Love where you live!
Maybe you've seen them? A homeless man with his faithful canine companion stationed on the median trying to eke out a living from the kindness of others. Whatever their reason for living on the streets, the man is entirely devoted to the dog and the feeling appears to be mutual.
The first time I came across this duo was during a Sunday morning run. As I was heading west behind Best Buy I saw a homeless man pushing an empty shopping cart out of the delivery bay. When I doubled back I saw him sharing peanut butter and jelly from a jar with a little, brown dog. Out of concern I asked if there was any other food for the dog to which the man replied, “Nope, he eats what I eat.” Feeling sorry for the pup I asked him to wait while I went to Petco. He requested some samples as I ran off.
The day was heating up fast so I dashed into Starbucks first to get some water. The line was almost out the door so I courageously went up to the front to ask if I could go first to buy water for a homeless dog. As if by consensus the line parted like the Red Sea. With purchase in hand I thanked everyone who thanked me back and headed to Petco. The store manager was very understanding as I explained the plight of the dog. He went to the back to fill my request while I worried that the homeless man would not stick around. When the manager returned with a bag of samples literally bulging at the seams I almost hugged him but settled instead for a heartfelt thank you.
By this time the weather was climbing into the 90s. I was struggling in the heat with my arms full of food and water only to find the pair nowhere in sight. By instinct I continued walking toward the trolley overpass and much to my relief they were there. The man seemed genuinely surprised to see me as I am sure he has been let down in the past. Accepting the bounty he thanked me as I bent down to pet the gentle dog thankful that there was enough food for about a week.
The next time I saw them was at the intersection of Jackson Drive & Center Street. I handed over a ten while reminding the man that I was the “samples” lady. Later that evening I decided that buying dog food instead of giving money would at least guarantee temporary nutrition for the pup. Next day with a huge bag of Science Diet and some treats by my side I drove to the intersection hoping that they would be there. Eureka! They were there and as an added bonus I caught the red light. The man said, "No way" as I handed over the bags of food. We exchanged first names then I asked the all-important question. Now I know to buy Mighty Dog, which just happens to be the little, brown dog’s favorite.