My true friend
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
by Mary Oliver
Today while looking for photographs of cute animals on flickr I came across the story of Chris and Brandy. Somehow this seemed to tell the true meaning of Christmas and giving more than photos of cute animal under the Christmas tree. Here is their story as told my the photographer who took these pictures.
I found this homeless man with his dog, he was ever so gentle and loving with man’s best friend. Chris told me his dog, Brandy, was all he had in the world. His last dog was taken away from him by the police because he did not have tags or a licence for the dog. The dog was euthanized. Killed by law enforcement! This is how they protect and serve. How can anyone be so heartless to take the only thing that a homeless person has? For that matter, whether homeless or not, our pets are sometimes the only love any of us really have.
It’s ironic, but Chris saved this dog as a puppy when it received a beating in a hotel room by a man that just threw the dog to the streets. Chris, being homeless, heard the puppy dog crying and being beaten and repeatedly hit. For as a homeless man was in the nearby trees spending the night. Chris saved Brandy, and in turn Brandy has saved Chris.
Chris and Brandy have such beautifully soulful eyes. Through all the pictures I took, this man was smiling. I kept wondering what made him so happy? Maybe it boils down to being happy with the one you love. How simple is happiness.
But, then again, maybe Chris was just hiding his pain and suffering. We never know how much someone is hurting. Maybe if we treat everyone with compassion, assuming the worse has happened to them, then in the process we may save ourselves.
I did try to find Chris and Brandy again, without any luck. I had wanted to pay for the spaying of Brandy. I have heard horror stories of dogs going into heat and being attacked by the male dogs on the streets. I do hope the two of them are doing okay.