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78 - "Impressed By a Homless Man"

Updated on July 4, 2014

Real love between a man and his dog.

Impressed By A Homeless Man

I used to see a homeless person with a dog and I would naturally feel sorry for the person but at the same time I would feel sorry the dog, probably more, because the person actually does have some control over his/her life where as the dog has to depend totally upon the person.

But after a specific incident I came to the conclusion that they are both lucky to have each other. There is nothing better, when you are alone, than a 4 legged companion. Without each other they would both be alone and lonely. I know for a fact that the companionship of a dog can make all the difference in the world, even between life and death. My dog Harley is the reason I am still alive today. But that’s another story.

I always do my laundry early in the morning, 6:00am, and when I arrived one Sunday morning there was a homeless person’s shopping cart with his worldly belongings sitting in front of the shop next to the Laundromat. He had it set up to block the cold as much as possible and he was laying on two thin blankets covered with another one to try and keep as warm as possible. Where he was situated was right outside of the window and I could actually see him shiver. As I stood there watching and wondering what could have possibly put him in that position I noticed a dog approaching the sleeping man. I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen, so I watched. To my surprise the dog walked up next to the man and took his position next to him laying as close as possible to the man. As the man put his arm around the dog I could see the glint of a smile show across his face. I am sure that not only did he welcome the warmth of his friend’s body, but it also had to be because of his close companionship that put the smile there.

As it approached 7:00am he lifted himself from the cold hard sidewalk, folding his flimsy blankets and loading everything into his shopping cart and prepared to politely move on before the other shops opened for business.

I watched as this man brought food out of his cart and fed and watered his best friend. After he made sure his buddy was satisfied, as well as possible, he then proceeded to dig something out for himself to eat and drink. As I watched them start on their way I stopped him and gave him some money. It wasn’t a lot but it was what I had in my pocket at the time.

I hope to come across the two of them again because I would like to have the opportunity to be a little nosey and ask him a few questions and let him know how he impressed me with the fact that he made sure his dog was taken care of first.

Greg


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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      TRuly an important story. And I can tell you that most treat each other just the same - a you first attitude. I sometimes ask my self after spending some time with these folks, if that attitude in this cruel "me first" world might have contributed to them being there at all.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Nice story Greg. I can vouch for dogs being wonderful companions, I have four. But they are even more special as companions for the homeless and alone. They offer unconditional love, and respect which is more than most humans do. A homeless person with a loyal dog has more than a lot of unhappy rich people (who are often scared of losing what they have). Voted up.

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 3 years ago from Corona, California.

      Hi Jodah, I would rather lose everything else than my best friend Harley. And I feel that the homeless person with a companion will be in fear of losing that best friend as much, if not more, than a rich person having the fear of losing everything. Thank you for the visit and comment, Greg.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 3 years ago from Manhattan

      Wonderful story. I had a dog once and he died unexpectedly..I was completely done in for 6 months. I still miss that dog. Someday I get another one.

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 3 years ago from Corona, California.

      Thank you Brie, I had to put one down in '03 and said I wasn't going to get anther one because it about killed me. Then when I retired in '09 I did get one and He is more of a companion than I could ever expect. Now I and working again and it does make it all worth while when he greets me at the door. I know how much he means to me which leaves me to imagine how much those two must mean to each other. Greg

    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 3 years ago from Philadelphia

      This is so touching gregas, which reminds me of this gem " No man is on Island, no man stand alone..."

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 3 years ago from Corona, California.

      Hi Winston, thank you and that statement is true. Greg

    • profile image

      Grey Temples 3 years ago

      Thank you for helping him Gregas, and you are right in saying his dog is what is keeping him alive as that is his best friend. Wonderful story.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Your story is proof that an aminal can be man's best friend. He had a good heart. I wish i had been there, i would love to share with him. Thank you for a heartfelt story.

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 3 years ago from Corona, California.

      Grey, it was my pleasure to share with someone in this world with that kind of heart. Greg

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 3 years ago from Corona, California.

      Ruby, it is a good feeling to see people that are even down on their luck can still love. Greg

    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 3 years ago from Florida

      gregas..You can tell a lot about a person with the way he treats an animal, wouldn't it be nice if everyone treated each other the same way ?

      Relationship with something in this world is a priority that gives us something to live for..need vs need...enjoyed the story..thanks for the share...

    • Amy Naylor profile image

      Amy Naylor 3 years ago from England

      Lovely story. I guess it's true that dog really is man's best friend. Beautifully told too. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 3 years ago from Corona, California.

      KJ, thank you and yes it would be nice if people could treat each other as well as some treat their companions. Greg

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 3 years ago from Corona, California.

      Amy, thank you. I know I have one and he is my best friend. Greg

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      That is a very beautiful story, Greg. At least the man isn’t alone, and the dog is probably used to the outdoors. Dogs are great companions for the lonely whether or not they have a home. I wonder about some of the stories, too. I live just outside the city limits, and there is a wooded area with a hill sloping down to I-40. Homeless people quite frequently stay in those woods.

