the squirrel’s cage—unread.

I want to quit! I’ve spent days emailing what seems like everyone—trying to find a foster home, help for a dog languishing in a shelter—but his time has run out, and the shelter has had to euthanize to make room for the next sad soul.

I want to quit! I swear, I walk away from my computer to stretch my legs—let the dogs out—and come back to find another dog in desperate need. There are times I really dread checking my email. How will I find the funds, the help, to save yet another dog?

I want to quit! I save one dog, and two more take its place. Now an owner who doesn’t want his dog—it won’t stay in his unfenced yard. An intact male wanders... This bitch got pregnant by a stray... This 3-month-old pup killed baby chicks... The dog got too big... This person’s moving and needs to give up his pet. I ask you, friends—what town, what city, what state doesn’t allow you to own a pet?

I want to quit! I just received another picture, another sad soul with tormented eyes that peer out of a malnourished body. I hear whimpering in my sleep, have nightmares for days...

I want to quit! Many of the “Breed People” don’t seem to want to hear about these dogs. Breeders either don’t realize, or just don’t care, how many dogs of their breed are dying in shelters.

I want to quit! I just got off the phone. “Are you Pyr Rescue? We want to adopt a male to breed to our female.” How many times do I have to explain? I have tried to explain about genetics, about health and pedigrees. I explain that rescue NEUTERS! I usually end up sobbing, as I explain about the vast numbers of animals dying in shelters across the country, as I describe the condition many of these animals are found in. I wonder if they really heard me...

I want to quit! It is not like I don’t have enough rescues of my own to worry about—but others have placed dogs improperly and aren’t there to advise the new owners.

I want to quit! There ARE some unscrupulous rescues out there—hoarders, collectors, and folks who will short change the care of the animals to make a dollar. The save them all, regardless of temperament, putting fellow rescuer’s and adopters at risk but not being truthful.

I want to quit! I have trusted the wrong people— had faith and heart broken...

I want to quit! AND THEN... My dog, Magnus, lays his head in my lap, he comforts me with his gentle presence—and the thought of his cousins suffering stirs my heart.

I want to quit! AND THEN... One of those 500 emails is from an adopter. They are thanking me for the most wonderful dog on earth—they cannot imagine life with out their friend—their life is changed, and they are so grateful.

I want to quit! AND THEN... One of my adopted Rescues has visited a nursing home. A patient that has spent the last few years unable to communicate, not connecting—Lifts his hand to pat the huge head in his lap, softly speaks his first words in ages— to this gentle furchild.

I want to quit! AND THEN... A Good Samaritan has found and vetted a lost baby, “I can’t keep him, but I’ll take care of him until you find his forever home.”

I want to quit! AND THEN... “Jamie took his first steps holding on to our Pyr.” “Joan, you should see this dog nursing this hurt kitten!” “I was so sick, Joan, and he never left my side...”

I want to quit! AND THEN... I get an email from a fellow rescuer, “Haven’t heard from you in a while—you OK? You know I think of you...”

I want to quit! AND THEN... A dozen rescuers step up to help, to transport, to pull, and to offer encouragement. I have friends I have never seen, but we share tears, joys, and everything in between. I am not alone. I am blest with family of the heart, my fellow Rescuers. Just days ago it was a friend who shared her wit and wisdom, whose late night email lifted my heart. Sometimes it is friends who only have time to forward you a smile. Often, it is my friends who forward me the notices of dogs in need.

There are Rescuers who see a failing transport and do everything they can to find folks to pull it together for you. Rescuers who’ll overnight or foster your Dog while you seek transport. There are Rescuers not used to or comfortable with your breed, but who put aside their discomfort to help. There are Rescuers whose words play the music of our hearts.

Foster homes that love your Rescue, and help to make them whole again—body and spirit. Foster homes that fit your baby in, though it may not be their breed.

Rescuers whose talents and determination give us tools to help us. Rescuers we call on for help in a thousand ways, who answer us, who hear our pleas.

Rescuers who are our family, our strength, our comrades in battle.

I know I cannot save every Pyr in need. I know my efforts are a mere drop in a sea. I know that if I take on just one more—those I have will suffer. I want to quit! But I won’t. When I feel overwhelmed, I’ll stroke my Magnus’s head while reading my fellow Rescuers emails. I’ll cry with them, I’ll laugh with them—and they will help me find the strength to go on.

I want to quit! But not today. There’s another email, another dog needing Rescue.


A Senior Rescue
By David Oslund
He is twelve years old, and full of joy, A rubber duck, his favorite toy

His fur is wavy, his tail is plume, His happiness and love fill the room

He flops on his back to say hello, Crying and whining, it's quite a show

His vision is gone, his old bones do ache, He won't go swimming, but loves the lake

He has big, floppy ears and his face is white, If ever challenged, he will stay and fight

He rides in the truck to his favorite park, His arrival announced by a wag and a bark

His very own pet is Muffin the Cat, She's small and gray, and somewhat fat

They cuddle together and sometimes doze, He nudges her gently & gets bopped on the nose

On his walks he will carry his leash in his jaws, His head held high, he ignores all his flaws

For play and walks he is already ready, With leash in his mouth, his stride is steady

On trails and paths, all bathed in sun, Lollygaging and sniffing is always great fun

As time goes on, his needs are few, Some kibble, a cookie, his mother's shoe

Our hearts are bursting & our eyes are damp, We've been blessed to have our beloved Champ!


A Different Day at Rainbow Bridge
Unlike most of the sun filled days at the Rainbow Bridge, this particular day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as any day could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no idea what to think, as they had never ever experienced a day like this before. But, the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people, knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.

It wasn’t long before an elderly animal came into view, his head hung low, so very low, and his tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for a while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far, far, too often. He approached slowly, very slowly, and was obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness.

Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again. As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But, alas, it was not to be. As he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who sadly apologized to him, and then told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over to the Rainbow Bridge.

With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also elderly and infirm. They weren’t playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass,forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his place among them,watching the pathway and waited.

One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn’t understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for a while to explain it to him.

“You see, that poor animal over there, with the others, they are rescues. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. Sadly, he never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across The Bridge.”

The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, “So what will happen now?” As he was about to receive his answer, suddenly, the clouds parted swiftly, and the gloom lifted with a mighty wind. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a single person and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden light and they were all once again,young and healthy, just as they were in the prime of their life.

“Watch, and see,” said the second animal. A second group of animals from those also waiting came to the pathway and bowed their heads ever so low as the person neared closer. As each bowed head, the person offered a pat on their head or a scratch behind the ears.

One by one, the newly restored animals fell into line and followed him towards The Bridge. And then, one by one, they all crossed The Bridge together.

“What just happened?” asked the first animal. “That was a rescuer. The animals you saw bowing to the rescuer in respect were those who found new homes because of all their work. They will all cross over to The Bridge, when their new families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort all those poor animals that they couldn’t place on earth across The Rainbow Bridge.”

“I think I like rescuers,” said the first animal. “So does G-D,” was the reply from the second animal, “So does G-D.”



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