Beagle under experimentation

Tell Me Why . . .
does no one hold me when I cry?

They say we are a good-natured breed,
cheerful and easy to get along with,
that to be happy there is little we need

A place to have fun and not much more,
good food, a warm spot to sleep, and love
but I won’t get that down on this floor.

I was brought here when I was fairly young —
a gawky, healthy pup and though it’s been a while
I still recall starlight and the bright, warm sun

I remember running on grass and gazing at the sky
I had litter mates once and we would tumble and play
now there are dogs I can’t see, but I hear them cry

When humans come to get me they are wearing white
sometimes they take me to an enclosed patio of cement
I can stretch my legs, but I’m alone. To prevent a fight?

Once, a human pulled me out of my cage and on her sleeve
I could smell the confusion and despair from one of my kind
It made me nervous, I whined and I squirmed, wanting to leave

She flinched, a person yelled at her, and they walked away
since that time, when they come for me, there is no smell
no scent of the others who live in this jail of gray

They use needles and hurt me, but I don’t know why
What they do to me makes me feel very sick
They may mumble, “This won’t hurt much,” but it’s a lie

Other times they put me to sleep and I awake in fear
Sometimes something’s wrong with my eye or my ear
or I have sores, cuts, and I’ve lost some of my hair
I’m afraid, and sad, wondering how long will I be here?

Someone should know that my soul is alive
and though they continue to hurt me,
my loving heart remains sweet
I haven’t a name, just a number: KB-5 . . .

. . . there are no toys, no walks, no treats

Two humans have come to collect me
one is carrying a small plastic bag
The other, with a needle in hand, lifts me up
and lays me down on a cold metal slab
I’m given a shot, but this time it feels different —
it reaches inside of me, and goes deep

Shivering, I feel like I should cry
but all that comes out is a whimper
Why is there no one to hold me?

Tell me why . . .
the others and I must die?

Dedicated to all the dogs and animals who are killed in the name of science

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