Most cities have laws against vagrancy. Many police officers have a beat that entails nothing more than making sure that vagrants and homeless people aren’t loitering.
Those who call the streets home become well used to having those in uniform speaking gruffly to them, telling them to “move along.”
They are told to “find somewhere else” when sometimes it seems that they’ve already exhausted all of the possible “somewhere elses.”
Many times businesses call the police if they even see someone near their property that appear to be carrying all their worldly possessions.
It’s a tough world when you don’t have a home, whether you’re a dog or a human.
Sometimes though, human kindness shows through even the gruffest exterior and bounces off even the shiniest badges.
Kaitlyn McNamara stopped off at a Buffalo, New York gas station one Sunday morning, planning on getting only a cup of coffee. Instead, she got something that warmed her heart instead of her belly.
She had just walked into the station when she noticed two officers approaching someone sitting on the curbside. McNamara had noticed the person when she walked by.
Judging by the woman’s appearance and the bags sitting around her and her dog, it was easy to assume that she was a street person.
She watched to see what would happen when the officers confronted the person. Fearing a confrontation might be brewing, she waited before walking in that direction for a few moments.
The officers walked up to the person and she heard one of them ask if it was ok if he patted her dog. The woman nodded her approval and the officer began petting the dog that was sitting beside her.
The woman didn’t seem to be distressed by the officer’s presence, so McNamara relaxed a bit.
She continued to watch as one of the officers went into the store. McNamara ordered her coffee then went to wait in line to pay for it.
The officer, who had gotten in line just before her, had several boxes of dog treats in his arms she noticed. She wondered for a moment if they were for the woman’s dog.
Indeed. They were.
“I walked out at the same time as them and heard the officer say, ‘Here, I bought your dog some stuff,‘” McNamara recalls. “Her face immediately lit up.”
Seeing that simple gesture of kindness had an unexpected and profoundly moving effect on McNamara.
“I started crying,” she said. “I didn’t want to intrude on the moment too much so I continued into my car and secretly watched from afar.”
“It was very selfless and genuine and real. It did not feel rehearsed or out of obligation. It was very real. Truly beautiful.”
She continued to watch as the officers chatted with the woman and patted her dog. Both the woman and the dog were obviously enjoying the officers’ generosity and conversation.
The life of the homeless is a lonely one. That spark of genuine caring was likely the only kind thing that had happened to the woman in quite a while.
Warm hugs to the officers that took a moment out of their day to make a difference to someone who was likely struggling to find a reason to keep going.
McNamara realized that she had seen a truly selfless action, and her life was changed for the better.
“We live in a beautiful world and, despite the negativity that often rises to the headlines, there is still good out there,” she said. “A lot of it.”
If you’d like to help animal owners near you who may be struggling or facing care challenges, consider making a donation to the charity Pets of the Homeless.
Source: The Dodo