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A Twist in the Tale: When Will You Take Me Home?

When Will You Take Me Home? Image of older dog behind chain link cage.

By Jenny Kalahar

So many pets wait and wait for good new homes. Please take a moment from your day to read this and to consider if you have the ability to open your heart to a dog, a cat, or another animal who needs your care, attention, companionship, and love.

When Will You Take Me Home?

The blue of morning is coming
I can see it from this kennel.
The fog will lift and you will come
looking us over and over again

Who are you looking for
as you pause at each dog,
kneeling and scratching our ears?
What aren’t you finding as you look into our eyes?
Why do you leave with none of us at your side?

Now the sky is bright and clear
I can smell the sun on the grass I can’t touch
can’t feel, can’t roll in
can’t walk on beside you
all because you won’t take me home

Volunteers feed us and tell us we’re good dogs
and we are—all of us are.
They whistle to cheer us while we wait
for some family to point at our cage and say yes.
But most of us are still here when the main doors are locked
and the dark comes and we are alone
listening to each other tell stories about
when we used to have people we loved

When will you take me home, my friend?
When will you point at me and say yes?
When can I leap for pure, sweet joy
feel your hand on my head with tenderness
When will I have no kennel bars to sleep next to
and no dreams full of wishes or fears?
When will I sleep in a home full of love?
Oh, when will you take me home, dear?

What’s this? You’re back!
And you’ve brought a young boy
and you’re kneeling to pet my head!
And one tiny finger points right at my overjoyed face
as a single nod from you finally happens!

The other dogs stand to salute me as we walk by.
They wag curly and straight tails to congratulate
and I can barely breathe in case this isn’t real
even though I’m now in your car!
And I’m scared you don’t mean it
so I don’t say a thing
all the long, hopeful drive to your farm
where you open the door to the warm spring day
where the sun on the grass is my own!
I can feel it! I can roll in it!
I can walk on it beside you!
I can run to you for a strong hug!
This is the day I’ve been waiting so long for!
Today!
Today when you finally took me home


More from Jenny:

Weegee and the Hoarse Whisperer

What Kind of Wonder is My Cat?

My Cat Thinks I Should Stop Writing About Her

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