A woman walked past a homeless man and his dog in the streets, and changed their lives forever.
It is heartbreaking to see people homeless and suffering in the streets. But we condition ourselves to grow numb to their pain, and to disregard it as we keep on walking by.
But Jenine-Lacette Dshazer made her way past a homeless man on a winter night in Fresno, California, something stopped her in her tracks. The man was clutching a beautiful white dog, trying to keep her warm despite the fact that he was in obvious pain.
Dshazer stopped to offer the man a blanket, some toilet paper, and some cat food for the dog. The man expressed his gratitude, and they began talking about his life and what brought him there.
Clifford James Herbert had been working as a farm worker and had owned a mechanics shop. But after a series of complications caused by a heart surgery and tracheotomy, Hebert became unable to work. He lost his job, and lost everything else. He became homeless.
Sometime along the way he rescued his dog, named Baby, from a horrible abuser who was beating her with a flashlight.
Herbert said that Baby was his whole world, his best friend, and his protector. He soon revealed to Dshazer that he was dying of cancer, with only a few weeks left to live. He had one dying wish, and it was to get Baby a safe forever home where she could live out her life safely and happily after he was gone.
Touched by Herbert’s heartbreaking story and love for his dog, she soon set to work to give Herbert a better outcome. She started a GoFundMe page to raise money to get Herbert and Baby off the streets, and she worked hard to locate the right home and family for Baby.
Her efforts paid off. Herbert was able to move into a motel, and Baby found a loving forever home with a family. She even has a little girl to spend her days with.
Dshazer is a living, breathing example of how compassion can have positive, lasting changes. She didn’t have to even look at Herbert, but she instead chose to spend a few minutes getting to know why he was where he was.
Her action of simply listening to his story resulted in her providing comfort to a dying and suffering man, and completely changing the life of his loving dog forever. Without Dshazer, Herbert could have died freezing in the streets, Baby could have ended up in another abusive situation – or worse, euthanized in a shelter.
Instead, Herbert will pass comfortably, knowing his best friend in the world is safe from harm and is in the loving arms of a wonderful family.
Next time you encounter suffering, pause and listen to the sufferer’s story. Dshazer is proof that an ear, a heart, and a series of small actions can change the world.