Thursday, August 27, 2009

Poetry Friday: Trooper

Earlier this month, our local news reported on a pit bull found in a D.C. city dumpster, apparently a victim of dog fighting. She was taped inside a plastic trash bag and discarded.

I haven't been able to stop thinking about her and what a horrific existence she must have had. My heart aches to know that there are many animals abused everyday. I can't understand how someone could put an animal through so much pain.

I needed to do something, so I sent a donation in her honor to a fund for abused animals. That just didn't seem like enough so as I thought about what to share this week for Poetry Friday, I decided to share her story. She fought so hard to survive, the police officer who rescued her named her Trooper.

I couldn't get the lines to indent the way I wanted them to so I hope it still makes sense.

for Trooper

You weren’t willing
to die that day—
when they taped
your bruised and battered
body inside a plastic bag
and tossed you
into a city dumpster.

You weren’t willing
to die that day—
when you bravely chewed
your way through the darkness—

a hole just big enough
to be seen

your face layered
with blood and flies

barely alive—

You weren’t willing
to die that day
when your savior
freed your tortured limbs

too weak to stand alone
too strong to give up

You weren’t willing
to die that day—
neglected, abused
forced to be a fighter

but still

to forgive—

You can see a picture of Trooper and read more about her progress here.


  1. I had not heard Trooper's story. Thanks for telling it in such a moving way.

  2. Thanks, Tricia. I heard tonight that she is recovering and may be able to leave the animal hospital soon.

  3. You have a big heart. That poor dog. Touching poem!

  4. Linda,

    It's hard for me to imagine the cruelty that some people have in their hearts--that is, if they have hearts. I don't know how anyone can take pleasure from watching dogs--or other animals--destroy each other for sport.

    As Kelly said--this is a touching poem.

  5. This is a subject near and dear to our hearts at our house. Your poem is a wonderful tribute to the spirit of this dog--and the spirit of so many sweet, loving animals who have endured such horrible acts of cruelty. Thanks for sharing your poem!

  6. Kelly, Thank you for your very kind comment.

    Elaine, animal cruelty seems to be on the rise, at least I'm hearing an awful lot about it. My mother called to tell me about a little dog set on fire "just for fun." There's no way they can have hearts.

    Martha, the thing I was so amazed at was how after all she's been through, this little dog could still be such a loving animal. I doubt humans would be able to forgivethe way animals do.

  7. Linda, what a wonderful poem--great repetition! When I started reading it, I thought Trooper had died (I hadn't heard this news story), so your poem was so uplifting as I came to realize she had only been left to die, but had survived. I love the insistence of life, of hope in this poem. Thank you for sharing it--even if it did (along with the news story) make me cry.

  8. Thank you, Laura. You are always so kind. Trooper continues to improve, but how many other dogs are living in torture? Humans are supposed to be loving, compassionate creatures, not monsters. This has to be stopped.