In memory of all dogs who have ever been trapped in puppy mills.

My wish is for each one to be rescued, and to find your own promise.
RIP, my little prince



every day the same –
horror, pain, constant anguish.
the used, tortured, lost.

nights hold no comfort
stacked, one above the other,
factory of fur.

multiply, produce,
there are quotas to fill and
purchasers to please.

no one pays them mind
as dank gloom permeates the
tortured, struggling souls.

cold, confined spaces –
hard, stark surfaces replace
nature’s luring turf,

where strong limbs ought to
leap and soar with abandon,
joyful, cherished, loved.

then, without warning

strong hands reach into
the cold of the night, grasping
hellish, grim prisons.

fear grips the fatigued,
grotesquely matted ones, chained,

ray of golden hope,
strokes of compassion, kind words –
the dawn of rebirth.

finally, given
a chance to be free, to thrive,
completely alive.

heavenly years melt
time and space as four- and two-
legg’d bond at the heart.

furry one exhausts
energies too quickly as
bleak grief overtakes.

tear streaked face attests
to mem’ries shared, forever
treasured in the heart.

away he flies, freed
to roam the galaxies with
those who’ve gone before

to the Rainbow Bridge.

hold on, li’l man,
never forget that one day
i’ll come, too – promise.


photo credit: Stacey L. Rhoades
© Julia Penner-Zook, 2015


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