The Ones We Love
By je suis moi
24 Sep 2011
I grew up on a farm in Iowa. After living in several places between the years of 1956 till 1979 I settled here at this house. We have always had squirrels and wild birds the the past 32 years and they have always been fed. I have always had a dog and or cat, but in 1992 the strays began coming. I noticed the raccoons a few years latter. I took on their cause when a neighbor bragged about the BIG raccoon he poisoned as it was drinking out of his bird bath. I have been feeding them (or should I say I noticed them eating the cats food) since the summer of 2008. It started as a bucket of water and is now a child's swimming pool as their scarce water source. I have even seen Mother raccoons teaching their children to swim. Some may remember that picture I had posted a few years ago.
There have been several cats that came by and I befriended, and several that have died due to FIV. (feline aids) They were someones pets I think, but were tossed out to the street as they got older. Then Jake the dog came. He too of course was suffering from heart worms and several other medical problems. He lived for only five years, but I think they were his best five years ever. Then there was Cinder. She got her name because to the dirty coat and unkempt coat. What a sweet shy dog. Three days later she had five puppies. I found homes for 3 and kept 2. Oliver and Moses.
Just before I retired, three years later, a friend wanted to give me a puppy. Then she changed her mind. So with a puppy on my mind, I found a 8 week old mixed Cocker/Scottish Terrier. She is Miss Daisy. She became a Registered Service dog with lots of hard work and many classes. Then about a year and a half ago, along came Jack, looking for a drink of water. My neighbor and I both scolded him and told him to run along. So he did. After he left I felt so bad and mean. I kept going outside to see if by some small chance he might come back. He did about 4 hours later. Both Cinder and Jack were also heart worm positive and also needed to be "FIXED" as well as Cinders sons and Miss Daisy.
Mama cat came to me in the late 90's. She had at least three litters of kittens as a homeless cat, till she came here for help. She had her last litter here. mama cat died in 2005 of cancer and her four kittens will turn 18 this year. Mom and kittens were " fixed " too, way back when. All of my eleven cats were cats that found me. Prince Pepper was adopted from the Humane Society. He grew up with Miss Daisy and are best friends to this day.
Over the last ten years many of these feral cats have either died, had to be put to sleep or just left home to die.(of course they were outside feral cats) Each of them have a special place in my heart. The death of Tiny Tim was a very hard thing for me. He was here only a few short hours, but I have seen the Mama Raccoons with their children. They have a special bond and the Mothers are good teachers.
Here is a Poem that Sums it up for me.
IF NOT FOR YOU:
"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 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 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 the 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 are 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. "