Little Steps.

Maisie my love, you almost died,
When I saw your pain I broke down and cried.
The terror you felt was raw and true,
How can any man do what they did to you?

To be used as bait in a dog-fighting ring,
To be stabbed and burned among other things.
You were starved and beaten, drugged and weak
I dread to think of the tales could you speak.

No-one stitched you up, or tended your cuts,
When they burned you with cigs, did you scream that much?
Your ears and thighs were all ripped to shreds
Did you wish for the day that you'd just end up dead?

One year ago, a light almost went out
Then a man broke into that hell, and you both came back out.
He drove you up north, to get far far away
From the monsters, the pain and the death that allay.

He tied you to a kennel gate where you'd be found
The next morning there you were, with a note on the ground.
It told of the horrors, a past oh so black
The man had kept running, looking out for his own back

The kennel staff were sickened, they'd never seen such a sight,
They didn't think you had the strength to make it through the night.
You saw them cry and heard them talk,
Something about going on one last walk.

One of the girls named you 'Prettylady'- you won her heart,
She saw something in your eyes that pleaded for a fresh start.
She patched you up, kept you warm and gave you medicine
It helped numb the pain, and let the healing begin.

A year ago I saw your face, your eyes empty, your head hung low.
Terrified of your own shadow, wanting to run, but nowhere to go.
You stood and shook, tail tucked right under
I reached out to you, shaking my head in utter wonder.

How do you deal with a broken spirit and soul?
Come home with me Prettylady, together we make a whole.
You lied down in the car next to your new brother
He's gentle little Maisie, we'll love you forever.

Slowly, oh so slowly you came out from your mental hell.
Each day, with much love, we broke down that hard shell.
You'd wet yourself at every sudden movement and loud noise,
You hid behind your brother, wouldn't touch your treats or toys.

Then one morning you appeared upon my bed, a wagging tail to greet.
Then you curled up in my arms and fell so fast asleep.
You sighed a huge contented sigh; I swear I saw you smile
Look how far you've come my love, not little steps, but miles.

Each day I look into your eyes, so brown, so full, so deep.
My heart swells with pride and love for you: It fills my day, my life, my sleep.
Your confidence keeps growing with every waking hour
You truly are an inspiration Maiz; your faith in humans hasn't soured.

You turn three next month my little girl, your whole life lies ahead,
I love you waking me each morning for a snuggle on my bed.
Many years we'll have to play and run along the beaches and the hills,
You chase your brother; he chases back, the sun, the sand, the thrills.

I love the way you sit and stare at me, then paw me in the back,
I turn around and get a licky face and you roll over for a belly scratch.
I also love the way you try to sit upon my lap;
I know you're small but really babe, you're a Lurcher, not a cat.

How time has flown, a year has gone, our first gottcha day has been
The difference in your trust, your strength is now so easily seen.
Your waggy tail, your raggy ears, your exaggerated yawn,
Your crooked little wonky smile, you roaching on the lawn.

The little things you do each day all make me laugh and smile
Look how far you've come my love, not little steps, but miles.

By Suzanne O'Brien.

Maisie.

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