By Linda Tooth on December 13, 2023.
A few days ago, I walked into a local coffee shop that specializes in doughnuts when I was greeted by two small dogs sitting by a shopping bag full of what I assumed to be someone’s life possessions.
Clearly, they were waiting for their owner. The individual came out of the bathroom and the dogs were happy to be reunited for what was probably a couple of minutes for us, but a lifetime for them. My first thought was, ‘Where are those dogs going?’
Now before you start writing to Ticked Off about my lack of compassion or humanity, please read on. That person and dogs were in my thoughts that day as I wondered where they were going.
The next morning as per usual, I check social media to see what is going on. The first post I saw was on Facebook and it was someone asking for “somewhere warm and safe to sleep.” They even went on to say a garage floor would do.
I was intrigued and continued to read the comments. The one comment that stuck with me was someone asking if they still had their dogs. It was then I realized the person I saw was the same one who had put the post out for somewhere safe and warm to sleep. This individual is well known in this city as people were urging them to get help and to remember that their life was so much better than what it is now.
As we approach the Christmas and colder season, where do individuals go to seek shelter, warmth and food?
The Mustard Seed is one location in Medicine Hat. Right now, the great people at Murray Hyundai on Trans-Canada Way are partnering up with the Mustard Seed to help collect much-needed items for the season.
Those items include gently used clothing, feminine hygiene items, toothbrushes, razors, deodorant, toilet paper – and the list goes on. These are items we purchase for ourselves daily. Why not put an extra one in your cart and drop it off at Murray Hyundai? It might just be the item that helps people who are homeless stay safe.
Where do those with animals go when their owners are experiencing homelessness and poverty? I know the women’s shelter will take those who have experienced domestic violence, and if they have pets, they will be placed at a local shelter for a short period.
But what about everybody else? We need to do better for people and their animals.
I hope that individual found a warm and safe place to sleep the other night.
Linda Tooth is a communications instructor at Medicine Hat College