The Homeless and Their Dogs: Comments Are On

Comments: ON Note: I’m feeling some better now with new med and up to addressing comments and reading the blogs that I previously followed. :-)

Please turn off the sound on your computer. The music contains some vulgar words. If I knew how to get rid of the music I would.

An individual named KittiesBandit on (You Tube) wrote more or less, the following:
“I do not own the photos or the music. This is something that I put together…”

I do not know the name or names of the photographer/s who took the photographs of the homeless and their pets.If anyone knows the name I will provide credit or remove this video if the owner/s object to this post.

Indeed a dog is man’s best friend and if ever one should have doubts, merely watch this video for 30 seconds, or longer if you choose.

I happened to see this video and it struck me in a profound way. Homelessness exists the world over and I feel it is a dilemma of society. In the US the homeless are hardly given a second thought, although some cities are making the effort to place the homeless in their own apartments and various agencies are attempting to reintegrate these men and women back into society.

Causes of homelessness are loss of job, inability to find gainful employment, lack of education, medical conditions with the inability to find treatment, drug and alcohol abuse, lack of affordable housing, and mental illness. Many of the mentally ill were discharged from hospitals years ago with no support system or guidance to help these individuals learn how to seek resources for treatment and how to cope with life in a very cruel society.

Individuals become homeless for various reasons and have virtually lost contact with what is considered the norm. They have NO contact with another meaningful human that cares about their welfare. The one constant in the homeless person’s life is often a forgiving being-their pet which does not judge or begrudge their station in life.

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47 thoughts on “The Homeless and Their Dogs: Comments Are On

  1. sybil says:

    Did not realize the level of alarming cardiac crap you were going through. Perhaps my use of the term “cardiac crap” will help to shock it back into its proper rhythm. ;-)

    Not sure how I missed this lovely post. I suspect that dogs owned by homeless folk are some of the most loved pets around.

    BTW I am such a sucky wuss I did not watch the video. Ain’t THAT pathetic ?

    • Hi Sybil and thanks for commenting. I’ve not been able to keep up with bloggers that I follow so really there is nothing to worry about. So what if we miss a few or a lot. I’ve not commented on any of yours for while. But thanks for for the lovely comment and no, that is not pathetic if you didn’t watch the video. Sometimes I can’t watch some things either. Things that are depressing and distressing to the core of our values and moral sense of how we would like the world to be just are not bearable sometimes.

      Just a few words here about the heart thingy. I had to crash and almost burn to get a pacemaker to regulate my heart rate. i am thinking of writing a post about it. Maybe it might help one person or maybe a few or maybe none. I got the pacemaker August 7th. I felt pretty good for a while but now am feeling crappy from new meds that siphon the strength out of some individuals that have to take the stuff. Still have to be on meds even though I have the pacemaker. Oh well, at least I’m alive and thank God for that.

  2. Compassionate thoughts, Yvonne. I’d expect nothing less from you.

  3. So good to know you are feeling better, dear Yvonne, I was wondering what had happened. i have no posted much myself. Thank you for this most touching blog and video. Dogs are so loyal and loving, in the present case they are these men and women only and best friends, no matter the situation. They teach us what real friendship means, companionship forever. it brought tears to my eyes. Homelessness is not so visible here but it exists too. Homeless or “marginal” people sit day long on a bench accompanied with their best friend, a dog. Sometimes I stop and chat, one cannot imagine what situations – in a country like mine – lead these people to endure such hardship.

    I have just adopted an elderly Beagle, Estee. She lived in a laboratory all her life, giving birth to countless puppies who were used for medical experiences. A horrible and so sad life ! Someone managed to take her out and brought her to a home for old and abandoned dogs. Estee lost an eye, is very weak and will stay in this special home where she is well taken care of. She has a quiet life there in the country and is surrounded with other dogs in similar condition. The lady who spent most of her life rescuing dogs, will keep Estee with her where she has been used to live for the past years. I contribute for the fees, food, medical and all else Estee would need. There will be a big party soon, 20 years since this home was founded, I will drive there and see sweet Estee :)

    Take good care of you, dear Yvonne and thank you for all you share.
    A big hug to you.

    • How wonderful of you to adopt an elderly Beagle to support her in her twilight years. I think you are so kind and generous to do that. I’m glad that you take the time to chat with homeless folks. I have given to one man homeless man as long as his cat lived. I’d give him a $10 and sometimes a $20 when he’d be at the gas station. His cat rode in a carrier that he made for her that fit on his bicycle. I still see him now but he doesn’t have a pet anymore.

