We remarked that sometimes it worried us for the pet in those situations but I had read or had somewhere in the recesses of my memory or had come to understand that when people have pets they care for the pet first and then themselves. I pulled in to the gas station thinking that my vew of the situation was correct and that cute little dog was very much loved by that young woman.
From the pump, I could see them still. They were packing up, ready to move on. I noticed I could not see the dog anymore. Then the young woman turned around and the dog was now securly in her packback. They got on their bikes and rode across the street towards the gas station. I put the nozzle away, put my gas cap back on and got back in the car. The young couple were riding up the store behind me. I remembered that I had thrown a crumpled up $5 bill in to my purse. I got in the car, fished it out, and told my husband I would be right back, hurrying to catch up to her.
The young woman, with her dog in backpack was already in the store. I followed her in. I found her looking at the dog food.... She wasn't buying something for herself, she was buying food for her precious companion. I went up to her, touched her arm and said, "This is for you and your dog." I pet him on the head and she looked at me and said. "Oh, bless you, thank you so much." I didn't say anything else. I smiled and left. My husband told me I was a kind person.
As I sit here writing this, I am thinking about all the times someone helped me. Now I was never homeless so I cannot tell you what that feels like. I do know what it means to worry about the next rent payment, or the next power bill, or the next job. I have had some pretty lean years as a teen and as an adult. But never that desperate. I will never know anything about that young woman. I don't know what lead her to today, in a QT wondering if she would be able to feed her dog. But I do know this, that as I ponder running for politcal office, I am forever going to think about that young woman and the look on her face because I gave her a $5. And that if there is any way that I can change policy, create or enhance a program that could help someone like her, that is what I want to do. I want to help people to get out of that and in to something better even if it was only for an hour or a day. Because that hour or that day maybe the thing that changes the course of their lives. Everyone deserves a chance to live the life that they were meant to. We should help when we can. We should give people a hand up that sometimes includes a hand out. If I can help one woman escape poverty, violence, abuse....I want to do it.
She had a dog. And he got to eat today.