Hungry Dog and Man Huddle Behind Grocery Store: Shopper Makes Their Day


Written by Amanda Mikalson of Washington

I live in a small rural community in Eastern Washington where, although there is homelessness, it isn’t discussed. Although our community has some resources and some very dedicated good hearts, help can be hard to come by. One day in the middle of summer last year as a storm was approaching, I saw a man walking down the highway into Colfax (one of the larger towns in Whitman County) with a small dog draped across his shoulders. I decided that if the man was still in town when I got out of physical therapy, I would do all I could to help him and his dog.

After an hour of physical therapy, I went to the local grocery store and asked some people if anyone had seen this man and his dog. Someone said that they thought he was behind the store with his dog. I would also like to note that no one really seemed to care that this man was homeless and alone. So it was then that I proceeded to buy a 12 pound bag of puppy chow, a large bottle of water, dog treats and a turkey sandwich. I then called my Mom to tell her where I would be just in case something went wrong (and since I am a woman and was alone).

He Took My Hand and Started to Cry

I pulled into the lot and walked out and asked the man about his situtation. He told me that he had been traveling a long ways, had had a ride into town, but the man who had been driving him made him get out 5 miles outside of town and walk (this was despite the fact that the driver was heading in the same direction). This man told me that he had found God and was trying to turn his life around and get a job. He asked me if I knew of anyone who could give him a ride into Spokane. I told him I didn’t, unfortunately (it was right then that I wished desperately that my Dad was still alive because he would have given him a ride in a heartbeat).

I then proceeded to give the man the grocery bag full of what I had bought earlier for him and his dog. The man shook my hand and started to cry, telling me how grateful he was as he didn’t know how he was going to feed his dog that night and how they were out of food. I tried to hold back my tears and wished him the best of luck and prayed for him.

I then called my Mom back and she informed me that there was a Pastor that works for the Sheriff’s Department and they are very willing to help the homeless. I called both the Sheriff’s Department and Community Action Center and asked them if they could help this man. They said they would go out and see if they could find him and give him a room for a night in a local motel. By the time they went back to the grocery store, the man and his dog (Harley, I will never forget the dog’s name) were gone.

All I can do is hope and pray that the two of them have succeeded and are happy and okay. I would say that if you are ever in the same position, do whatever you can. Bring this person food and water for both themselves and their animal, but also make sure someone knows where you are at, just in case. God Bless those in need, and those who help.

What Kindness Will You Spread Today?

We have developed such a strong culture of excuses to protect ourselves from the painfulness of the suffering of others.  So often we tell ourselves things like, “What difference will it make if I help” or “I can’t save the whole world.”  But in our daily lives, there are always moments of opportunity to show kindness, to approach a situation with a positive, open mind. Today we celebrate Amanda Mikalson’s kindness to this homeless man and his dog and we hope that readers will be inspired by her actions.  If you have a story of how you helped an animal in need, please reach out and share it on our website at The Great Animal Rescue Chase.


Related Stories:

What To Do When You Encounter Homeless People With Pets

Serial Killers Hunting Abandoned Pets

From Shelter Dog Facing Death to New Broadway Star


Photo credit: Has1sue |


Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Gloria Morotti
Gloria Morotti5 years ago

If everyone on the planet were this kind to others, we would have no problems.

Anne Khan
Anne khan5 years ago

Amanda ~ if only the rest of humanity were as caring what a beautiful existence we all would have on this beautiful planet we inhabit for a short while . . . . .

Nancy ~ i don't recall anything as to where Amanda gave this poor soul any money . . . only groceries . . . and while i agree that sometimes homeless people can be somewhat aggressive in their approach, its only because of need ~ whether its alcohol/drugs/cost of a bed for the night/food etc etc . . .

Here in the UK lots of homeless people have dogs, these pets are ALWAYS well fed-well looked after-happy-cared for/cared far more than the homeless person affords himself, and, probably loved a lot more than a lot of so called "family pets". Dogs are a homeless persons best friend, companion and protector. If homeless persons are aggressive to members of the public then you can be sure they will be the same to all, having a dog when you are living rough i.e.: on the streets, keeps you safe . . . .

Well said ~ MichaelC ~ Jane R ~ Amber B ~ Rosemary G . . . . etc etc . . . .

Nancy K.
Nancy Knudson5 years ago

I have a different feeling about this story. In this bad economy there have been many people who have had to give away their beloved pets due to the inability to feed them. They did it out of love to make sure the animal got what they need and will not have to suffer just because of the owners financial situation, just like a loving parent does when they give their unborn child up for adoption. It seems to be more and more common to see homeless people with pets and it really disturbs me. I feel they are extremely selfish and self-serving to do this. How can you profess to love an animal and force this lifestyle on them? They did not ask to be homeless or suffer. Also while I am sad for truly homeless people but am very skeptical about them because I feel the ones who stand around trying to solicit donations are not truly in need. I would more inclined to drive them to the soup kitchen or homeless shelter than hand them money. The way the example in the story and the example of other posting stated that their homeless friends were gone when they returned convinces me they were what I fear only people who really only wanted money for liquor or drugs. While living in Eugene, Oregon where I saw an alarming number of homeless people it used to disgust me to have people nearly accost me when walking with my three small children and stop me to beg for money. Here I was a struggling single mom and was being asked for handouts from young people with no obligatins who made a

Elvira W.
Elvira W.5 years ago


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

so sad but good to know that people still care

Dianne D.
Dianne D5 years ago

Good story. Also look at this story as when you are down and out, only your best friend will not leave you and that says a lot for the dog.

federico bortoletto
federico b5 years ago

Grazie Amanda per tutto quello che ha fatto!

Jane R.
Jane R5 years ago

You are truely an angel. Thank you for helping this man and his dog. I wish they had still been there when others arrived to help him for the night.

Amber Beasley
Amber Beasley5 years ago

thank you for showing them kindness. I hope that if I come across a similar situation I will do the same. but we don't really know until we get there do we? I think for a lot of people when it comes down to it they are too afraid and just look the other way. but you truly had courage and compassion and I thank you again for that. I will be praying for that man and his dog. God bless