Good Samaritans Save Homeless Man’s Dog from Death Row
Many people are down on their luck for one reason or another, sometimes through no fault of their own, sometimes because they screw up. In the case of 58-year-old Auther McDonald of Hesperia, CA, he screwed up; drugs, lost his company, lost his home, his truck broke down and then he found himself living in a tent in a dirt field in Hesperia. But McDonald has been working on pulling himself together and he has a real reason to too, that’s Big Boy, his beloved constant canine companion.
McDonald would spend his days walking up and down Main Street, sometimes 8-10 miles a day, Big Boy by his side, collecting cans for recycling, taking on small jobs, doing whatever he could to pick himself up and keep going.
One day, Oct. 26, to give Big Boy a break and rest, he tied him in a shady spot near Sparky’s Self Storage and Carwash where McDonald was a familiar face. Problem was, when he came back, Big Boy was no where to be found. McDonald search high and low for Big Boy for two and a half days until he ran into Don Willis, maintenance worker for Sparky’s.
The workers at Sparky’s describe McDonald a friendly and positive despite his situation, a situation that he works daily to improve.
“It’s not like he’s just sitting on the street corner begging for money,” said Sparky’s sales associate Pat Willis. “He does try to help himself.”
Willis headed straight for the Hesperia Animal Shelter to see if Big Boy was there.
“I put myself in his position and I would hope someone would help me,” Don Willis said. “That’s his companion, and it was something good to do.”
Willis found the 8-year-old shepherd-mix at the shelter but also found out that Big Boy was scheduled for die on Friday if someone didn’t claim him, get him up to date on his shots and have him neutered, at a cost of $145. Knowing that there was no way McDonald would have the money, Willis immediately took up a collection from his co-workers who quickly covered the cost and instead of Friday being a day of doom for Big Boy, it was a day of reunion and celebration for him and McDonald!
“He lives in a tent and we felt so bad for him because it was like his kid,” said Charlayne Vest, a Sparky’s sales associate. “And the dog just loves him, just follows him everywhere.”
Sure, McDonald could have wallowed in self-pity after he lost everything, blamed anyone and everyone for his problems but he didn’t. He picked himself up and works everyday to overcome unlike so many people out there who are down on their luck. And sure, the workers at Sparky’s could have ignored McDonald, after all, he was just another homeless man, but they didn’t.
Yes, times are tough for so many of us right now but one thing that keeps up human is our love and compassion for those around us, whether they be two- or four-legged. McDonald and Big Boy were lucky to find that love and compassion and the workers at Sparky’s are richer for their kindness. Kudoes to you all and a big thank you!
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