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Danny a neglected little dog finds happiness with the homeless on the streets of L.A.

Updated on December 14, 2015
always exploring profile image

I am a writer of poetry and fiction. I especially love flash fiction. My name is Ruby, and I live in Southern Illinois. I am a retired R.N.

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Danny runs through the fields of clover and dandelion, romping with joy as he stops to smell the sweet aroma.

Danny thought he was in doggie heaven when he found his new friends. ( The homeless people who lived on the streets in L.A. ) He knew he was sure to get food from the dumpstures where his friends searched daily.

Danny was adopted from an animal rescue by a man named Roger. Roger was a busy man who found that a pet needed a lot of care, in fact more than he was willing to give. Often leaving him caged with just enough food and water to keep him alive.

Oh how Danny yearned to be free to romp and play with the other doggies he watched from his locked cage.

One day a little neighbor boy came to his cage and thought, " You look so unhappy. I wonder if I turn this key it will open the door and set you free? " Sure enough when he turned the key the door swung open freeing Lenny. He licked and smothered the little boy with wet kisses as he danced around with glee.

He began to run. He ran through fields of clover and fields of dandelion and a forest full of trees, stopping frequently to smell the sweet aroma.

When he entered the city streets he felt afraid. Where could he go, would he be picked up by the mean old dog catcher?

He felt so free and happy he soon forgot to be afraid. He stopped outside a restaurant and sniffed the grilled steak sizzling. He was quickly shooed away by the owner. The same thing happened at the doughnut factory, then a back alley caught his eye. He cautiously entered and was greeted by an old woman pushing a Target shopping cart. She reached inside a plastic bag and shared a hotdog with him. He noticed an old man asleep on the concrete floor. He laid down beside him and slept peacefully. When he awakened he was treated with a bowl of milk and a half of a balogna sandwich.

Danny soon began to mill around the alley. He saw people of all races, old men and women, young men and women, families with children. He followed them out to the main street, all were begging for money, some holding signs asking for money for food.

Most of the people passing by looked the other way, sometimes hostile words were hurled at them like, get a job you lazy bum! Occasionally a person would drop change in their cups. The old man would buy a cheap bottle of wine and retreat back to the alley where he felt safe.

One night Danny was awakened with the sound of vile curse words and painful punches from a gang of young hoodlums looking to get their kicks from hurting a homeless man. They beat the old man until he was unconscious. Lenny began to bark and nip their legs. They kicked him in his side causing a skin tear. A police siren scared them away, but all who lived in the alley knew they would return again when they needed a fix.

The old woman with the Target shopping cart nursed Danny's skin tear with an antibiotic salve and a bandaid she kept handy in her cart. Soon he was romping about again.

One day the police came and told the homeless people they had to leave. The city has passed an ordinance, no loitering within the city limits. They all went together and found a place under an overpass outside the city. Of course Danny was bundled up and went for a ride in the Target cart to their new home.

The nights were beginning to turn cool so they found an old barrel to build a fire in. They continued to go into town to look for food and beg for money.

Danny stayed close to the old man, sleeping by his side every night. They shared food and a blanket wrapped tightly around the old man's arm where Lenny slept.

One day a police car pulled up informing the people that a new facility had been opened up to house the homeless. They were all thrilled except the old man. He knew he couldn't take Danny. He asked anyway and was told, " No animals allowed. "

One dark and bitter cold night the old man and Danny were huddled together under the blanket when the old man began to cough. His face turned red and his breathing labored. Danny stayed by his side until he stopped breathing.

The next morning the body was removed to the city morgue. Danny stayed close by only leaving for food and water.

A young woman appeared the next day, thanking them for notifing her her of his death. She was his granddaughter and had tried many times to get him to come live with her, but he refused.

The policeman told her about Danny always being by his side. She looked at Danny and felt a closeness. She patted him and told him to come with her. He felt safe with her and felt her kindness. She asked the policeman if he knew his name and he told her that everyone called him Danny. She looked at him and said, " Let's go home Danny. " He jumped in her car licking and kissing her face. Somehow he knew he'd found a new home and a love that matched his love for the old man who shared all that he had with a runaway dog looking for love.

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    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 21 months ago from Shelton

      my goodness this was amazing... a bold triumph.. it'll stain my heart for years to come... brilliant...

