I take the Circle line home each night, stopping most nights at High Street Kensington to go the gym, stop by Whole Foods etc. It's a short walk home from there. About 2-3 nights a week, there is a woman sitting near the tube station with her dog, an adorable rottie/pit bull mix who is full of love. I'll call the woman Ann. I usually stop to chat, give her a £ or two. Our conversations always center on her beloved dog, and we talk about Vella too. Ann is usually reading a book, she never asks people for help or money, but always graciously accepts what people offer her. From what I gather, she isn't homeless, but falls in to the 'chaotic life' bucket as we call it in financial services.
I didn't see Ann the past few weeks, but was happy to see her tonight when I exited the tube station. I asked how she was and she said she was fine, getting along. I was petting the dog, when Ann told me that the dog hasn't been herself so she took her to a vet who provides low cost care. The dog has a terrible ear infection, which I saw with my own eyes. I asked why the vet didn't give her medicine for the dog. She said that when she was at the office, she didn't have enough money for the visit/exam + the prescription and was too embarrassed to ask for more help. She is also afraid of the dog being taken from her. She planned to go back as soon as she can scrape together the £36 and she knows how much pain the dog is in right now. I started to say goodbye, but something in my gut told me not to walk away. I asked Ann how much she needed, she said she had nearly £20. We chatted for a few more minutes, and after some tears and promises, I gave Ann the £16. She kept saying, 'You would do that for my dog? You would do that for me?' I have Ann's word that I will see her next week and she will show me the medication, that the dog will be on the mend. She gave me a hug.
There is so much wrong and just plain bad in this world. I saw it every day in NYC, and I see it here in London too. I hope I was able to do some good today. I'll be praying for Ann and her dog tonight, and hoping that I see her next week. Maybe I was taken for a fool, but I like to think that Ann is a good person who will live up to her word.