A homeless man whose beloved dog was stolen when he left him tied up outside a Hungry Jack’s (Australia’s version of Burger King) for five minutes Saturday evening got the Christmas present he had been praying for: He and Hooch, his wolfhound mix and only real possession in the world, were reunited early Monday.
My heart leapt out of my chest when I saw him, said Dougie Walker, 32, who was overcome by emotion when speaking with The Age.
“Hes my whole life … I used to be addicted to drugs. Ever since Ive had this dog, he keeps me not on drugs.”
The Age reports that the Melbourne, Australia, man has been homeless since his mother died when he was only 14. (How on earth does something like this happen?)
Police were instrumental in reuniting the pair. Earlier today they received a call from a man who was walking his Golden retriever when he saw a dog who fit the description of Hooch, whom he had read about in a news report. A police sergeant fielded the phone call, and he rounded up two other officers and Walker. They drove across town and met up with the man who had seen Hooch. He took them to an area under a rail bridge, where a man who fit the description of the thief was sleeping next to the dog. Police arrested the suspect and took him in for questioning.
It’s a very happy ending for this duo. Of course it would be ideal if they could get a roof over their heads. But I’ve seen plenty of very devoted and healthy dogs whose owners live in parks. In fact, we found a beautiful German short-haired pointer several years ago, and his microchip referred us to the phone number of a friend of the owner. It turns out the owner was homeless, living in Golden Gate Park. I initially had qualms about bringing them back together, but when they were reunited, you’ve never seen two happier beings. A home is so much more than four walls and a roof.
Here’s to a contented, drug-free life, Dougie. Maybe Santa can get you a little apartment along the way, or at least someone to watch Hooch when you go into a restaurant or store…