      Hug back to you, Isa. I am still not up to par and I’m awaiting a procedure to shock my heart, hopefully back to beating regularly with no skips and not beating too fast.

  4. What a compelling video. I like the song, vulgar words and all. It tells a story as much as the pictures.

  5. Good to see you are up to comments on your blog and ours.

    A while ago, we decided to prioritise our homeless donations (ie in the street) to those with dogs. Not gypsies (who weren’t homeless anyway) with screaming kids and threats of curses, but men down on their luck, whose only companion had four legs. It was a reciprocal arrangement. They fed the animals, and at night when they slept rough, their dogs kept a watchful ear.

    But more about my views on homeless here, if you get chance:

    http://cloudsmovingin.wordpress.com/2008/03/05/lifes-rubbish/

    • I have not looked at the link yet but I will. I’m really not up to snuff- still struggling most days so I just hit blogs ad lib. The homeless problem just continues to grow as you are well aware. I think it is something that our governments have caused and the politicians could care less.

  6. Where I live there are a lot of homeless, many with dogs. It’s a sad situation for which I see no immediate solution unfortunately.

    I hope your medication continues to work so you don’t need the procedure. Holding that thought for you in my heart.

    Best wishes,
    Paulette

    • Thank you, Paulette for the much appreciated thoughts and wishes.

      About the homeless and their dogs. Is there a group of folks that help the homeless with vacccinations, spay and neuter where you live? In some places there are organizations that help the homeless with basic health care such as rabies, parvo, and, distemper vaccines.

      In my town, people with no money can get coupons to use at the low cost Animal Birth Control center and even free micro chipping. The city is trying hard to reduce the intake of animals at the kill shelter.

      They now have recruited volunteers to go door to door in the zones with the greatest numbers of pets that roam the streets and that are not “fixed.”

      • Good question. Yes, we have a few options here. There’s a group called SPAN (spay and neuter network) that offers coupons to help spay and neuter. There’s also a low cost spay and neuter clinic that I believe does take some charity cases, of which the homeless and their dogs qualify. The humane society and some vets will also help with this along with rescue groups in Ventura County. It’s hard for the homeless to network for themselves though so outreach is necessary to get to them. There are people who do go out in the street involved in one of these organizations and I know of others who do it out of the goodness of their hearts. I am glad to hear your town offers the help it does.

      • That’s great Paulette. I admire a community that actually helps the homeless. If only more cities did this kind of work. It is true that the homeless don’t have the means to get from A to B in many cases. No money and no transportation and no phone keeps them bound to one small area.

        If you read through the comments in this post you’ll see a comment from a woman that works with Haven for Hope in San Antonio. The Haven has provided kennels to house the pets of the homeless who enter the program of Haven for Hope. I am so glad that something like this is available. That means that the homeless person will come off the street knowing that they will not lose their pet/s.

      • What the San Antonio group is doing is wonderful. Glad you pointed that out to me.

      • Yes, it sounds like a lovely place, Paulette. Maybe word will spread that this is the way homeless should be helped.

  7. Kathy says:

    Yvonne, I am glad you are feeling better. It is so sad that we live in a world with homelessness. We don’t see it much where we are. When we visit our son in San Diego there are homeless everywhere. Even next to his house. I think there are so many factors that create this. Thanks for calling our attention to this.

    • Kathy, thank you and yes, I’m feeling better some days and not so good other days. The rate of my heart beat is the culprit and if the beat is regular and not too fast then I feel as if I’m getting back to normal. But cardio MD says he will shock my heart sometime in June if the the med does not slow my heart down.

      Anyhoo, that must be a disturbing site to have homeless people live near your son’s home. I just wish the government would do more for this growing social problem.

      The disturbing “site was meant to read “sight” but I reckon that “site” would work in this sentence also.

  8. chatou11 says:

    I’m so glad I can post a comment again Yvonne!
    This video shows very well those people who only have their pets to continue to live!
    what would they do without them!
    We also have more and more homelessness in France and I can’t undersdand it. It is revolting!

    • Hi Chatou. Thank you so much for commenting. There is an old adage or saying that when ever things in the world are going downhill, “it is a sign of the times.” Meaning, I suppose, that several or many factors are in play to bring about terrible social plight. The homeless situation appears to be happening in just about every part of the world. It is distressing to know that most governments are doing nothing to stem the tide of people losing jobs and then their homes. Some families here in the US are living in their vehicles with two,three or, four children. I can not even imagine how degrading that must be for those families. Then there are the mentally ill who have no home for mental hospitals no longer house the sick if they can survive on the streets. I see quite a number here in my town of 100,000 plus population. I see them walking endlessly as they talk to themselves. Of course there are the drug and alcohol addicted who are only concerned with how to get the next fix or the next bottle of booze.

