I shall be a believer of all that is good in man and of all that is deserving in animals.

I shall plead for their lives and campaign for their safety.

I shall seek out the injured and the maimed, the unloved, and the abandoned and tend to them in their last days.

By Connie Goedecke

Veteran HSS Rescuer and Foster Mom

Dodger, a 'special needs' Sheltie: at rescue, in foster care, and adopted into his forever home.

All dogs come into rescue bearing some mark of their former lives. For some, it's as simple as a matted coat, or a disease they've picked up. For others, it's an emotional response: fear, wariness, neediness, aloofness, withdrawal. For yet others, it's a limp from the buckshot in his flank, or a snaggle-toothed grin.

A Dog sits waiting in the cold autumn sun,
Too faithful to leave, too frightened to run.
He's been here for days now with nothing to do
But sit by the road, waiting for you.

When I was a puppy, I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh.

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 belly rub.

Nothing could have prepared me for that first sighting. Joan had warned me what to expect, but never having seen what was described, could my imagination conceive of such a sight. I was told he had been abused, malnourished, and was severely underweight. But translating that into a real live flesh-and-blood creature was something I had no experience in doing.

Have you ever seen a child's favorite stuffed animal that has been loved on for years? Often it is threadbare, has lost stuffing, so is "baggy," and has lost the sheen to its fur and the gleam to its eye.

By Crystal Ward Kent

When you bring a pet into your life, you begin a journey - a journey that will bring you more love and devotion than you have ever known, yet also test your strength and courage.

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.

will lend to you for a while, a Pup, God said,
For you to love him while he lives and mourn for him when he's dead.
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years, or maybe two or three,
But will you, 'till I call him back, take care of him for me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you, and (should his stay be brief)
You'll always have his memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught below I want this pup to learn.
I've looked the whole world over in search of teachers true,
And from the folk that crowd life's land, I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to take my Pup back again?

To my dearest family,
some things I'd like to say.
But first of all, to let you know,
that I arrived okay.

I'm writing this from the Bridge.
Here I dwell with God above.
Here there's no more tears of sadness.
Here is just eternal love.

Why We Rescue

So often I hear, "I don't know how you do it. I couldn't give up a dog that I'd fostered."

Yes, it's hard -- harder with some than with others. But they need someone to take that risk. Without someone willing to give a piece of his heart, these dogs would, quite literally, die.

A while back, I ran across this story. It explains, better than I could, how foster homes keep doing what they do. If you've ever said, "I couldn't give up a dog that I'd fostered," please read this story and consider risking your heart -- for the dogs.

Dear God, please send me somebody who'll care!
I'm tired of running; I'm sick with despair.
My body is aching; it's so racked with pain,
And Dear God I pray as I run in the rain
That someone with love me, and give me a home,
A warm cozy bed and a big juicy bone.

To Top