      A few years ago, a man probably between 35 and 45 and his dog lived in those woods in a tent. It was a fairly nice camping tent. He must have had some kind of income (a pension, maybe) because he would bring his dog to the convenience store on the road at the exit to buy food. He kept moving the tent closer and closer until he placed it in a V-shaped area between I-40 and an access road. The police had ignored him until that move, but then they told him to move. I don’t know where he went after that. He may have moved on to another area. I have to agree with the police on that one, though because he was endangering both himself and his dog at that spot. I don’t know why he couldn’t see that. If he’d moved to the woods behind the store, he would have been closer and not attracted the attention of the law. I really kind of missed him. Voted you up and beautiful.

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 3 years ago from Corona, California.

      Miz, thank you and yes, sometimes you have a hard time telling the really down and out with the ones that can actually make ot on their own. Greg

    • Scott Upham profile image

      Scott Upham Jr. 3 years ago from New York

      What a beautiful story and a beautiful action on your part, Greg, to help the man and his dog. We sometimes get caught up in the morass of politics and other bad news, so this was truly refreshing. Thank you!

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 3 years ago from Corona, California.

      Scott, thank you. I feel it may have helped him some, but I know it helped me a whole lot. I just sometimes wish I could do more. Greg.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Lovely story, it reminded me of my friend who had fallen on hard times, long story, she was sleeping on the streets and a dog turned up and adopted her! when she got back on her feet went home and moved house afterwards that dog stayed by her feet all the way, bless them!

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 2 years ago from Corona, California.

      Hi Nell, Thank you for the visit and comment. Especially in the hardest of times it does make it easier with a loyal friend, and what friend is more loyal than a dag, Greg.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      I'm sad to say that I have seen this and my heart would always be touched by the love of a pet for its owner and vice versa. Sometimes I think it's the only thing keeping them going. God bless you for your kindness toward him.

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 2 years ago from Corona, California.

      Thank you Fay, I haven't been homeless, but I do know how the companionship/love of a man and his dog can be good for both. I feel I am alive today for the love of my best buddy a couple of years ago. That's an untold story so far. And welcome to the hubs Fay. Greg.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 2 years ago from Earth

      This is actually very touching. I'm always worried that the pets aren't well taken care of, but in this case, clearly that's not what's going on.

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 2 years ago from Corona, California.

      Hi DFL, No, in this case that is what impressed me was the fact that he made sure his buddy was fed first. Greg.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 2 years ago from Kansas

      They have each other, as bad as their situation is. Glad you gave them money.

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 2 years ago from Corona, California.

      Thank you Pawpaw, I am too. And I know for a fact it is important for both to have each other. Greg.

    • Dicole Elijah profile image

      Barlaine D. Elijah 2 years ago from Desoto, Texas

      That was a short and sweet story that portrays the relationship of human nature. It also describes-what Abraham Maslow calls - Hierarchy of Needs. It is human nature to satisfy our needs first, even before our safety. Being homeless is a perfect example of satisfying our needs for food, water, and shelter over safety. Beautiful and heartfelt story.

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 2 years ago from Corona, California.

      Thank you Barlaine, It warmed my heart. I hope that as the cooler weather comes back so will they. Greg

    • Marie Gail profile image

      Marie Gail Stratford 2 years ago from Olathe, KS

      Voted up and "beautiful." Thanks for sharing this observation.

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 2 years ago from Corona, California.

      Hi Marie, thank you for the visit, the comment and the follow. Greg

    • miriamyentraccm profile image

      Miriam Parker 2 years ago from Montclair, CA. 91763

      Hi, Greg! Thank you for writing this awesome article about a homeless man and his dog. It really touched me because one of my brothers recently died -- he was schizophrenic and living on the street for several years. He was only 60 when he died. Consequently, I feel very strongly for homeless people; they have it so rough. Thanks again!

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 2 years ago from Corona, California.

      Thank you Miriam. That really wasn't that far from where you live. It was in Brea. They do have it tough. Greg

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Greg. This is a lovely warm hub from you. It's five days to Christmas as I read it, this I think helps those feelings. Thanks for the news on John. I do hope he is on the mend. All the best to you for the Christmas and New Year.

      Graham.

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 2 years ago from Corona, California.

      Thank you Graham and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you. Greg

    • Dr Imhotep profile image

      Karen Feliciano 2 years ago from Hammond, Indiana

      That story is really beautiful and most of all it is important to have something in your life that motivates you to get up each morning.

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 2 years ago from Corona, California.

