I’m Homeless, Not Dogless

This heart-warming headline describes Crimson, a homeless writer from Oklahoma City. In the September issue of the Curbside Chronicle, the city’s brand new street newspaper, the writer tells of her devotion to rescuing, feeding and re-homing stray dogs. Her story makes clear: a furry companion can be as important to a homeless person as to anyone else, offering comfort, protection and a sense of consistency to life. And the exchange can be mutual. Caring for a stray animal and finding him a new caring household can give new life not just to the animal but also to a rescuer like Crimson.

Crimson discovered her love for animals when she was traveling around with her family’s circus as a young girl. Without a stable home and human friends around, she took care of the carnival animals. Her love for animals grew stronger, and when she found herself homeless years later in Oklahoma, an encounter with a wounded, starving stray dog who walked up to her in the street nearly broke her heart. She nurtured him back to life and took him to a shelter, which eventually placed him with a foster family. The snow-white Chihuahua was only the first of countless stray dogs she has saved from a cold and lonesome death in the streets.

Of course, Crimson has a hard time getting by as it is, and only limited means to provide for both herself and the animals. That’s why she recognizes that she “can’t save them all.” She speaks out strongly against the kind of animal hoarding others fall into. “I think that’s just as inhumane as leaving them on the streets,” she says. “If you want a pet, make sure you have what it needs. You may not share my love for animals, but regardless of how you feel about them, they deserve humane treatment.”

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We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.