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 21 months ago

      Sweet story, Ruby.

      Could not tell you when I heard that song, last.

      It is good to see you back writing.

      DJ.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 21 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Unfortunately there is a lot of truth in this story. Many of the homeless I see have a dog, and although the dog is obviously loved, it is rarely taken care of well....and then deaths occur and the dog is left to wander.....anyway, I'm rambling. You know I love a happy ending and you gave me one. Thank you my friend.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 21 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Ah, what a story. And went I saw the video, you picked? Well, it's a good thing this isn't on paper, or the letters would be blobs of ink!

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Frank. Your comment touches ' me ' heart. Thank you so much....

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 21 months ago from south Florida

      Thanks for this sweet story of Lenny who no longer needs to roam.

      Now his big heart has repaid him and he has a lovely new home.

      Stories with happy endings are the best and you shone with this one, Ruby.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello DJ. It's good to be back writing. Thank's for the sweet comment. I haven't heard that song in years either. Cheers...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Bill. I know you love happy endings. I do too. Although this is fiction, it continues to happen all over the world. Thank's so much for coming to read....

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello rebeccamealey. I must admit I shed a few tears while writing the ending. I'm so glad you enjoyed the video and Lenny's story. Thank you so much..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello drbj. Your comment warms my heart. I'm happy that you enjoyed. Thank you, but I missed a poem from you. Hee..Cheers my witty friend..

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 21 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Oh Ruby,

      Lenny has left his pawprint on my heart...and your writing leaves tears in my eyes.

      It is truly wonderful to have you back inspiring with your tales of humanity, love and hope - more, please.

      Love you and hugs, mar

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 21 months ago from United States

      Nice work my friend and blessings. whonu

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 21 months ago from southern USA

      Awweee, Ruby, this is the sweetest most heartrending story I have read of late! You have certainly written it so well and it is memorable, something all writers dream of ...for their writing to be memorable. I am happy Lenny is going to be loved so much more. I believe all who read fall in love with him.

      And that video brings back so many memories for I would sing that song as a child!

      Hugs

    • lyoness913 profile image

      Wendi Pembridge Skilling 21 months ago from Overland Park, KS

      Lovely, heart warming story! Thanks! :)

      -Wendi

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 21 months ago from Central Florida

      What a sweet story, Ruby! It's sad the old man died, but Lenny has found a forever home where he love and be loved.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mar. Your comment, using a ' pawprint ' was the most rewarding accolade bringing a BIG smile. I feel so blessed that you are so supportive of everything and anything I put on paper. Thank you so very much. I love you too..Hugs..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello whonunuwho. So nice to see you. Thank you kindly my friend and many blessings to you....

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Faith. I am so honored by your comment. Writing is such a pleasure and to have someone like you say it is memorable is fudge icing on the cake! I fell in love with Lenny. He seems real to me. I know there are many Lenny's out there who need love. Hugs my friend....

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 21 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby. I liked your story. There is a lot of saddness out there, but here you portrayed hope, love and dedication. Your characters were so very real.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Wendi. Nice to meet you and thank you for stopping by....

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shauna. It is always sad when someone dies but Lenny found a good home off the streets. I'm sure God welcomed the old man into heaven. He was a good man just had a drinking problem but lot's of love in his heart. Listen to me, I sound like he was real! Thank you so much. I miss your writing...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mike. I'm so glad you liked my story. I like to think there is still good people in this world. Roger had a good job, yet he lacked the love needed for an animal. The old man had a drinking problem, yet he had love to share. I'm also glad the characters were real to you. That's what makes writing so much fun. Hugs my friend...

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 21 months ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Nice.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello William. Thank you for the ' nice comment...

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 21 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ruby.....Have I told you lately that you tell the most wonderfully touching stories?? This is a winner....made me smile all over with a tear or two included.

      You're a special writer, Ruby!......UP+++ tweeted. Peace, Paula

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 21 months ago from South Africa

      Heart-touching picture and beautiful, fitting story! By hook or by crook, Ruby will always create a happy ending :)

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 21 months ago from Texas

      Moving, my friend. Sad and heart-warming. I adore the way you tell stories. Always with some

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 21 months ago from Texas

      Always with some hooe. That's what I was trying to say!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 21 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      What a lovely story.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Paula. Thank's so much for thinking this is a winner. Smiling BIG time....

