Sandy – 4 November 2013

Posted: November 4, 2013 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,




4 November 2013

Chuck Senior, with his dog Sandy, were at their usual corner.

“How was your weekend, Chuck?

“It was good and it was terrible. I was lucky enough to go to two Senators’ games, but we lost them both. It was pure incompetence, plain and simple. They wouldn’t shoot the puck. That Spezza shouldn’t be Captain, he doesn’t have the balls for it. He scored one goal, from two feet away, into an open net. If he’d missed that one they would have thrown him off the team. The fans would probably have run him out of town.”

“How has Sandy been doing?” I bent down to where she was wrapped in her blanket. She licked my nose.

“She’s doing alright, still recovering from her last operation. She can run, but usually she just lifts her rear leg and gets around on her other three.”

“What kind of operation did she have?”

“It was a genetic thing. Her patella was displaced. It’s sometimes called a ‘trick knee’ or patellar luxation. Pomeranians, dachshunds and other miniature breeds get this a lot . I’ve spent over two thousand dollars on her this year. That’s why I’m out here. That and to pay my heat and hydro. She’s all I got. I don’t smoke, drink, take drugs. It’s just me and her. I’d be awfully lonely without her.

“She also had problems with her teeth.  That’s genetic too. The anaesthetic cost a hundred dollars and that was administered by an assistant. That’s robbery if you ask me. The first time they took out four and cleaned the rest.  The next time they took out thirteen.”

I asked, “Have you thought about health insurance for her?”

“I’ve thought about it. The way insurance companies make money is if you never make a claim. For something genetic like this they wouldn’t cover her.”

“How old is she?”

“Seven. If I’m lucky I’ll have her for another seven to nine years. I don’t expect to be around much longer than that.”

A police van stopped at the corner.

“He’s probably going to ask me to move along.”

An officer got out of the van and walked down the street. He didn’t look at Chuck.

I asked, “Do they usually give you a hard time?”

“There are good ones and bad ones. I never cause any trouble. I don’t ask for money. Usually, they leave me alone.

“There’s this one cop, Rogan, he’s a bad one.  A friend of mine, Henri, used to pan in the next block. He’s dead now. Rogan  came up  and clubbed him. No warning, no nothing;  just clubbed him as he sat on the sidewalk.

“There was another panhandler, who’d made a bit of money, walked into a restaurant and ordered a meal. Rogan came in, dumped his meal into the trash and said, ‘You don’t belong here. Go down to the Mission and eat with the rest of the scum.’

“There were two other guys, he saw in a bar, having a couple of beers. He dumped their drinks, hauled them outside and beat the shit out of them.”

I said, “I have t go to work now, Chuck. Take care.”


  1. Some people just leave me speechless.


  2. Rene says:

    Reblogging this to show people not all homeless people are drug/alcohol addicts. There are a lot of people here in the States which are just caught between a rock and a hard place. There are no jobs and the system is letting them down, especially after this week.

    Chuck is really cool to do this for his dog. I often wonder if I was homeless I would have to take my dog, and although he is cute and would probably get us some money, he also has his needs and food issues. It would be challenging.



    • I’ve met many homeless people who aren’t drug/alcohol addicts. Sometimes they panhandle, but they mind their own business and tend not to congregate with the alcoholics. The alcoholics stay away from the drug addicts because their temperaments are so different.

      I agree, unemployment is high and the system is letting many people down. There aren’t many alternatives when one loses their employment. I’ve been in that position myself. ~ Dennis


  3. Rene says:

    Reblogged this on Mind Chatter.


