Although we had never met – they were perfect strangers, it hurt to see them there in their temporary shelter. They weren’t much older than teenagers, and yet, there they were all bundled up under an assortment of mix and match blankets and towels – sleeping on the sidewalk. Laying beside the young couple on the sidewalk, was a large dog. The dog was all covered up too, with just his head showing.
All three of them were asleep, as I stood and stared at them. They had a cup and a handwritten sign asking for a donation and another cup beside the dog with kibbles, and a small bowl of water. I reached into my pocket but didn’t have any cash on me – just credit cards. I felt guilty as I walked away – heck, these were just children, I thought.
I had come to the city to attend the Crazy8’s Film Info Session at the RIO Theatre on Broadway Avenue, just a few doors down from where the kids and their dog were sleeping. I checked the time – it was at 11:30 AM – and the event was supposed to end at 4:00 PM, so I doubted that I would ever see them again. Their reason for being on the street is probably similar to many of the homeless, but I can’t imagine how their current living condition could be better, than what they were trying to escape. I wanted to stay and wait until they awoke and at least say hello and be a friendly face. I also wanted to meet their dog.
But the information session was crucial, and I needed to get a good seat, so I rushed into the RIO with my buddy Robert Mahe, with whom I recently started a film production company. We met as actors on set in 2008, and have been great friends ever since. We both wanted to produce films and will be using one of my published stories from my website as our first film project.
One hour later…
Although I was really enjoying the session, my mind kept wandering to those kids and their dog, laying on the pavement in the doorway of some building, on a cold and damp October afternoon. I got up and quickly walked outside the to see if they were still there. And they were! So I approached them and said hello. They looked up at me and smiled!
The dog appeared to be their spokesman because he suddenly gave me an evil-looking stare and then started to bark at me! I cautiously stepped back to reassure the dog, but that just seemed to make him angrier!
I asked if I could pet their dog, but now the dog was standing and on full alert! His stare became even scarier and his barking continued – non-stop!
I knew that a barking dog doesn’t mean that it’s vicious – or that it doesn’t like you (unless it’s my dog, Holly). Barking is their way of communicating. But it wasn’t his bark that gave me a bit of a chill. It was his eyes – I’ve never seen eyes like that before in my life! This was definitely, the scariest-looking dog I’ve ever seen.
“I’m sorry that I upset your dog,” I quickly uttered.
The young man politely explained that the barking indicated that the dog wanted me to pet him! And although that sounded somewhat counter-intuitive, their love for that dog was apparent, and it was all the reassurance I needed.
“May I take a video clip of your dog?” I asked.
“Sure!” they cheerfully replied.
I asked them for their dog’s name, and then I softly clapped my hands and said: “Come here, Rambo!”
Here’s a video clip of what followed:
Click to view – Rambo and his two kids
But Danny, you took me away from my hectic life to read about two homeless kids and their dog? Your stories used to be almost interesting, but now they’re redundant.
Relax, Spanky. And stop picking your nose!
Anyway, I posted this because I told the kids I would post the clip on my Facebook page and gave the boy my card. But it wasn’t until I got home a few hours later that I remembered that my Facebook page isn’t under my full name; I changed it several months ago. The library on Georgia Street is probably where they access computers to view their social media pages, and it bothered me that they might be disappointed when they can’t find my FB page. But my business card also has this website address, so that’s why I’ve written about them and their dog, Rambo – in the faint hope, that they’ll visit my website or email me. I went to a nearby ATM to get some cash and then returned and gave them $20 and wished them well and then walked away. The three of them were huddled together in the blanket, and that’s how I’ll always remember them.
It’s heart-breaking to see kids that young on the street and homeless. And yet, the Little Danny in me admired the fact, that these kids would rather be homeless than be apart. When I was their age, I too made a sacrifice to leave home to be with the one I loved and worked my way through the last year of high school just so I could be with her. There were many days I went to bed hungry, but it was worth it. But here’s the difference: when my girlfriend’s father forbade her from seeing me after we got engaged, she obeyed him, and I never saw her again. I didn’t know it at the time, but her father did me a favor – because his daughter didn’t love me enough to run away with me. I heard that she married a rich guy, which now makes sense.
So in closing, I hope that the kids get to read this and see the video. I also wanted the kids to know that I would have made the same sacrifice for love as they have and that they and their dog will always be my heroes!
And now the sky is crying! Bye, Rambo!
Today’s tune from Danny’s music library (purchased): Positively 4th Street ~ Bob Dylan
Lyrics: Positively 4th Street
When I was down you just stood there grinning.
You just want to be on the side that’s winning.
If you’re so hurt why then don’t you show it.
You had no faith to lose and you know it.
I used to be among the crowd you’re in with.
With the one who tries to hide what he don’t know, to begin with.
You say, “How are you?” “Good luck” but you don’t mean it.
Why don’t you just come out once and scream it.
If I was a master thief perhaps I’d rob them.
Don’t you understand it’s not my problem.
And just for that one moment, I could be you.
You’d know what a drag it is to see you.