Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Man And His Dog

There was a homeless man who 'camped' in the covered garage at the bank where my office was located. You'd see him huddle down for the night, along with his little dog, a small scruffy little terrier mix. When I walked through the garage on my way to lunch, I would often check to see where he was and then bring him a burger and drink, too. He always tore the sandwich in half, ate one half and gave the other to his dog.

I started bringing him a bag of dry dog food every month and he took great pains to keep it dry & his dog rode seated in the child's seat in the grocery cart wherever he went. One especially cold winter morning, I noticed his dog was missing and he seemed utterly forlorn. I bought him some coffee and he explained how the city rounded up the homeless and took them to the shelter because it was bitterly cold and they took his dog away from him and took her to the shelter (no license, no tags, no rabies vaccination). I was appalled.

I took the morning off, picked him up from the garage & drove him to the shelter where we asked to look for his 'lost' dog. When we found her, she put up such a racket of pure joy upon seeing him: yipping, yelping, wiggling uncontrollably. Paws squeezed between chain link trying to touch her master and his fingers stroking her little face.

I paid for her license, basic shots and retrieval fee and he rode back in silence hugging her so tight, I thought he would break her. When we got out, I told him to keep her safe. He hugged me, made Sasha give me a smooch of thanks, and hurried off to where he'd hidden his cart.

I understand the need to keep these souls safe but taking his one undeniable friend -- while legally founded -- was gut-wrenchingly wrong on so many other levels. ~Cynthia

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