You see them every day beside the road--a man in dirty fatigues begging with a hand-drawn sign and, beside him, a dog. In passing, you might wonder why a person who cannot take care of himself subjects a dog to such a hard life. You might even condemn the man for selfishness and pity the dog.
During the early days of Occupy, we engaged with the homeless community where I met Kathy and her dachshund, Happy. That friendship gave me to a deeper understanding of the special relationship between those without shelter and their pets and led me to do something for this special population.
That is where I met Darin and his Pit Bull. An Iraq veteran, Darin retains a military bearing and alertness. Like many of our veterans, he struggles with PTSD and credits his dog with helping him heal. His dream now is to train dogs to help other veterans as he has been helped.
Another man I met had a life changing event centered on his dog, also a Pit Bull. He had been arrested, cuffed and put in a police car--all in front of his dog. He vividly recalled his feelings of deep shame, realizing that he was the only person whom his dog depended upon and he had let him down. He resolved to clean himself up for the sake of his dog and has since secured full-time employment and is staying on someone's couch.
This is an open thread so write about your own dog or whatever you want. I will close out this diary with a few photos from our event. (Sorry about the size. Am having trouble resizing them.)