In Chains – A Poem Dedicated to Two Souls in Captivity


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.

fenceThey 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)

In Chains

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

Photo by Jolanda van der Meer on Unsplash


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  1. Thanks a lot for such an amazing review about In Chains A Poem Dedicated To Two Souls In Captivity and explanations are given.

    Although some animals do not deserve to be treated that way, this is their fate. A very sad article, but the best thing about it, and I read a lot. I will definitely show my friend’s poetry on the site.

    Thanks, again for this post. If you don’t mind, I will share this article on my social media account. Good luck!

    1. Fate is hard to change when it is not in your power, like in those dog’s case. I do what I can for them, within my limits. It’s the least I can do.

      Thank you for sharing! Sharing is caring 🙂

  2. Hello Lila,

         First, I share your passion for animals and humane treatment of them.  I agree with your corral option over chains 100%.  That said, I do see how owners, depending on their upbringing, can have a different point of view.

    My concern is the one that’s scared of people.  Why?  Usually, there’s a cause for such fear and that’s what makes me sad.

    I commend you for doing what you can while trying to keep the peace and bring the dogs some joy.  Please keep your efforts up and keep us posted on your progress.

    Thank you,


    1. Hi Scott,

      I don’t want to be tough on the owners either, it is a different mindset, an old-fashioned one, it doesn’t mean that they are necessarily cruel, so the best thing is indeed having a good relationship with them instead of storming the ranch and scolding them, right?

      The dog is scared, because he used to be chained at the side of the ranch, right by the road, and I asked the owners about that. They told me that they’re not sure, but that it’s possible that passers-by or people who drive by may have done things to scare him … He is no longer at the side of the road but within the ranch, next to the other dog. It’s sad, he wants to approach me, I think he knows it is safe, but he is afraid. I’m not giving up though 🙂 

  3. This is such a beautiful poem, you are very talented. You should feel proud that you were able to support Ellie and guide her through the transition from a life in chains to life with a loving family. Can I ask – how did you find this new home for her?

  4. This is such a beautiful poem, you are very talented. You should feel proud that you were able to support Ellie and guide her through the transition from a life in chains to life with a loving family. Can I ask – how did you find this new family for her?

    1. Thank you, Catherine!

      I found a home for Ellie through a dog adoption agency in Canada. They take in rescues from Mexico and also from Korea and they find amazing homes for them. We do the paperwork, find escorts, and then we send them over. I have sent other dogs up there with that agency too, and I always get updates about the dogs. They all get such beautiful fur-ever homes, it is heartwarming. I am happy that Ellie found her home too! 🙂 

  5. My heart aches when I read your beautiful but heartbreaking story. I hope we evolve as humans enough one day to include animals as equal sentient beings and treat them with respect and love. Thank you for caring and acting. 
    I’m not sure you want any comments on your poem as it feels complete but if you do want to make some changes I would focus just a bit more on their captivity and a little less on your role. I feel that would center the message more. Thanks again for a great read.

    1. Hello,

      I hope the same thing, that one day we evolve enough to include animals as equal sentient beings. Thank you for your comment and suggestion 🙂

  6. Wow Lila, this is so adorable. You paint the picture so vividly I can literally feel their pain. On your own part, I think you’re an amazing human. Your efforts to relieve the dogs are paying off since you’ve been able to get their mother proper care.

    The sentiments you share from the poem are lovely as well, reciting from the captive’s perspective. This is really great.

    Thanks for sharing

  7. I lived in a duplex many years ago when we owned a dog. Not understanding the consequences, we chained him up outside during the day while we were gone. This was only done while we were gone. On one particular hot day, our poor dog Bruno, wasn’t there to greet me like he always was. Seems he wrapped himself around the air conditioning unit which was on the west side of the house. Between the heat of the day and the heat coming from the air conditioning unit, it became too much for him and he died out there.

    You do not know how awful I felt. I’m an animal lover and never intended to harm my wonderful dog. It broke my heart and I swore I would never chain a dog up again. Being an animal lover, we did eventually get another dog. I left him in the house while we were gone and shortly after that, we moved to our own house where the first thing we did was fence in the back yard.

    I also had another experience with a friend’s dog who was always chained up. Where they lived wasn’t in the best part of town, and their dog was chained to a stake in the ground. That dog looked like an old junk yard dog, and I’m sure no stranger would get past him. I always stopped and gave him attention, and always felt sorry that he couldn’t have more. I tried getting that dog away from my friends, but never could do it.  

    Your beautiful poem brought back these painful memories, but if one animal’s life can be saved by your message it is well worth it. God bless your caring soul.

    1. Your story is heartbreaking, Willow. I’m sorry for what happened to Bruno …It feels terrible when this happens … I can only imagine. 

      I’m sorry for having brought up those painful memories. Please don’t feel guilty. You did what you could for your dog, it was an accident. 

      Thank you for trying to help your friends’ dog. Even if you couldn’t get him away from them, at least you gave him some love, and that must have meant a lot to him.

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