      Currently in my city there is one man who began a non profit organization to help the homeless get off the street with a place to live, rehab, schooling, medication, and eventually a job if the individual is benefitting from the assistance and shows a willingness to make a life change.

      San Antonio, Texas has a wonderful program that is run with with the assistance of many volunteers. Of course all this costs huge amounts of money that is maintained through private donations and I’m not sure if any of these non profits get any government assistance.

      Even though my knowledge is limited I empathize with the homeless.

      Note: I turned off comments for I was not feeling up to “snuff.” And I had to stop commenting on blogs but just a basic few. I am feeling some better now but some days I have no energy at all when my heart is out of synch. I am taking new med to regulate heart rate and if that does not do the job, my MD will shock my heart to see if that will put me back in normal rhythm.

      ~yvonne

  9. shoreacres says:

    As you know, I don’t watch television any more — with one exception. I did subscribe to this year’s season of NCIS. Amazon delivers it to my computer, and I watch an episode every now and then. Two episodes ago, the plot focused on a homeless Navy veteran and his dog. It was beautifully done, and I was so glad to see such a difficult topic in a prime time show.

    We often think that the homeless “have no one to care about them.” Far too often, that’s true. But the other side of that coin is that so often the homeless, the dispossesed, have to one to care FOR. The love and care they give to their animal helps to keep them human in some very important ways.

    The same is true for the elderly. The importance of having that animal to care for and love just can’t be over-emphasized.

    I love that there is a kennel in San Antonio for the pets of the homeless. I’m going to do a little exploring, and see if we have such a thing in Houston.

  10. Littlesundog says:

    What a wonderful post, Yvonne… and I find the compassionate comments refreshing too. When I experience or see acts of kindness and love to people/animals it moves me deeply.

  11. hayley says:

    When we visited the US last year we saw several instances of a homeless person having a pet dog with them, which I found incredibly touching. I was immediately and naturally worried that the pets go hungry but as mentioned above, that’s probably not likely to be the case. Animal suffering gets to me more than human suffering. Here in the NZ city I live in, we have what seems to be an increasing number of homeless people begging on our streets, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of them with a pet.

    • Hi Hayley. I had forgotten that y’all had visited the US last year. It’s interesting to note that the homeless in NZ don’t have a pet. Maybe they’re not allowed to have a pet? Seems kinda odd but I assume that people in New Zealand care about dogs/cats as much as individuals in the US.

      The homeless population as you have mentioned is increasing on a daily basis in countries that are advanced. It distresses me know that advanced countries do not have enough jobs to support its own. Our world is in a downward spiral and the governments don’t seem to care.

      • Linda, the NCIS show about the Navy veteran and his dog is one show that I would have liked. I don’t watch TV either but manage to see some recaps of The Voice. And that’s about it for me. Cable is too costly and if one is a blogger then there is not much time for TV.

        But the crux of what you have written in your comment of great value. Your words ring loud and clear regarding the homeless, the elderly, and the disabled. Having another life force to care for means that one constant and warm being in a person’s life. A pet gives so much in return and asks for nothing but a bowl of food and loving pat on the head. If only more people realized the value of a pet I reckon the world might be a better place.

        Haven for Hope in San Antomio looks to be a wonderful example of what can be done for the homeless. I applaud that organization. I hope that Houston has an equivalent with kennels for the residents pets.

        Linda, please note that WP is up to making my life miserable. The reply that I made to you is addressed to petspeopleandlife. I have no idea how to get that corrected. Yahoo or WP- not sure which is determined to keep most of the blogger email notices going to spam. I’ve been so discouraged that I could pull my hair out. I cut back on commenting on lots of blogs for I simply did not have the energy but I am now feeling a bit better and hopefully I can begin to put more posts out and begin commenting on other blogs as I did before.

        ~yvonne

  12. As in many situations, society has the tendency to look in another direction for any number of issues. While there is some stalwart support for the homeless, much of the population would rather not see them or hear about them or give up a nickel of their own money (including their taxes) to help them. Just another facet of the nastiness and selfishness that we see in the U.S. more and more.
    There are so many reasons why someone becomes homeless…sometimes of their own doing but many times not at all and just some sad circumstances…but too often are stereotyped as either mentally ill or too lazy and wanting to let others provide for them. The truth is that for most they would like nothing better than to be gainfully employed and to take care of themselves and their family.
    If only people would learn form the example set out by pets. Judge not and offer up forgiveness and acceptance.
    This is a very nice post, Yvonne.

