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Homeless guy's dog

Old 11-18-15, 08:20 AM
  #1  
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Homeless guy's dog

I lock my bike up in a converted smoke shack across the street from work. It's not as convenient as the rack right next to one of the main entrances at work, but it's covered, not visible from the street, and is only used by other cyclists occasionally.

Every once in a while, there is a homeless/transient man sleeping in there when I arrive. He's gone by the time I'm leaving for home, so like many in that situation he probably has a number of spots where he feels safe enough to sleep. Nothing has been taken off of my bike so I'm not too worried about it; should he ever return with machinery sufficient to cut my locks, he can have the bike. Then I get to build a new one.

This morning a pit bull was tied up a few feet from where I leave my lock, inside the butt hut. I entered cautiously to judge whether or not the rope to which was tied was sufficient to hold it back. The thing was obviously neglected, scared, and cold...it behaved in a cornered animal kind of way, shaking, backing up, teeth bared. As I stepped into the building it lunged but the rope held it. It was vicious. Had it loosed itself, it would have easily torn my face off. I approached it slowly, and reached cautiously for my lock which was about 10 inches or so from its maximum reach. As I unlocked my lock the dog settled and laid down, eyeing me.

Needless to say I'll be using the other side of the rack today. I hate pit bulls - I used to live in a problem area where one year saw multiple unprovoked attacks which landed an elderly lady and a toddler in hospital for reconstructive plastics - but I did feel pity for this creature and its owner. The dog was guarding a bag of dirty clothes and junk.

I, like many (most perhaps), tend to live in my privileged, socioeconomic bubble. I have way more than I need and get to do a lot of what I want. Things like this burst my bubble and remind me that the reality for many in the rest of the world is orders of magnitude different from my own. As winter approaches, I hope the dog and its owner find a warm place to sleep.
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Old 11-18-15, 09:15 AM
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Try bringing food for the poor thing. I'll get nice really quick. Make yourself a new friend and acquire yourself a new guard dog for your bike. You described it best yourself. It was a scared animal in a corner. Being a pit bull had nothing to do with it.

(My family has had plenty of gentle, loving, great pit bulls as pets over the years.)
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Old 11-18-15, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
Try bringing food for the poor thing. I'll get nice really quick. Make yourself a new friend and acquire yourself a new guard dog for your bike. You described it best yourself. It was a scared animal in a corner. Being a pit bull had nothing to do with it.

(My family has had plenty of gentle, loving, great pit bulls as pets over the years.)

+1. Don't blame the breed, blame the situation and owner.
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Old 11-18-15, 11:51 AM
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I am not blaming the breed for anything. Let me reiterate:

I hate pit bulls - good ones don't cancel out bad ones, this isn't arithmetic - but I still felt pity for the poor thing. I'd consider bringing it food if it I see it frequently enough.
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Old 11-18-15, 12:10 PM
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You should contact the local animal shelter and have them take it.
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Old 11-18-15, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
Try bringing food for the poor thing. I'll get nice really quick. Make yourself a new friend and acquire yourself a new guard dog for your bike
+1
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Old 11-18-15, 03:11 PM
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give it some food and exercise and tie it to your bike while at work.
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Old 11-18-15, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by jfowler85 View Post
I, like many (most perhaps), tend to live in my privileged, socioeconomic bubble. I have way more than I need and get to do a lot of what I want. Things like this burst my bubble and remind me that the reality for many in the rest of the world is orders of magnitude different from my own. As winter approaches, I hope the dog and its owner find a warm place to sleep.
It is always an off guard moment and never often enough that I realize where I fall on the socioeconomic spectrum is much more secure than many others. It is never pleasant to be faced with stark poverty and always humbling. Hopefully the guy and his dog stay safe and as comfortable as possible.
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Old 11-18-15, 04:49 PM
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I love dogs and have one myself, but there is reason why I carry a decent-sized knife whenever I ride. I would be crushed if I ever had to use it, but I wouldn't hesitate to use it if necessary. Obviously, a pit bull could still f*** you up pretty badly regardless. But I'd still be alive.

