Even in the worst of circumstances, some pet owners refuse to part with their beloved pets. We recently learned about a homeless man and his cat, who stuck together through thick and thin. Their story is inspiring during these horrific and unprecedented times when what we really need is a strong and healthy dose of hope. Even though times are tough there are still caring people in this world that will go out of their way to help a total stranger.
Atlanta man living in a tent with his cat
Fox5 Atlanta shared the heartwarming true story about a man and his cat who didn’t have a place to live, and how the kindness of strangers helped them to gain a home. Lynne Dale and her husband frequently heard a man calling for his cat named patches in the evening. Tracy Hardin had been living in a tent behind their home near Atlanta’s Freedom Park. He spent about 18 months living in the makeshift shelter with his beloved cat named Patches. Mrs. Dale had seen him through her window on the other side of her fence. The couple had become familiar with Hardin and developed a friendship with him. When Lynne found out that the city was going to make him leave the area they were concerned about his well-being. She realized he and Patches could freeze without shelter. She made the decision to do something to help him out. She set up a GoFundMe account. It only took a little more than a week to raise more than $35,000 to help Tracey get an apartment. It covered his rent for two years. He and Patches would no longer have to live in a tent.
The unsung heroes
Lynne and Charles Dale are selfless people who helped someone who started out being a stranger. They got to know him little by little but what secured their lifelong friendship was the gift of a home. Had Lynne not intervened and asked for help it’s hard to tell what might have become of Tracey and Patches. The Dales are true heroes and so are all of the people who donated funds to help out a total stranger in his time of need. Hardin became emotional when he first walked into his new home with Patches. Actress Elaine Hendrix even made sure that the apartment was completely furnished. She was also a stranger who had seen the post asking for help. Although she didn’t know the Dales or Hardin, the story moved her and she generously supplied some of his remaining needs by providing the furnishings he needed for his new home.
It’s about being human
Many people are forced to live on the streets for one reason or another. These are tough times, and many, like Hardin, have pets that they could not imagine living without. Just as the owners struggle for survival, so do the pets that are in their care. Those of us who are doing well and living comfortably in our warm homes with plenty to eat is in a better position in life, and it’s always good to help whenever possible. Things like warm blankets, a bag of pet food, or anything that you can spare can make a big difference in the life of someone who is down on their luck. In the case of Tracey Hardin and the Dales, they all came out of the situation with a new friend. Hardin views his new friends more like family and the relationship is reciprocal. Patches have a secure place to live with his pet parent who held his pet dear and looked after him during one of the toughest times in his life.
Ways to help
Tracey Hardin turned out to be a kind pet owner and the strangers who gave him a helping hand helped him get the miracle that he was in need of. There are a lot of ways that we can help those who are less fortunate. It’s not always wise to spend much time with a stranger because not all homeless people are good-hearted, but neither are all of them bad either. Hardin had been waiting for the city housing that he had been approved for over a year, with no indication of when a spot would open up for him. There was little more that he could do but bide his time and ride it out the best way he knew how. Even if you can’t arrange for a new home for a homeless person, things like warm blankets, pillows, a sturdy warm tent, food, clothing, and other necessities are all things that all humans need. You can donate funds to help local missions and pet shelters, or donate your time as a volunteer.
We’re reminded by the story of Tracey Hardin and Patches that there is a great need for helping those who are not doing as well as we are. People and their pets are suffering in the cold and they’re going without the basic necessities of life including food, shelter, and clothing. Many are in the situation by no fault of their own. Some have lost their jobs and a place to live and when it’s within our power to help out, even if just a little, it’s a good thing to do. People like the Dales and the others who heard that there was a need in someone’s life rallied together to help a person they had never even met. The story has a happy ending because people do care bout one another. Perhaps the times we’re living in are a proving ground that is helping to reveal our true nature as members of the human race. When we have time to stop and think about the things that really matter, most people realize that it’s all about helping one another and doing what we can to get through the hard times.