Seven is the number of years I serve my owner, trotting, walking, loping, quiet, and gentle. I carry her children, husband, friends, neighbors. I have plenty of hay, horse friends, and time to myself. Green pastures, blue skies, I am at peace.
Six is the number of months I carry on in pain after falling. I do it for her, anything for her. She is impatient with me. I try hard to keep up, but the pain slows me down. Every step hurts. No one wants to ride me, a new horse arrives to carry on in my place. I do not know this word: “useless.”
Five is the number of hours I stand in the small pen at the auction. I hurt, I do not know these horses, I do not know these people. I’m far from my pasture. I search for comfort, switching weight off my painful leg, the people notice. I do not know this word: “lame.”
Four is the number of times my value is calculated by my weight. I don’t understand their words but I can read their eyes. Hard stares. I try to be invisible, but they see me. I do not know this word: “slaughter.”
Three is the number of sniffs I take of your face through the pen before deciding you are kind and safe. I like your eyes, they are soft. I like your hands they are gentle. Please don’t leave me here. I try to pick my feet up for you, it hurts. I try hard. I rest my muzzle in your hand.
Two is the number of minutes it takes for me to pass through another pen. I am scared, I am trapped, I am alone, people are shouting, it hurts to walk. A man is talking, his voice echo’s all around me, there are so many people watching me, hard stares. Suddenly it’s over.
One is the number of hours it takes before I walk onto a trailer. I am alone, I am scared, it is moving. The door opens, I hold my breath and brace at the light. It’s you!! I stand still and breathe slow. Kind hands, soft words, I’m not afraid now.
Two is the number of xrays the vet takes while I stand quietly for you, anything for you. Many days have passed. I have energy now, my pain is less. I like my new pasture, I like my new stall, I like my new hay. I don’t know why we have a vet but I stand still for his visits. So many visits. I do not know this word: “rehabilitation.”
Three is the number of months before the pain is all the way gone. I am relaxed with you, we start to ride together. I’m afraid the pain will come back, but you are gentle, so I try. I try hard for you, anything for you.
Four is the number of weeks I learn a new way of riding. Another person rides me every day. I’m becoming strong, I understand my lessons, I am proud to work, I feel you are happy with me, visiting me and learning together. I do not know this word: “training.”
Five is the number of years I work hard for you. We travel to shows, we work cows, we ride with friends. We do hundreds and hundreds of miles together. You trust me and I trust you, I give you everything I have, everything for you, anything for you. I memorize your rhythm, your looks, your moods. I know when to be wild and when to be still. We are a team.
Six is the number of minutes I try to hide the pain after a fall, but you see through me. I stand for the vet, still as a stone. The pain leaves but I sense your sadness. I remember a word from before when I had pain, “useless”, but you never say that word. You no longer ride me but I see you every day, for carrots and treats and long walks. I relax again, you will not abandon me. This is a new way of being together. I do not know this word: “retired.”
Seven is the number of breaths I take in your arms. It has been many years, we have grown old and wise and slow together. I lay down like so many times before but could not rise. You came right away. I tried for you, but I could not stand. You say its ok, sink down next to me. I breathe slow. You are very close, holding my head, weeping, I feel your sadness so I put my muzzle in your hand one last time to comfort you, anything for you. I breathe out. Green pastures, blue skies, I am at peace. I know this word: “loved.”
My name is ebony I try to be a good dog you are always mad at me now you loved me when I was a puppy I was cute and small it’s not the same now I grew sometimes I have accidents on the floor but I’m alone for so long and you don’t see what your boyfriend does when your not in the room.
You are excited today you tell me someone it coming for me I don’t know what this means I don’t like it. The person is here now shes scary to me I don’t like her you tell me it’s fine and to behave the other woman says it’s fine she loves dogs and that I’ll come around in a few days.
Now I’m in the car there’s a man he tells me to shut up and shoves me on the floor I’m so scared now I’m so sorry I wish I was a good dog.
We are at the place now it’s dark and scary there are other voices here barking and yelping help us they say.
I was thrown in a cage with no bedding no paper I don’t know were to go to the bathroom and it hurts to lie down, I haven’t had any food since I came here.
