K9 Heroes, A Veteran
By Barbara Snow
An Animal Rights Poem from All-Creatures.org

All of God's creatures have rights, a fact that most people don't seem to recognize. This includes both human and non-human animals, but not all of them can speak for themselves.

K9 Heroes, A Veteran
By Barbara Snow

How many more names would be on that wall?
Were it not for you – you heeded our country's call
You served and you bled thru all our war years
Many of you died with only a handler's tears
Your duties are many, you scent and you track
Your eyes tell me always, "I've got your back"
You rescue and save lives and when that’s in vain
You recover to bring closure to a family’s pain

You outsmart our enemies – it's you that they fear
You warn me when mines and explosives are near
You guard our beaches and borders and our Commander-in-Chief
Words “Stop, or I’ll release my dog”, means it over for a thief
Your eyes burned in Oklahoma City, your paws felt the flame
You brought me a small shoe – I moaned, “Oh God, No” in pain
You comforted me for a moment; you nudged me on too
You knew we weren’t finished; we had more to do

You pull me to safety you bring me a medic’s care
I open my eyes and know that you’re there
You have honor and spirit and feel our country’s pride
Sometimes in the night, only you knew when I cried
I wish you had time to just run and play
Catch a Frisbee and swim – for a dog, a good day.
But you are a trooper, to duty you must
My life before yours - you give me that trust

No matter how clever an arsonist’s M. O.
Your nose tell investigators what they need to know
Some call you Coastie, you get “Semper Fi’’
The chute makes you perk – you love when we fly
As an Officer and Deputy, its crime that you fight
You wear the badge of the elite – “Guardians of the Night”
The love of a mascot knows no race, class or ranks
Privates, Admirals, Generals all give you their thanks

When you outlive me and Taps reaches your ears
You stand there with honor among bagpipes and tears
When your bones become old and you no longer serve
Its medical care in retirement you earned and deserve
Congress must pass a law to give you this need
For all serving and in memory, for them I now plead
We must call you ‘Veteran’ for you are one too
No honor for me if there is none for you.

Till death do us part, this mantra rings true
They gave and give all for the Red White and Blue.

To learn more, visit K9 Veterans Day

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