A Rescue Dog’s Christmas Poem

A dog is not just for Christmas!!!

`Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
Every shelter is full – we are lost but not found,
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
We hope every minute that someone will care,
They’ll come to adopt us and give us the call,
“Come here, Max and Sparkie – come fetch your new ball! !”

But now we sit here and think of the days…
We were treated so fondly – we had cute, baby ways,
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew –
Now we’re no longer young and we’re no longer new.
So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
They reacted so quickly – why were they so rash?

We “jump on the children”, “don’t come when they call”,
We “bark when they leave us”, “climb over the wall”.
We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
Now we suffer the consequence of the errors they made.
If only they’d trained us, if only we knew…
We’d have done what they asked us and worshipped them, too.

We were left in the backyard, or worse – let to roam –
Now we’re tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye…
“Maybe someone else will give you a try.”
So now here we are, all confused and alone…
In a shelter with others who long for a home.

The kind workers come through with-a meal and a pat,
With so many to care for, they can’t stay to chat,
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer…
We know that they wonder how long we’ll be here.
We lie down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads…
Of a home filled with love and our own cosy beds. –

Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears –
Our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.
If you can’t adopt us and there’s no room at the Inn –
Could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year –
Can you give more than hope to everyone here?

Please make a donation to pay for the heat…
And help get us something special to eat
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
And more of us will, if more people will give.

Author unknown

Meet my Meeky!

Meeky...scarred but oh so beautiful!

Oh my…where do I start?  I am in love with this dog!  So much in love in fact, I am fostering her until I can bring her home permanently!  I really need this dog in my home and in my life.

Meeky is a sweetheart of a Pitbull I met here last Friday at the ESMA rescue/shelter (Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals), run by the very devoted Mona Khalil.  Here’s how this whole thing came about.

I was looking online for a Pitbull to adopt here in Egypt.  My sweet pooch is getting up in years, and among other reasons,  I just felt maybe it would benefit her to have a companion.  Unfortunately there are plenty of Pits for sale here, but I am strictly opposed to this practice.  With so many homeless animals in this world, I just cant see paying money for a dog–even a purebred and especially a Pitbull.  The shelters will soon be as full of them here as they are now in the USA, because these wonderful dogs  are so misunderstood and too often mishandled.  So I googled “pitbulls for adoption in Egypt” and found a message board where someone had posted a picture of Meeky, listing her as located at ESMA.  So I called Mona Khalil, ESMA’s director, and we made arrangements to meet at the shelter.

Meeky was brought to the shelter by a breeder who supposedly (cough-cough),  in an effort to kill fleas, doused her with acid!!!  Mona didnt believe the story and neither do I.  I dont imagine anyone would be that stupid.  I wont discuss my suspicions here about what I think really happened, but Mona took Meeky in and got her the much needed treatment she needed.  Talk about an angel of mercy, Mona is indeed that!

My visit to ESMA was just incredble.  The work being done there is first-rate!  Rather than type out my feelings again, I’ll copy here the post I sent to the AWAR egroup after my visit.  Meantime,

I really am so excited I cant sleep and wanted to write a note to the group to tell you about my experiences here today at ESMA. This was my first ever visit to a rescue/shelter in Egypt, and if some of you have never been, I STRONGLY encourage you to go! You cant possibly appreciate the work that is done here if you’ve never seen it. Where do I even start to explain why???

First of all…as an American expat, I am used to the shelter systems in the USA. They are stark buildings, usually found in urban areas of the cities, and sad to say…as wonderful as the work they do there is, these places, compared to ESMA, seem more like prisons. Dogs and cats are basicaly warehoused in cages with very little interaction with other pets or people–most dogs for instance only get out of their cages to be walked if there are enough volunteers on hand, and as you can imagine–they are few. Dogs spend far too many days stuck in small cages, and cats too unless they are lucky enough to be in a shelter where the cats have recreation time in a large room where they can all socialize together. Even then they end up back in cages at night.

But ESMA—oh my goodness! What a wonderful place. It’s in a rural place way out in the country past Giza…I guess in the vicinity of Abu Sir or Sakkara. I didnt see all of it because many of the dogs were running free, anxious to greet us but so that Mona and I could talk about Meeky, we went to the office quickly.  But there were so many dogs running around us, all happy and looking fit and well fed. Workers were around cleaning and doing their jobs to make the shelter a good place for the animals to live. I saw beyond the entrance yard, another
fenced area with more dogs playing together, and rooms along the side–quite large in comparison to ANYTHING I ever saw in USA!!! I am assuming those rooms probably only housed 1 or 2 dogs each–there was just so much to take in all at once and I didnt get a chance to ask Mona all the questions I had in my mind…I was really concentrating on sweet Meeky, the Pitbull which had been doused with acid by an evil breeder, and with whom I fell in love with immediately! In fact as the dogs were greeting us, Meeky came running like a jet from far and was the only dog who actually jumped up on me, her paws on my chest…I feel like there was some kind of connection there–like she knew I was there to see her and make arrangements for eventual adoption. Even with her scars, she is one of the most beautiful Pitbulls I have ever seen. I fell in love with her on sight!

I cant stress enough how important and innovative this type of “free range” shelter is to the attitude and health of the dogs. In the USA shelter dogs suffer from depression–and often disease–since they are so deprived of interaction with other dogs and even people. But these were HAPPY dogs!!!  Reallllly happy dogs!!! Well fed, healthy and most important–safe!!! :-)))

This was by far the best scenario I have ever seen for rescued animals–far greater than anything I could have ever imagined! ESMA needs and deserves the support of everyone on this list–in any way you think you can. I will be fostering Meeky and hope to have her visit me at least a couple times a month until I can totally adopt her and keep her permanently.

And I want to tell Mona if there is anything I can do to help ESMA, I am more than willing. I think concerned animal lovers here could contribute money if possible, and even donations of food, blankets, toys, medical supplies–even bake dog treats–and I know Mona has a program to pick up donations of money–so maybe supplies too. I bake my own dog biscuits and it would be easy enough to bake extra for the ESMA dogs. There’s work to be done I am sure which wouldnt even require actually going to the shelter. There’s no limit to the work that could be done on behalf of these animals–even if just to raise  awareness.

Meeky after initial treatment at ESMA!

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Meeky now!