Americans greatly value their four-legged friends — so much so, that pet-related businesses are booming. We spend quite a bit of money on our critters every year, going far beyond simple food, shelter and healthcare needs.
People also have varying opinions on how pets should be taken care of. There are those who see them as property, those who see them as family, those who think animals shouldn’t be owned and every imaginable variation in-between.
The issue becomes more complicated when it involves homeless people and pets. If a person can’t provide shelter for themselves, can they really take care of a dog or a cat?
People who think this way miss a rather large point, though: Homeless people who have pets often give the most to their creatures.
Sure there are bad apples, but many homeless people keep going because of the companionship their pup gives them, and will do everything to feed their dog before they feed themselves. They keep their dogs with them 24/7, and the dogs are generally pretty even-keeled and well-behaved because of all the socialization and time they get in different environments.
There’s a story to prove it, too, and to illustrate that love for pets is a human condition, not a localized one.
Cris Mamprim is a nurse who works at Hospital Regional Alto Vale, located in Brazil. On Dec. 8 she witnessed a heartwarming scene involving a homeless man named César and his four dogs, who all waited patiently at the door while he was attended to.
He’d come in to get help for a condition he already had, and got to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning. César was homeless, but clearly not heartless — as illustrated by four sleek pups who patiently waited outside the hospital door for their master.
“They are all well taken care of and chubby,” the nurse said in an interview with The Dodo. “Seeing them like that, waiting at the door, only shows how much they are cared for and loved.”
The dogs looked anything but homeless. Shiny coats, no visible ribs and waiting obediently outside the door, these could have been professionally trained pups.
Mamprim snapped a picture of the adorable greeting committee, and the pups eventually took naps outside the door as they waited. Seeing their devotion and good manners, the staff let them come inside to be with César while he finished up his appointment.
The man even told them that he often went without food so his furry friends could eat, and demonstrated that when the hospital gave him some food.
Later, Mamprim posted the photo on Facebook, where it’s gotten more than 120,000 reactions and 75,000 shares.
“A simple person, without luxury, who depends on help to overcome the hunger, the cold, the pain, the evils of the world, has by his side the best companions, and the exchange is reciprocal,” she wrote, as translated by Facebook. “Exchange of love, affection, warmth, understanding.”
“I don’t know what his life is like, because he’s on the street, and I don’t even want to know and judge him, but I admire the respect and love he has…”
“Seeing them like this, waiting on the door, just shows how much they are well care and loved. Oh if everyone was like this…. if there was no evil, mistreatment…. ?????”
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