Homeless Humans and Dogs
Here's the beginning of an interesting post from The Homeless Guy blog. I would definitely encourage you to finish this article on his site. The rest of the posting is very touching.
Dogs Add A Human Element To The Homeless
Besides one person I met many years ago, who had a large parrot, dogs are the only pets I have known to be owned by homeless people. Faithful, functional, mostly dependable, dogs are perhaps the easiest to care of on the streets. Having dog does limit one's choice of shelter - the indoors are out. Therefore, being loyal to one's dog is paramount. And I know several homeless people who do just that.
Still, there are some challenges to taking care of a dog when you have no home. Keeping the dog fed is perhaps the difficult responsibility. Whenever the homeless person eats, he must remember to save a portion for his dog. And sometimes they have to panhandle or beg for dog food. Still, there are some people more inclined to feed a hungry dog, than a human.
Keeping up with a dog can sometimes be difficult too. There is the likelihood of losing the dog to animal control if he is left tied up somewhere for an extended period - like if its owner go off for a day to work. And, there are some well intentioned homed people who may think that keeping a dog on the streets is cruel, and will try to have the dog removed from its homeless owner, (what these people think is humane about leaving humans to live on the streets, is never addressed). But all the dogs I have seen, as pets belonging to homeless people, have all been taken care of. They are groomed, well fed, well loved. There is something in these dogs that helps the homeless keep hope, and keep their humanity, despite their situation.