You probably already know from previous posts that I live at the tip of the Mexican Baja California Sur peninsula where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. As beautiful and wild as it is here, there is cruelty hidden under this beauty. It’s a cruelty many people fight against, but we do not always have the law on our side, even though we are supposed to, but sometimes, when it comes to animals, the law gets a little “lax” …
And then there is the threat of getting in trouble with the very people you are denouncing for animal cruelty. Repercussions against you or your own animals … I am afraid of that. I’ve seen it happen … I’ve seen many cruelties in this paradise …
The people who have the dogs I wrote a poem about are not necessarily cruel. I have talked to them often about their dogs, and I think it is something ingrained in them, from generations of ranchers, something they find nothing wrong with.
They also say that they chain them, because they don’t want them to escape the property … I know what you’re thinking: “duh, build a fence” I have told them the same thing … it’s a big ranch, they say. Fine, then build them a corral, or some fenced area, don’t fence the whole freaking ranch, of course …
There is some good news, though. A few years ago they gave me one of their dogs, Ellie, a sweet female which I sent to Canada where she is adopted and lives a happy life in a loving home. Her family adores her and she is spoiled rotten. Ellie went from chains to freedom.
Ellie’s sons are still here, at the ranch. One of them is my buddy, and sometimes I take him for a walk to relieve him from his life on a chain. He loves those walks! His brother is terrified of people, but he does want to come close to me, he is just so afraid … I need more time with him.
The people are nice to me, and I want to keep it that way. I figure that I can help these dogs more as long as the owners and I have a good relationship. If I anger them, then I can’t look after those dogs anymore. Sometimes I stop and say hi to the dogs, spend some time with them, bring them a treat, and I always give them some love.
My heart breaks for them, but it is what I can do for them. I resolved to be patient, and hopefully one day I can get the owners to surrender those dogs to me.
Here is my poem. It is going into the book I am publishing soon, my collection of poems. I haven’t set a publishing date yet, but I am aiming for February 2020. I have also written other poems for my book, I can’t publish every poem here, right? Then what would be the point of the book 😉 ? But I am happy to share some of my work here, especially this poem, In Chains, because I hope to get the message out.
Dedicated to Elijah and Josh (names have been changed)
Sometimes we wag our tails
We get up and bark
Rattling our chains
Only when she comes, our light in the dark
We spend our days
Lonely and bored
Always forced to stay
In the same spot where we are stored
Like unwanted furniture, collecting mold
Our chains preventing us from escape
“It’s for our best” we’ve been told
How so? What is at stake?
If not our sanity and freedom
Which they stole from us
Us being their property, the deed is done
Day in day out,
we wither away, imprisoned by chains
And when she comes, we bark, we shout
For she feels our pain
Her heart is pure
She gives us love, her soul is torn apart
For the prison we endure
Every time she drives by with a bleeding heart
She calls our names, Elijah and Josh
And sometimes she stops her car
Gives us love, her hands caress us
We jump up, seeing in this darkness, our star
Overcome with joy by this simple act of love
Her tears, dissolving our chains
For a moment we feel free as a dove
A tiny, fleeting moment in our existence
For it is no life
She talks and pleads for a lighter sentence
A fence, no chains, but she wants to strife
With our humans, who live with us, yet are always away
But if she angers them
We’ll be abandoned to our fate
To remain our compassionate friend
In sorrow and patience she waits
Sharing her love when time allows
Hoping it’s not too late
To adopt us, when our humans fail
This is what she vows