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Precious Bertha         
- Donna Ayala, 1987          
Bertha was a winner
or so her breeder thought
the biggest of the litter
there was not even a male fitter
many would have bought her
if they had only known
but, Bertha's breeder worked hard
her parents were never shown.
One day a couple took a fancy to the pup
the breeder had decided to keep
but we all know how money talks.
Bertha went home with a family
but here the story begins
the child was allergic
Bertha is for sale again
the local paper an outlet
they had to let her go
each day the child sickened
Bertha's heart was broke.
Tears were ever present
as she rode in back of that truck
a guard dog was her purpose
but Bertha just wanted to love
she lashed at the end of her chain
"pet me, pet me please!"
but she wasn't wanted
they could not make her mean.
A madam saw her picture
at the local vet
she bought the dog
sent her away
her friend owned a pet ranch
Bertha seemed happy
the lady here is nice
her bed is warm and dry
the lady bred her twice
Bertha had no puppies
now worthless in her eyes
and so she took poor Bertha
to the shelter to be euthanized.
Bertha cried out weakly
her heart was not intact
she begged each passing visitor
"Oh please love me,
give me a home
I'll always be your friend
and I will never roam"
She touched the hearts of many
"Such a pretty dog!"
"She seems so sweet and gentle"
"Let us give her a home".
A sign hung on her cage
and so the breed
was deemed to be
they did not want the responsibility.
Bertha oh poor Bertha
she only wanted a home
a hug, a touch,
someone to love so much.
Bertha is at rest now
her tombstone should have read
"Here lies precious Bertha
a constant loving friend".
That did not happen
she lies at the local dump
her coffin a plastic garbage bag
along with a tiny numbered ID tag
her bones are not alone
they were all once owned
there are not a surplus
of loving lifelong homes.
Bertha's breeder has a litter
she recalls those of the past
"I wonder what happened to Bertha?
She was one of the BEST!"

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