      I'm not homeless and my dog helps with that. There are some mornings that I would rather not het up. The responsibilities motivates one. Thank you for the comment. Greg

    • Aurora Dawns profile image

      Aurora Dawn 2 years ago from USA

      Very touching. I can say thank god for my baby. Pets, animals are sometimes better than people. Dogs, cats love us unconditionaly

    • momen rakan profile image

      momen rakan alsayed 2 years ago from u,s,a

      It's a wonderfularticles

    • nick071438 profile image

      nick071438 2 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      Laurels for this piece gregas. It's really touching- man and dog getting close to one another for warmth. I'm exceedingly glad John had came back home alive. Old Albion above had said something about him. I'm sure he's the same John Keith Lender you were searching years back. Tell me all details how you find him. His sisters and mother, how are they? I'm writing currently at wikinut, here http://www.wikinut.com/author~vffnfi/n.c.radomes/

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Really well put observation. You didn't analyze the situation but let the actions speak for themselves. It was really.heartwarming and refreshing. Thank you for sharing

    • Romanian profile image

      Nicu 2 years ago from Oradea, Romania

      Stray dogs are very friendly with homeless men, because they can search in trash cans and give them something to eat. Nice article!

    • csmiravite-blogs profile image

      Consolacion Miravite 2 years ago from Philippines

      It is often said, that dogs are a man's best friend. Their devotion to their humans can go beyond one's definition of love. It is such a pity to still see homeless people around, with no one to love and care for them, except their pet dogs. I can empathize with this scenario, as my family treats our dogs like members of the family.

    • Jacque DArtichoke profile image

      John Royce Holtz 2 years ago from San Francisco

      Hi Greg, Thank you for sharing this sad, yet uplifting story. Homelesssness is a terrible social disease, from which none of us are completely immune. For lack of a better consolation, at least his dog treated him like a human. You did as well. Thank you for the story and your kindness.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      I feel so touch by the beauty of this friendship between the man and the dog. God bless them. I hope they have somewhere to live by now. Thanks for this sad but wonderful touching story.

    • Kimberleyclarke profile image

      Kimberley Clarke 23 months ago from England

      A lovely snapshot, thank you for noticing and sharing this. Homeless people are just the same as the rest of us, though they are too easy to ignore.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 23 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      This story sure put a smile on my face. Dogs are so smart and definitely a man's best friend. A touching story. Those two needed each other.

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 23 months ago from Corona, California.

      I have never seen them since so I sure hope something good came there way, for both of them.

    • Andy Lee Lawson profile image

      Andrew Lawson 19 months ago from Knoxville, TN

      I have worked with the homeless in Knoxville. Very few had pets. I am sure that a furry companion would make their tough lot a little more tolerable.

    • profile image

      flakycrustedmemry 17 months ago

      You can always tell if a person has a kind heart, by the way they treat an animal. This story is a nice reminder.

    • RandaHandler profile image

      Randa Awn Handler 17 months ago from USA

      Very touching story and I love the picture of the dog! I find it so sad that no candidate in the elections, seems to really focus on the homeless problem! So sad!

    • adagio4639 profile image

      adagio4639 17 months ago from Brattleboro Vermont

      That was painful to read, but beautiful at the same time. I too often find myself feeling more concerned for the dog than his human. But dogs only know unconditional love. No matter what the conditions that dog will stay faithful to that poor man. And that dog is all that man has in the world that gives him comfort and he will put the needs of his friend before his own.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 13 months ago from Tasmania

      That story of yours, Greg, is standing the test of time, isn't it? Such deep emotions felt in all of us who have read it. Thank you and I hope your own life shines more brightly because of it.

      Just a small observation: The antidote for loneliness is not usually another lonely person. That homeless man needed your help, coming from a person who truly empathized and was able to give unconditional love.

    • txthorn profile image

      Wayne Carlisle 13 months ago from Manhattan

      Very real and true Greg. I was raised on a farm where we always took care of all our animals and such before we ate. Those were some early mornings but I still live by them today. If they do not eat neither do I. They are my responsibility. That unconditional love goes both ways. There is nothing greater. God is that way with us if you observe it. Those moments were you saw them speaks mountains of not what we get out of life but how we go through it. Thank you for your heart.

      Wayne

    • profile image

      HB Fig 10 months ago

      Thank you for detailing your observation and kind interaction with this human being which has allowed me to connect to this moment.

    • Rafa Baxa profile image

      Rafael Baxa 9 months ago

      No matter what dogs are always a man's best friend. Truly a wonderful story.

    • Happymommy2520 profile image

      Amy 7 months ago from East Coast

      Great little story. I really enjoyed it. They are lucky to both have each other. There are resources out there for homeless people, sometimes the homeless don't know how to utilize them. Glad to hear to made a difference in somebody's day!

    • gregas profile image
      Author

      Greg Schweizer 7 months ago from Corona, California.

      Thank you Happy.

    • Debangee Mandal profile image

      DEBANGEE MANDAL 2 months ago from India

      Worth reading this valuable story.

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