Illness in the family and other stressors have slowed this blog down. I miss chatting with everyone on the blog and on social media, but need to cut down on time spent online. Yesterday, on a break and during a quick browse on the net, I came across this article in the Guardian about a few homeless people who saved pets and were saved by them in turn.
In Singapore, it is rare to spot a homeless person (though there are individuals who panhandle by ostensibly selling small items like tissue packs). When I travel I tend to either pass food or money to the homeless and move on. Glimpses into individual lives are rare. The article gave an insight into the lives of the homeless, and I found a link to this fundraiser for Ryan Mikesell.
If you’re interested, here’s an excerpt from what Ryan says in the article:
“When I’m feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, my mini Labradoodle, Josie, climbs on my chest to calm me down. She won’t take no for an answer. She’ll be like, “Go ahead, tell me to get off. I don’t care.” I have PTSD and her doing that is a grounding mechanism for me. I feel things and she just senses it. She’s like my soulmate in dog form. My therapist loves her.
My animals are my family. The oldest is Jamie, a Jack Russell-chihuahua I got eleven years ago when I was living in a house with my ex-partner. Jamie has had two litters and I’ve kept three of her puppies. In total, I have five dogs and my cat, Buddy, who I found abandoned in an alley nine years ago.
I’ve been homeless for eight years. I grew up in Olympia, Washington, but my parents were very abusive and I didn’t want to be anywhere near them, so I left for Oregon. I have agoraphobia and severe anxiety. I also have diabetes and need to have a refrigerator so I can keep eating healthily. I live in a motorhome that I have nowhere to permanently park.
I sent him a few dollars because he supports these animals and seems to be a man who isn’t letting his history of suffering and his present circumstances keep him from leading a meaningful life.
I’ve heard it said that people able to keep pets shouldn’t be homeless, that they’re sponging off gullible folk. But there are also those who, when made to choose between their pet and a home, choose the pet.
I believe that animals can be our very best friends, and that the homeless are just people who have fallen upon hard times–it could happen to anyone, and they have as much right to the love of a pet as anyone else. I appreciate the fact that Ryan supports animals when he himself has access to so little. He does have a motorhome, yes, but he’s also doing his best for these animals with what little he’s got.
How is the situation of the homeless in your community? Do they receive assistance, and support towards rehabilitation? Do any of them own pets? Do you believe the homeless have the right to own pets? Would you consider sending some help to Ryan?
I co-host the monthly We Are the World Blogfest: I’d like to invite you to join, if you haven’t as yet, to post the last Friday of each month a snippet of positive news that shows our essential, beautiful humanity.
This monthly event has brought smiles on the faces of a lot of participants and their audiences, and somewhat restored their faith in humanity. Here’s a sampler. Click here to know more. Sign up here and add your bit of cheer to the world on the next installment of June 29!