Over $5K Raised for Homeless Man Who Tried Refusing $200 Reward for Finding Lost Puppy


Dogs have a way of sneaking into our lives and bringing us love and joy we may not have experienced before. They’re loyal to us even when people fail us — but then there are wonderful examples of humanity, as this story illustrates.

A man named Rick Darge had a puppy named Maya, a rat terrier, that he loved. When she got out he was worried — but he also had an odd sense of peace about the situation.

“I just had this crazy feeling that she wasn’t hiding out or dead but in the company of someone that temporarily needed her,” he later wrote. “Maya means magic and that’s what this dog is.”

Unbeknownst to Darge, his pup had run into some kind homeless folks who picked her up near Darge’s office in Hollywood. Like many homeless people, they didn’t have much, but they were selfless with what they’d found.

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They knew just the person to take this puppy to. His name was James, and he’d just lost his furry companion the week before.

He was happy to see the little terrier mix, but soon realized there was contact information on the harness she was wearing, and he knew that she belonged to someone else.

A day later, Darge got a call from James, explaining that Maya was safe and he could come to pick her up. His dog had only been gone 36 hours, but good people had found her!

When Darge and James met, he found out that James’ nickname was Canine, because he was a dog enthusiast. It was hard for James to let the dog go, but he wanted the dog to be back with her family.

Darge was impressed with the honesty and kindness that James showed. James could have just taken the dog and no one would have been the wiser — but that wasn’t the kind of person James was.

“And the biggest lesson for me was that you can’t put a price on a good heart,” Darge continued. “I gave James $200 in cash but he refused several times to take the money.”

“He just wanted to get her back to the person who loves her the most. It was all about love for James.”

“After several attempts, I insisted he take the money and wouldn’t accept NO for an answer. James started to cry. He needed the money but didn’t want to make it about that. He was so grateful.”

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After their interaction, Darge wanted to do something for this upstanding individual. “With tears in his eyes, James told me to pray for him,” he wrote.

“This is my way of praying for James. So many of you were touched by this story and have asked me how you can help send James some good will. This is the way. I think in James’ mind we will never see each other ever again. I have other plans in mind.”

Darge started a GoFundMe for James and hopes to surprise him with $10,000 and a new shot at life. As of Saturday afternoon, he’s raised almost $6,000 to gift to his pup’s rescuer.

“You gave me hope,” Darge wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Now lets give some of that hope to James. He deserves it.”

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