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Old 09-17-2012, 03:41 PM
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Default Homeless people with dogs

Bored, and more or less just felt like posting something new.

This is something I think everyone has seen. Every summer, my husband and I go on long distance bike trips, and it's something we see a LOT going through cities. Just curious as to what people's thoughts/opinions of this are. I'll post my own thoughts a little later.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:42 PM
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I don't think its really any different than any one else having a dog. I do worry about medical costs however lots of non homeless people do not have money saved up or access to it if a vet bill arose.

Here it gets very wet and cold in the winter. My dog would make a great bum dog. He doesn't feel it. For a dog less weather proof? I'd feel bad.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:04 PM
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I think that they lead pretty decent lives overall and more than likely do a whole lot to improve the emotional/psychological life of their person. Most dogs would be thrilled to spend all day every day with their person and get to watch the word go by. This is entirely anecdotal, but I've never seen a reactive dog owned by someone homeless. Most I've seen are quite well habituated to the ongoings of daily (human) life and seem content.

Granted, I do worry about what might happen in the event of a medical emergency, but I don't see a problem with the homeless owning dogs. After all, I'm guessing that most of those dogs were either with the owner before the circumstances arose or were adopted/rescued in some form.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingNowhere View Post
I think that they lead pretty decent lives overall and more than likely do a whole lot to improve the emotional/psychological life of their person. Most dogs would be thrilled to spend all day every day with their person and get to watch the word go by. This is entirely anecdotal, but I've never seen a reactive dog owned by someone homeless. Most I've seen are quite well habituated to the ongoings of daily (human) life and seem content.

Granted, I do worry about what might happen in the event of a medical emergency, but I don't see a problem with the homeless owning dogs. After all, I'm guessing that most of those dogs were either with the owner before the circumstances arose or were adopted/rescued in some form.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:19 PM
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I don't think I can really say I have significant concerns for the dog that don't also apply to their homeless owner. I don't think the streets are much of a place to live, for man or dog.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingNowhere View Post
I think that they lead pretty decent lives overall and more than likely do a whole lot to improve the emotional/psychological life of their person. Most dogs would be thrilled to spend all day every day with their person and get to watch the word go by. This is entirely anecdotal, but I've never seen a reactive dog owned by someone homeless. Most I've seen are quite well habituated to the ongoings of daily (human) life and seem content.
This is something a few of the rescues I worked with picked up on. They had a few dogs that had spent part of their lives as companions to homeless people, and those dogs were in really high demand as they were highly trained and well mannered, great socialization, etc.

I think too, that dogs who elect to stay with a homeless owner long term and don't wander off are starting out with stable/less reactive temperaments anyway. If a dog is prone to wander and stuff, it's going to end up stray vs. staying with the same people.

Overall, it's a pretty idyllic life for a dog. It's where dogs came from anyway, living in the "wilderness" with nomadic owners and hanging out with them/helping them all day. There's a pretty big homeless camp near our house. The people there are super nice, and there's a lot of dogs. They're always off leash but they're extremely well trained and well taken care of. They NEVER wander, even though nothing is stopping them. Totally into their people and just, really good dogs. The homeless people with them work really hard with them too. Mike has a big rottie mix that he found. It was adolescent unneutered male. Totally reactive and unsocialized. Now it's aloof and still very protective, but not reactive hardly at all. And he rides his bike all over the place with his dog off leash beside him without issues. It's not magic, but something is there.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:31 PM
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I think a lot of it has to do with the time they spend and dedicate to their dogs. Most homeless people's dogs are exposed to so much. Last time this thread came up all the BC Chazzers know the same homeless man's dog. He sits in front of the Skytrain at Waterfront station and that dog is so well behaved. He sits under this umbrella all day very still and he seems utterly content with his life.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
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Overall, it's a pretty idyllic life for a dog. It's where dogs came from anyway, living in the "wilderness" with nomadic owners and hanging out with them/helping them all day.
Those are pretty much my thoughts. Think of all the dogs that have nothing to do 9 hours a day as they are stuck in a house, fed the same dog food every day and maybe get out and about 1 hour a day on a neighborhood walk (many don't get that).

'Homeless' dogs spend 24/7 with their person, are always getting fresh air, new stimuli, get different kinds of food etc. It's a very natural kind of existence for a domestic dog.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:42 PM
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On board with what everyone else has said.

Are there risks? Sure. But it beats the hell out of leaving the pound out the back door.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:39 PM
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I don't know I always wonder about it.

Not really the dogs sake but more the person. I know there are a lot of times I have put Yoshi before myself when it came to her care or her food. But in those situations I have always had a roof over my head and people who would help me if I ever needing something necessary like food.

Also it may just be location but here a lot of the dogs I see with homeless look miserable for most of the year. OK just doesn't have people friendly weather. During the summer some of the dogs I've see look near collapse because of the heat. Most of the cooling stations aren't pet friendly and so the dogs are in 100-115 degree weather with insane humidity with limited water. During the winter even with a dog it's dangerously cold *except last year... last winter was nothing* and yet again the places people can go are not pet friendly so it's pick your dog or a warm place. Tulsa is NOT a pet friendly place and it does not have many resources at all when it comes to keeping pets with families/people during hard times. It's a bad situation for the dogs AND the humans.
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