Thursday, October 13, 2011

A lesson in a Random act of Kindness

Everyday random acts of kindness is rarely seen or heard. They exist in the world known only to those who commit it.
Every Tuesday I walk with my sister-in-law around a local lake. Since my SIL recovered from Chemo for ovarian cancer, we’ve made a point of the walk to be outdoors, enjoy the sunshine and gossip about family as we watch different water fowl around the lake. This is our ritual until the rains come and kids are out of school. Afterward we go to MacDonald’s for coffee.
This week was no different. We completed our walk and went to MacDonald’s were a man sat quietly out front with his dog. He asked if he might have our spare change when we came out.
My SIL asked him, “Are you hungry?”
He nodded his head.
“I won’t give you money, but I’ll buy you a meal.” She offered.
“Thank you,” was all it took.
She bought the man a full meal with all the works, with a hamburger, fries, hot apple turnover and a soda and took the white bag out to him. I bought the dog his own hamburger. It's not good for the dog, but it was the best I could do at the time. By the time we finished our coffees he was gone.
We both worked in law enforcement for years, and experienced the worst parts of life. We often talk about how we’ve made an effort to let go of the jaded part of our personality to see the lighter side of life. At times I fight with the dark shadow that follows many cops into retirement.
I ran my errands for the day and I came up on a stop where a man stood on the traffic island holding a sign. “Vet, hungry, spare change, please!” was printed boldly on a piece of cardboard. I knew this man from his many visits to jail. He had a beautiful pure white Pit Bull with a single brown spot over one eye with him.
I called him over to my car, the dog stayed obediently on the island watching him. He recognized me immediately, we chatted briefly before the light changed and I gave him a five dollar bill. “This is for your dog, not for you to drink,” I said.
He gave me a toothless grin. “Since I found him, I don’t drink. I don’t want to lose him to the pound, so I’m sober. I always feed him first.”
I believed him, because I know often the homeless do care for their pets better than they do themselves. Having a furry companion can be an incentive to stay out of trouble. If they go to jail, and no one can to take the pet, it will go to the doggie jail, with sad results. They won't go to shelters, because their is a 'no dogs allowed' policy. So they'll remain on the streets rather then part with their friend.The homeless often find strays that are homeless like them, and a relationship is formed. The companions are their best-friend, company and protection. I hesitate to give money to the homeless of the drug abuse and alcoholism, but when it for a dog, I'll give what I can. Often it's just a handful of change, or a small bag of dog food.

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