Saturday, December 3, 2011

doug and hooch

I don't have photoshop on my spanking new macbook (thanks sooooo much guys, lovin' it!), so I can't post photos till i get it. I tried today but it didn't work. So let me tell you about Doug and Hooch.

Alicia and I just had lunch at Ponyfish Island, and went over to see how our friends' stall was doing at MARKIT. When we headed back to the car, we decided to buy some KFC to bring home. Just snack boxes, we're not fatties. I think.

So I took out the last $5 bill and gave it to Alicia while I waited at the car. I found a dollar in the car.

As I was putting stuff into the trunk, I saw a homeless man sitting outside KFC. This was the one on Elizabeth Street, near Flinders station. I usually sympathise with the homeless, but this man caught my attention as he had a huge black dog lying by his right side, with his head resting on his master's lap.

I took my last dollar and put it in his bowl. I felt prompted to talk to him.

"What's his name?" was the best I could come up with to start the conversation, as I patted his dog.

"HOOCH!", he mumbled, while Hooch got up to greet me.

"Come on Hoochie, this side!" I didn't know why he didn't want Hoochie to face the left side.

He told me about how Hoochie was stolen, and how he got him back.
"How are you? You doing okay?"

"Everyday's a bugger, mate."

Apparently Doug and Hoochie had an article written about them in the Herald Sun the week before, telling their story.

"I've had him since my mom died, I can't do it without him. I just can't. I think I'd have.. killed myself, if it weren't for him"

He strokes Hoochie's dirty coat, and you see the love in their eyes, for each other.

What I saw was a dog that was better fed than he was. Doug's legs were skinny and full of scars.

He's been looking for a home everywhere, but people just don't accept pets. He wasn't gonna give up Hoochie. He even went all the way to Sunshine as there was a home which allowed pets, so they advertised.

He got there and the lady said Hoochie was too big.

"Why didn't you just say 'ONLY SMALL PETS ALLOWED'? I almost swore at her, I tell ya"

And here I was thinking a man like him would swear all the time. How judgemental.

Then I blurted out, "Doug, can I pray for you?"

Have you ever had these moments? When your heart just bypasses your brain and says whatever it wanted to say? I didn't even know what to pray about, I only hoped that God blesses him with a home.

"Sure man", he smiled.

I don't even remember what I prayed about.

"Amen", Doug said while doing the sign of the cross Catholics do. I wasn't gonna correct him, but I hope my prayer stirred something in him.

"I'm really sorry I can't give more"

"That's okay man, I really appreciate it"

I wished Doug and Hoochie a great Christmas as I left, and felt almost stupid buying KFC and driving a car back. My heart sank, and I really wished I could provide a home for them. I drove off feeling so blessed, yet I was crying inside for them.

Doug is sincere. Doug is desperate. Doug is not who you think he is.

Talk to him if you can, and give Hoochie some love. Help him out in whatever way you can, even if it's just a can of dog food.

Read about him here.

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