I think his name was James, but I can’t remember for sure. What I do remember is the day’s heat, the metal cart and a rust-colored dog.
Like many homeless people, James carried his belongings in a grocery cart–a sort of mobile home for the homeless, but without the protection of a roof, the support of four walls or the security of a front door.
I’d just walked out of the local Safeway store into its parking lot. He ambled over from a park across the street. His eyes were narrow, his face tanned and his clothes dirty brown from weeks of sleeping in the streets.
Being a dog lover, I found my eyes drawn to the dog–a mixed breed with matted hair, worn eyes and gray hairs on his snout. He looked underweight; I guessed he weighed no more than thirty or forty pounds. He stood obediently by James’ side, tethered by a rope leash.
“What’s his name?” I asked.
“He’s Bob–best dog there is. In fact, best friend a man could have,” said James in a deep smoker’s voice. He smiled and rubbed Bob’s back.
Then he asked, “Can you give me some money so I …