  4. leewriter says:

    I commented on Facebook (while sharing this blog) that if I ever become homeless, I’ll be like Chuck Sr. and have a dog with me. I lost my Rat Terrier, Indy this May. He was 16 or 17. My wife Amy was alive when we got Indy from the breeder (she died from alcohol abuse at 41 back in late 2006). if was her idea to get a puppy. He fit into the pocket of my winter jacket. After Amy died, I moved back to Red Wing. After may dad died and about three weeks before my mom died, Indy died in my lap at home. I took him to the vet in the morning because one of his back legs was infected, they gave him antibiotics but I could tell he was dying. The second time I took him to the vet he was dead. I had him cremated. Anyway, that was rather longer a post than I planned. Anyhow, nice post. Yeah, the cop thing is scary but like the people in the government, it’s another case of the lunatics running the asylum. Do the best you can by acting a decent human being and beware that many folks won’t have your best interest at heart.


    • Hi Lee, that is a great comment, “the cop thing is scary but like the people in the government, it’s another case of the lunatics running the asylum.” That’s the way it seems, alright. ~ Dennis


  5. whocantopit says:

    Wow, people are just shit today. Cops think that they have a gun n badge they can do anything. Sad story 😦


  6. Sounded like the officer had a few problems to deal with I think as well as being told to move them on by the establishment so that people can’t see their failures to do something to help those less fortunate within our communities. Which is what they are there for in the first place. Says a lot about how they think. Thank you for these incredible shares Dennis. They never fail to give me a lot more understanding and empathy for those that are forced to be ‘out of sight, out of mind!’ Namaste


    • Hi Mark, your comment reminded me of my youth. The guys who liked to fight either went to prison or the police force. Many police officers are helpful, but I’ve encountered a lot of bullies as well. I learn something from my friends every day. Namaste


  7. riselikeair says:

    Breaks my heart in too many ways.


  8. glasshill says:

    Horrifying. I wonder what happened to the officer to affect him so terribly. He must be a very fearful and angry person.


  9. Ben Naga says:

    This “Like” of mine has nothing to do with this Rogan person. (Even though I am sure he has a lot of back story of his own to end up being like this way. Perhaps we should be addressing his “superiors”, the people who employ and (fail to) supervise him. .)

    And then again look at the things humans have done to canines.”Ubermensch” anyone? I like dogs’; people … sometimes not so much.


    • Some panhandlers have reported abuse by the police. That only made the situation worse. They were then targeted as being troublemakers. There are too many dark alleys and the back of cruisers where the police can exact revenge, with out any witnesses. Joy left Toronto for this very reason. ~ Dennis


      • Ben Naga says:

        If I had a solution I should be glad to offer it. My natural tendency is to be rather negative toward police persons and indeed people in authority in general. I try to remain balanced, but often fail, while their behaviour is frequently far that helpful.. I still stand behind my earlier comment. I was not suggesting we leave the panhandlers to confront this evil alone; quite to reverse. But that is so easy when I live in such a different situation.


  10. cannopener says:

    I’ve read research on homeless people in NZ (my country) which emphasised the importance of the dogs to the women studied. They are family, security, community, unconditional love… One of the real issues faced by people here being placed into housing is that often the govt housing doesn’t allow dogs, and many people would rather be on the street than give up their dog.

    As for Rogan… absolutely sickening. What can be done? Is there anything?


    • Dogs are great companions, especially for those alone. In the case of women, dogs are good protection as well. My wife works with Alzheimer’s patients. A woman with a dog comes by regularly. It is great comfort for those who otherwise have difficulty communicating. Dogs seem to love everybody if given a chance.

      The only thing that can be done with officers like Rogan is to capture them on video. The courts rely heavily on visual evidence. Otherwise, he’ll continue as he pleases. ~ Dennis


  11. Patty B says:

    It breaks my heart. I remember a time when we had a homeless near our home, he left people alone although would say hi if you passed him. I live in a small town and the police knew him pretty good and in the winter would “arrest” him so they could get him off the streets into a warm cell with food. Other than that Joe would refuse to go to our only mission, probably because there was always a waiting list. It made me feel good that our police officers took care of him. I pray that more good ones come forward to take care of your friends.


    • I’ve seen Judges do this as well. A man threw a brick through a store window. His reason wasn’t to steal, but to go back to prison to finish his welding course. The Judge arranged his sentence so that he would be released in the warmer weather. ~ Dennis


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