Here’s a story that’s sure to warm your heart on a cold day. It’s about a dog whose love means everything to many who have next to nothing.
It�s a place that has gone to the dogs, well just one dog, named Truman.
Jim Upton, Truman’s Owner: �As soon as we walk on the property people are hollering for him from the sidewalk. We�ll drive down the street and everybody will be hollering, �Hey Truman, Hey Truman.��
Truman’s owner, Jim Upton, is a program coordinator for Catholic Community Services, a homeless outreach program in Salt Lake City. Upton first brought Truman here a year ago. Since then the Golden Retriever has quickly become everybody’s dog.
…And his friends are grateful. Most of them are homeless, yet they’ll spend what little extra money they have to buy Truman toys and treats.
Jim Upton: “He also gets Christmas cards every year. His name is normally first–Truman and Jim.”
Next to our parish is a food kitchen run by our church. In a garden area outside the side entrance of the church would congregate homeless men begging for money. Our pastor had posted on the doors not to give these men money since their clothing and food was already being provided by the church. One of these homeless men had a dog resembling a German Shepard. As we went into the door he would ask for money to buy food for his dog and he stated right out that the church was providing him food. We would occasionally give him some money for dog food and would greet him each day as we went to Mass. It was my wife’s idea to buy some cans of dog food, can opener, and a bowl. When we saw him we handed him this bag and I tried to tell him that we cared about him and that these gifts for his dog in no way was saying that his dog was more important than he was. He thanked us and after that I didn’t see him around. A couple of weeks later while in Mass a seeming stranger came up to me while I was knelling in the pew before Mass. He started to talk to me and told me how much he appreciated what we had done for him and the hope it had given him. I was totally confused and it finally dawned on me that this man now cleanly shaved with a hair cut and presentable clothes was this very same man with the dog. I can hardly explain the feelings that swept through me. The joy of seeing the change in this man, but at the same time feeling totally unworthy of this man thanks. It was truly my wife’s charity and not mine that he was thanking us for and I alone would probably never have taken that step. That day as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta would say, I truly saw Jesus in the distressing disguise of the poor. I have a terrible memory for names and I wish that I could remember his as I thank him for the gift he had given me.