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Martie. It's so good to see you! Happy endings are fun to write although sometimes the endings are unhappy. That's life. Thank you...Hugs..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello shanmarie. Thank you for liking the way I tell stories. I knew what you meant. Cheers...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hel Blossom. So good tose you again. Thak you much. Happy you thought it was a lovely story.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 21 months ago from Sunny Florida

      This is a wonderful story. It just goes to show you that loyalty can pay you back with loyalty. How wonderful.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 21 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      What a sad, tragic and beautiful story, Ruby. I felt as though you transported us to those streets, and this happy ending. Thank you for this wonderful and inspirational read on a Sunday morning. :-)

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Gals. I like your comment about loyalty. So very true. Thank you....

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Genna. I'm happy you found this inspirational. Some animals are so mistreated and the homeless is a tragedy that shouldn't ever happen in the world. Thank you so much..Hugs...

    • newbizmau profile image

      Guided Abundance 21 months ago from Mobile, AL

      Very moving Thank you.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 21 months ago from Texas

      Good, because I didn't even get it right with the second attempt! LOL Hope. . .haha with hope.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello newbizman. Nice to meet you. Happy you found this a moving piece. Thank you...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      shanmarie, I'm cracking up here! lol.Hee...

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 21 months ago from Texas

      Ruby, you found the soft spot in my heart and settled in. Thank you for the happy ending.

      I am glad Lenny found a home.

      Blessings and Hugs Dear Ruby.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shyron. I'm glad I found a soft place in your heart. Thank you so much.

      Blessings and hugs my friend...

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 21 months ago from TEXAS

      So touching - and inspiring, Ruby!

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Nellieanna. So nice to soo you on my page. I hope your hands are healing. Thank you for a sweet comment..

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 21 months ago from New York

      Ruby you had me from the get go. Lenny is a character that inspires those around him. You know a story is good when you cry, you feel empathy, you laugh a little, you cry and you're led to a happy ending!

      You're a story teller Ruby and a darn good one.

      Voted all but funny.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 21 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mary. I'm so glad you felt all the emotions you mentioned. Your comment makes me a happy camper! Thank you....

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 21 months ago from Oakley, CA

      Wiping tears as I try to type. What a beautiful story with a bittersweet ending.

      Sadly, there is more truth than fiction in this tale. We need to have more human compassion for folks who are down on their luck, and not discount the value of a faithful furry friend when it comes time to seek a shelter facility.

      Voted up +++

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello DzyMsLizzy. Please forgive me for being late with my reply. I am so pleased that this story moved you to tears. If only all humans had your heart. Thank you so much.

    • gerimcclym profile image

      Geri McClymont 16 months ago from Colorado

      As an animal lover, I loved your story. My eyes welled up as I read it. I wish shelters could accept animals, as they may be the only family a homeless person has. Pets add so much to our lives. Thank you for your touching story.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 16 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello gerimcclym. I'm so happy that you liked my story. I agree, shelters need to care for homeless animals as well as people. I see you have started to follow me. Thank you. I will be over to see you.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 15 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I am happy Danny ended in a home that for sure will love him.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 15 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello aesta1. Nice to meet you. Yes, I think Danny will be loved. Thank you for coming by.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 15 months ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Nice.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 15 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello William. Thank you The for the nice comment. Cheers.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 14 months ago

      This left me in tears, Ruby, and you told the story so beautifully. I see so many animals at the shelters because their owners have died. I'm so glad that Danny found a home with someone who will give him the love he deserves.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 14 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Miz Bejabbers. I am thrilled that you enjoyed my story and was moved to tears. That's what makes writing so much fun. Thank you so much..

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 6 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Why would you write a story that made me cry by the third paragraph. My boy and I bought a bunch of "yukkie" hot dogs. We got them for the dogs. We know our peeps and dogs around here. Oh please do not tell his mom.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Eric. Your comment made me laugh, plus it made me happy. Animals are so precious, and they have hearts that hurt just like us. I love Danny, and enjoyed taking him on his journey. Thanks so much for having a heart that feeds the doggies. Smiling!!

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