    • Thank you Steve for writing that this post is a worthy one. All that you have written is true that most of the homeless would rather have a job than be out on the streets panhandling. Truth be known it is the average person and those that do not earn much who reaches out and gives to the poor. The wealthy forget how they got their money- from lesser folks buying their products or services. They squeeze that nickel as if holding on for dear life and yell the loudest at tax time.

      Your words are the best. People could learn by following the example of our pets. “Judge not and offer up forgiveness and acceptance.” I like your sentence very much.

    • I work at Haven for Hope (www.havenforhope.org) in San Antonio, Texas. Haven is a remarkable program that provides short & long-term services for persons experiencing homelessness. At Haven, we have a kennel that is home to dogs and cats, because we found that many homeless won’t leave the streets because they refuse to leave their pet behind.

      • Hi Laura. I am so happy to get your comment that was directed to Steve. The kennel for the pets is such a needed service and I hope that more organizations that are helping the homeless will follow suit. Haven for Hope is a marvelous name and I wish you and your group continued success. Thank you for writing about what your group does to assist the homeless.-

  13. Wendy Kate says:

    Your lovely post reminded me of Bob the cat and the busker in London, James Bowen. This special cat saved his life, and I saw him with his cat in Covent Garden before they were famous. This cat was so serene and calm just sat next to him as he was busking. I had never seen anything like it and the next I knew they were on the news and he had a book out! Just google the names if you are interested. :-)

    • Wendy, how wonderful that you saw James Bowen and his cat, Bob. I bought the book a while back and just loved the story. I hope it will be made into a movie. I have a video of James and his cat over in my draft section where it has been sitting for months. I have put off posting it because I wanted to write something very appropiate about a very nice person and his extremely smart cat and the bond that they share.

      Now that you have mentioned it, I need to get busy and make that one my next post. I don’t have much stamina from having afib and I’ve just started a new med this am to take for four weeks. Hopefully I can get most of my former strength back once my heart is beating in a regular rate.

      Thanks so much for commenting. By the way. Do you have a cat/s in your life?

  14. Nice post,Yvonne.and good food for thought. Many of us in America are only one or two paychecks away from homelessness ourselves. I think much of the negativity comes from fear. The farther one places themselves from that person’s circumstance, the more unlikely it seems that it could ever happen to them. Thanks!

    • Thank you, Cindy. Your words are food for thought and sad but true the rate of becoming homeless has and is increasing on a daily basis. The government is idly pursuing inane matters and what is perceived as problematic. If only the powers that be could begin to see what really matters and address the real problem areas.

  15. Lottie Nevin says:

    Good on you for raising the subject of homelessness, Yvonne. It’s a terrible thing to happen to anyone and I can’t bear it when people pass judgement and dismiss them all as junkies, down and outs, whatever. So what if they are? They are still human and they deserve help, each and everyone of them. What people forget is that homelessness can happen to any one of us if things go badly wrong in life.
    One of my daughters spends each Christmas working in a homeless shelter, I am so proud of her :D
    The dogs always looked loved and well fed and that bond between vulnerable man and dog is something very special. I watched the whole video and enjoyed it very much. Thank you xxxxx

    • You are so right about how some people judge the down trodden and homeless. As you have written, becoming homeless can happen to just about anyone if things go terribly wrong in one’s life. I feel deeply for these individuals for they carry a stigma and look so forlorn. In the past I gave money to a man that took his cat on his bicycle. When ever I’d see him at the convenience store, I’d give him a twenty and tell him to take care of his cat. He told me that he had gotten her spayed at a locally run discount spay and neuter clinic. We’d talk cats for while and then he’d be off on his bicylce after getting some food for his cat. I reckon his cat died for I have not seen her with him for the past 3 years. I think it is marvelous that your daughter is giving back to society and helping out at a homeless shelter. More young folks need to be doing the same. ~yvonne xxxx

  16. It’s such a vicious circle. Once you’ve lost your home (for whatever reason) finding another home or job depends on having a fixed abode. And so it goes on. A pet is so important and they often eat better than their owners.

    • Yes, so true. Your words are corect. A place to live and means of transportation are critical factors for helping folks get off the street. I have noticed from this video and other photos that indeed the homeless care very much for their pet and see to it that the pet eats, usually before its human does.

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