The woman comes back now and grabs me by the scruff of my neck and carries me away I’m so scared now and it hurts so much I try to scratch her hands away but it’s not working I’m taken to a hole and dropped in it.
There’s another dog there he is big with black crazy eyes and stinks of blood he sees me and charges at me I try to run but I’m not fast and he gets me by the neck digging his teeth in and shaking me I’m thrown and grabbed again.
Until I don’t feel it anymore. I cant cry anymore. My vision is dark now I feel myself slipping away I hear the people laugh though the woman saying I’d better look at the free to a good home adds again that was our last bait dog.
I’m sorry I was such a bad dog.
What did we ever do so wrong no one cares about us were just dogs we are in this cage for days before anyone looks at us the woman with the fat greasy face sometimes throws food at us we are so hungry it’s never enough we are always so hungry we get outside sometimes we drink out of puddles when there are no puddles we hope they remember to give us some.
It wasn’t always like this we had a good home I remember the first time I saw my human she smiled at me picked me up and kissed me on the head she loved me so much and I could tell she was good I remember when we were taken away.
The other human had a fight and the girl I love looked so sad she was crying and saying sorry to me the man took us away and left us here in hell I hate it here it’s sad and loud the ugly woman his us and her kids pull on us and we arnt loved anymore.
For 33 days this went on and on I lost weight my bones show I’m tired all the time I sleep more and more.
One day the ugly woman was yelling at the man who brought us here he put us in a cage and left us alone in the car for hours it was so cold I was so tired.
I woke up to the car moving were going somewhere but where?
It was dark when we stopped and were brought home I think it smells like my home I see the girl now she’s running to me and saying my name over and and saying how sorry she is I’m so happy to see her I love her so much.
Shes mad though at the man yelling what happened to them? Why are they so thin? She doesn’t get an answer.
Its been awhile now we eat everyday we always have water I love to play agay8and sit on the couch with my human. I hope I never go to the bad place again.
A new beginning for my rescue baby her little paws, her sweet face, it’s hard to think she ever knew hateful hands an evil face she is just like me I look at baby pictures of myself and wonder the same thing.
- Chantal Belanger
“I over-analyze situations because I’m scared of what will happen if I’m not prepared for it.”
— Turcois Ominek
My babies ❤
Chico ❤❤#chihuahua #dogs #dogsofinstagram #doglife #chihuahuasofinstagram
Can’t beat that smile of hers. ❤😊#chihuahua #dogs #dogsofinstagram #doglife
I’m trapped in my mind
Replaying my past over and over
As if I died
And my past is my hell
I’m here for all eternity.
Got this book today, it’s really hitting home about finding out who your are and where you came from. #books #bookphotography #whitelikeher
My girl❤ #chihuahua #dogs #dogsofinstagram #doglife
Bella and chico. ❤#chihuahua #dogs #dogsofinstagram #doglife
The girl looked at the sky through the trees her heart was slowing now her life ebbing away she realized she was cold and darkness was covering her vision she cried bitterly angry her life was ending like this she would never see her family again never be home.
What was done to me
You make light of my memories
It doesn’t take away from
Every hit and every rape
I was only a child
I’m nothing now…
Storyville - Defying the Cutting Season
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been illegal in Tanzania since 1998. But every year thousands of families still plan to have their daughters cut, an ordeal that could cost them their lives. The ‘Cutting Season’ takes place during the December school holidays.
During this time hundreds of girls are saved from FGM by the police, the government and the work of the Safe House. It is run by Rhobi Samwelly, who was herself a victim of FGM, and now, not only does she valiantly run the safe house but she also works with the local police to rescue and protect girls at risk while arresting the parents and cutters.
But they have a tough and dangerous job and old customs die hard. Men believe that girls must be cut to reduce promiscuity and cut girls command twice the bride price in cows as uncut girls. Girls like Rosie, just 12 years old, have had to make the most difficult choices of their young lives - run away from home, not knowing if they will ever see their families again, or submit to female genital mutilation and child marriage.
These brave and courageous young girls are fighting against a tradition that goes back thousands of years. They are standing up for their human rights and fighting for change in their community.
The Safe House is the one safe place they can escape to.
Me yelling at birds in the street to MOVE so they don’t die is probably the same feeling God has watching me live my life.