In case you’re hearing about My Dog Eats First for the first time, our mission is to provide free pet food, supplies, veterinary care and spay/neuter services to the homeless and underserved with pets in our community. Our programs foster a “judgement-free” attitude and atmosphere that welcomes all people, no matter what personal challenges they face or what their station in life might be as long as they are committed to the wellness and safety of their pets.
Which brings me to my story about my day today.
Yesterday afternoon I received a phone call from staff member Chelsea Lanning at Louisville Metro Animal Services. There was a gentleman sitting there (we’ll call him “Johnny” for privacy) with his dog Buddy. “Johnny” was CRITICALLY ill, but desperate for a promise from someone to care for his 12 year old best fur- friend, Buddy and refused to leave LMAS until someone would do just that.
You see, Buddy is all he has. As is the case for most homeless with pets, Buddy is the only companion that has never judged him…never let him down….always loved him unconditionally. Johnny has had Buddy since he was born and they have NEVER been apart. Not in twelve long years.
We asked LMAS to hold onto Buddy until 9 a.m. so that Johnny could go ahead and go to the hospital and they agreed.
Johnny left for the hospital, made it to the emergency room doors and collapsed. The doctors told him if he had waited any longer he may not have made it because he was bleeding profusely internally. In fact, Johnny was supposed to be admitted to the hospital two days ago for a medical issue, but refused to because he had nowhere for his beloved Buddy to go.
Beth Green of My Dog Eats First and LMAS Director Jessica Jo Montgomery with Buddy
This morning we (myself and a couple big-hearted folks who asked to remain anonymous) picked up Buddy from LMAS. They let us in earlier than what I was supposed to be there and the LMAS staff were all very compassionate and wonderful and the director, Jessica Jo Montgomery came out and spoke to us at length about what we are trying to do for the homeless with pets in the community. We could tell they were ALL genuinely concerned about Buddy. We wish we could mention them all by name.
Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous friend of MDEF who took the time to gather (at the last minute) financial support for Buddy, we were able to take him for boarding at Dogwood Kennels for at least a week, fully paid. Jennifer, a groomer and staff member there was so kind and gracious. She let us take Buddy back to his kennel, which was sparkling clean and had access to a private run. She gave him fresh water, food and we left a blanket for him to sleep on. We’ll be taking a better bed for this ol’ boy. He doesn’t need to be sleeping on concrete.
Buddy is in great health overall. As do most homeless folks with pets, Johnny has invested most of his meager income into the health and wellness of his very best friend, his dog.
We went to visit Johnny in the hospital after we got Buddy settled. We took him pictures of Buddy and gave him the phone number to the kennel so he could call him. He wept and thanked us over and over. Until we pressed, he never said a word about his own very SERIOUS health conditions….he was only worried about his dog. We implored him to take good care of himself and promised him we would take care of Buddy. He was such a kind, humble and obviously wonderful man. We don’t know how he came to be homeless, but honestly we don’t care. We only care about helping this kind man and his dog.
We thank all that helped for your kindness, generosity and support for what we are trying to do for Johnny and Buddy. Johnny’s health issues are grave and he is going to be hospitalized for a while. He must have at least one surgery if not more. If you would like to donate to Buddy’s care, please click the “donate” button on our website and specify in the “notes” section that your donation is for Buddy.
Beth Green, Founder/Director & The Happiness Team at My Dog Eats First, Inc.