We’ve all seen people begging for money, with signs that range from the prosaic to the endearing.
“Will work for food” is pretty old hat these days, and most people looking for money for nothing know that potential donors are unlikely to put a buck in their hat for that one anymore. So many have come up with more creative signage, hoping to stop someone in their tracks and make them dig for change in their jeans pocket.
It was such a man who caught the eye of Texan Wilma Price recently at a Houston Wal-Mart. The man, who looked like a thin, disheveled millennial who’d gone a week without showering and maybe that long without a hot meal, held up a sign that said “Dog in Pound Need Help.
That was a new one for Price, who stopped in the parking lot before going in, trying to decide what to do.
After all, some homeless people are in their situations due to mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, or both. How was Price to know if she might be attacked, or have her wallet snatched? But the sign had already tugged at her heart enough that she simply couldn’t walk away.
Even when she learned the man needed a supposed $120 to get his dog out, she didn’t waver. Although she only had a few dollars in cash on her at the time, she gave the guy her contact info and determined to save the dog herself, come hell or high water.
Of course, she wasn’t a total patsy. She made a call to the shelter where the man said his dog was being housed, and learned that his story was, in fact, legit. She learned that the $120 to free the pup was accurate as well. The pound had to give the little dog numerous shots, some preventative, as well as the legally required rabies shot, and then there was the fee for his care while there for two days.
By this point, the woman was totally invested in saving the canine, but not before finding out what had happened to make the homeless man named Patrick end up in such a cold place. It turned out that Patrick had been arrested on a vagrancy charge and was hauled off to jail. His dog, of course, could not come with him, and the poor pup was sent to his own doggie prison for no crime he ever committed.
Having learned the back story, Wilma simply went to the pound with the man and freed his dog with the money she kindly offered up herself. It was clear the little fellow was very happy to see his master, making the generous gesture all the more satisfying for Price.
Patrick even offered to repay Price what he could, with money he had gathered from begging in the Wal-Mart parking lot. But the kind-hearted woman decided he needed that money more than she did, and told him to hold onto the cash, and his precious dog, and hopefully find a better life for both of them going forward.
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