Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Purest Kind of Love

Today I saw a homeless man outside the window of my office. I was sitting at my desk and all I saw at first was his head. He was there for quite a while so I stood up to see what he was doing since where he was standing was a driveway and he didn’t seem to be concerned that a car could turn into the parking lot and hit him.

This man was about 34 to 40 years of age, disheveled with long curly hair wearing dirty jeans and a red thermal undershirt that had seen many washings and was more a rusty dark pinkish color. Sitting next to him in the driveway was a beautiful dog. The dog looked like a German shepherd but was more a blond color than black and white.

The man was standing in the sun and was playing with something in his hands and I saw that it was some clear green plastic twine and he had a whole tangled bunch of it in his hands and he was trying to roll it up and put it into order. The other end of this twine was tied to the dog collar of the dog. The dog, with his tongue hanging out, was sitting patiently next to the man. I watched the man as he rolled and unrolled the twine, trying to get it perfect. The dog sat patiently.

At times the dog would rise and walk a few feet towards the parked cars to get into the shade of the trees. He would sit there for just a few moments and then come right back to the homeless man. I realized that the dog was hot, sitting there in the sun with his owner and he would move over to the shade for some relief. But obviously he didn’t feel right being far away from his owner and he would trot back and sit in the sun again. The dog did this about four times and I contemplated going outside and telling the man that he was making that poor dog suffer, but I didn’t.

Eventually, the man got the twine wrapped to his satisfaction and he looked down and said something to the dog and the dog looked up at him and then the man dropped to his knees and gave the dogs neck a huge hug and the dog licked his face. The man stood and started walking and the dog walked with him. My eyes filled with tears.

Many would say someone who is homeless shouldn’t have a dog, why put a dog through the same kinds of trials, tribulations and suffering. I don’t know if that man was really homeless, or just dirty and disheveled as a norm but I do know that he loved that dog and was good to him and that the dog loved him. The dog was clean, much cleaner than his owner and his coat was brushed and he didn’t look hungry.

As they walked away I realized how three years ago I wouldn’t have noticed at all, I wouldn’t have felt the dogs pain at being in the sun and being thirsty, I wouldn’t have worried whether or not that man took good care of the dog…I simply wouldn’t have noticed.

But since my daughter brought little Chorizo into my life I’ve changed. I didn’t know I had changed, but I have. I am now a dog lover.

I do know that I’m not as good a dog lover as my daughter, or even as kind-hearted a person as she is because she would not have hesitated to go out there and take water to the dog and give the man a collar for the dog or some money for him to buy one. She would have given the man whatever toys, food and bedding she happened to have in her car for Chorizo. She would have offered the man food if she thought he needed it. I’m proud at having raised such a good-hearted person even though I don’t take credit for her being as such. Yet at the same time, I am fearful for her because she doesn’t have the fearfulness in her that I have. The fear of strangers and homeless people, which kept me from going and offering the dog and the man help. It’s a double edge sword, being proud of this daughter and fearing for her as well. Both edges are sharp and cut my heart for her. But I am so proud of her!

Oh! I had to come back because I forgot to give credit to the artist of the photo Homeless Man and Dog Linocut.  The artist is Shellie Lewis and she has a really cool blog which you can visit here.


  1. Oh what a wonderful thing to say about your daughter. This is a really sweet post. I'm proud of you for looking inside yourself and acknowledging that you have grown. It takes a mighty fine person to admit shortcomings even if they were in the past.

    Double edged sword. I get it and I'm sure every parent feels the same way about their children.

  2. Not a dog person myself. We love our cats, and they love us back in their measured and royal ways. But I will have to say that two strongest forms of love is that of mothers and dogs. Both will give their lives to their charges.

    Your daughter sound like a very special person.

    1. True Sextant, mothers and dogs...the purest kind of love. But dogs get belly rubs! Moms don'

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Regarding menstrual cramps, ahhh, hmmmm, ummmm. Well ahhh, perhaps no comment is best, but let me say this, I have never rubbed a dog's belly.

      The automatic spell checker spelled checked my original comment into indecipherable mush, and I was too quick with the Publish button.


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