Photo Essay

The Ones We Love

A Very Sad Raccoon Tale ~ A New Years Dedication

My Family

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.


"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 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. "

Author Unknown

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23 responses

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (25 Sep 2011):

    It sounds like your life is dedicated to the wonderful care that you give your animals and that is very noble. Great narrative and pictures to support your story! You have my vote!

  • Steven Schutz

    Steven Schutz gave props (26 Sep 2011):

    Most excellent reading and superb images...

  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (26 Sep 2011):

    What a touching story, Gloria. I think that poem was written just for you. It is so beautiful to see you pour your love on these adorable animals.

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (27 Sep 2011):

    Nodoubt you are a great soul... my dear... God s blessing are there for you all the times because you are doing a great job... Vote thousand times and a fantastic photoessay and narration woth beautiful loved ones!!!

  • Regenia Brabham

    Regenia Brabham gave props (28 Sep 2011):

    You are an Angel Gloria. I don't think everyone realizes how heart breaking it is to look into an animals eyes that is starving, injured, or abandoned. The money involved in saving them is astronomical. The heart break that is caused when you can't save one. If everyone did know or understand, there would not be a need for all the shelters. A fantastic story Gloria and such sweet captures. My vote.

  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield gave props (28 Sep 2011):

    I love both the photos and the story. You are a beautiful soul! I definitely voted yes, and also voted for story of the week!

  • je suis moi

    je suis moi gave props (28 Sep 2011):

    THANK EACH OF YOU FOR YOUR VOTE. These animals are turely family.

  • Mary VanSinclair

    Mary VanSinclair gave props (28 Sep 2011):

    You touched my soul. So beautiful. You not only have my vote, but you've captured my heart with your photos.

  • Ann Reece

    Ann Reece   gave props (28 Sep 2011):

    You are a wonderful person to take care of the animals that need you. I enjoyed your story and the poem. Got my vote for both the story and for it to be story of the week : )

  • je suis moi

    je suis moi gave props (28 Sep 2011):

    Thank you Ann and Mary and again to all who stopped by. xoxox

  • Vidyavati Chandan

    Vidyavati Chandan (Deleted) gave props (28 Sep 2011):

    sweet...voted :-)

  • Christopher J Chalk

    Christopher J Chalk gave props (28 Sep 2011):

    This is a beautiful essay Gloria! Apart from your caring of our a little critters and all animals alike you are a significant part of what JPG is all about, a family environment☺. You have my vote on this great essay, Gloria ♥

  • Vivian Allen

    Vivian Allen gave props (29 Sep 2011):

    If more people like you existed all the "lost" ones would be happy!

  • Yoli Collazo

    Yoli Collazo said (29 Sep 2011):

    This story has touched my heart, you also have my vote. Never change, always be the kind sould you are.

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (29 Sep 2011):

    voted already and i have voted the nomination too....

  • Niharika Sanyal

    Niharika Sanyal gave props (15 Oct 2011):

    A wonderful story, certainly worthy of being recognised. Your actions are very moving and inspiring. I hope that many people who stop by will be inspired by your story to take a little time out everyday to just be a little kind to the animals around them. You have my vote, Gloria!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (4 Nov 2011):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (24 Jan 2012):

    I read and viewed your wonderful photo essay! Thank you for your dedication and good work. May we have more like you. Voted!

  • Sarah Springer

    Sarah Springer (Deleted) gave props (22 Mar 2012):

    What can I say but a gigantic thank you and just keep the love going

  • Roger  D. White Jr.

    Roger D. White Jr. gave props (29 Jan 2013):

    so glad you are there for those critters...You'll be blessed for helping them..

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