Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
I had a dog when I had to live in a van. No way, no how was I going to give her up--in fact, she was part of the reason I was homeless. I couldn't find a rental that I could afford that would allow me to have a dog, and I wasn't giving her up.
I can't imagine if someone had told me I wasn't "allowed" to have a dog because I was homeless. She was my best friend, sometimes my only friend, and provided some security for a homeless young woman. I honestly believe that she kept a lot of would-be trouble away from me during that time.
And her needs were definitely met--before mine were, in fact. To be honest, she probably loved our year long "camping" adventure--she went everywhere with me, even to my college classes. Got plenty of exercise walking everywhere, playing ball and frisbee. Lots of social interaction, too.
I'm not gonna lie--it was hard at times. Bad weather sucked. Extreme heat, where the van was like a sauna. Rain, when the van leaked. I didn't mind the dry cold, we had each other and plenty of (hopefully dry) blankets at night.
If I hadn't had my dog while I was homeless, I don't know what would have happened to me.
Most of the dogs I see with homeless people are well cared for and well behaved. If I ever saw a homeless person with a sick-looking dog, I'd try to help.