If you can befriend the dog that would be awesome. Just being around dogs usually makes my day. Just like commuting by bike!

Edit: I also feel very young for not knowing what a smoke shack is.
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Old 11-18-15, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jfowler85 View Post
I, like many (most perhaps), tend to live in my privileged, socioeconomic bubble. I have way more than I need and get to do a lot of what I want. Things like this burst my bubble and remind me that the reality for many in the rest of the world is orders of magnitude different from my own. As winter approaches, I hope the dog and its owner find a warm place to sleep.
Dear friend - your privileged socioeconomic bubble is a result of choices and decisions you have made throughout your life. As is his. And it does not have to be anything drastic, just many small things - like studying vs. not making enough effort in school, being reliable instead of showing late for work or an interview, building network of friends as opposed to choosing not to talk to a social worker, not blowing off adult education opportunities when it is oh so tempting to sleep in late, speaking in mid-Western English as opposed to whatever dialect, looking for opportunities instead of laying blame, etc., etc. Get the picture - doing what feels right, not what feels good and understanding the difference. Middle-class guilt is unbelievably corrosive and very easy to exploit by unscrupulous individuals, be it your pastor, your teacher, your Congressman. Slogging through my sixth decade I realized that boring, boring mainstream is a mainstream because it works. Don't be appalled - this cold-hearted analysis is done by a mother and a wife still married to the father of her grown children. How unfashionable.

The dog, however, does deserve better.

Ride safe and stay warm.

SF
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Old 11-18-15, 10:43 PM
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Stay humble and get that dog a snack.
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Old 11-18-15, 11:54 PM
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Have you considered writing an episode for the No Sleep podcast?

Originally Posted by jfowler85 View Post
I lock my bike up in a converted smoke shack across the street from work. It's not as convenient as the rack right next to one of the main entrances at work, but it's covered, not visible from the street, and is only used by other cyclists occasionally.

Every once in a while, there is a homeless/transient man sleeping in there when I arrive. He's gone by the time I'm leaving for home, so like many in that situation he probably has a number of spots where he feels safe enough to sleep. Nothing has been taken off of my bike so I'm not too worried about it; should he ever return with machinery sufficient to cut my locks, he can have the bike. Then I get to build a new one.

This morning a pit bull was tied up a few feet from where I leave my lock, inside the butt hut. I entered cautiously to judge whether or not the rope to which was tied was sufficient to hold it back. The thing was obviously neglected, scared, and cold...it behaved in a cornered animal kind of way, shaking, backing up, teeth bared. As I stepped into the building it lunged but the rope held it. It was vicious. Had it loosed itself, it would have easily torn my face off. I approached it slowly, and reached cautiously for my lock which was about 10 inches or so from its maximum reach. As I unlocked my lock the dog settled and laid down, eyeing me.

Needless to say I'll be using the other side of the rack today. I hate pit bulls - I used to live in a problem area where one year saw multiple unprovoked attacks which landed an elderly lady and a toddler in hospital for reconstructive plastics - but I did feel pity for this creature and its owner. The dog was guarding a bag of dirty clothes and junk.

I, like many (most perhaps), tend to live in my privileged, socioeconomic bubble. I have way more than I need and get to do a lot of what I want. Things like this burst my bubble and remind me that the reality for many in the rest of the world is orders of magnitude different from my own. As winter approaches, I hope the dog and its owner find a warm place to sleep.
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Old 11-18-15, 11:59 PM
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I appreciate your reflection on this experience, many others, inducing myself in the past, neglect to give things like this a second thought. We have come a long way now in 2015, but we have a long way still yet to go. Pack a bone in the saddle bag for the pup. Better yet, add a pigs ear into the mix if at all possible.
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Old 11-19-15, 01:04 AM
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I'm with everyone else. You don't need to bring a lot of food, but it wouldn't hurt to throw a dog biscuit into your backpack (but not in a bag being left on the bike).

Is your bike park locked? Do you pay for it? How does the homeless guy get in?
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Old 11-19-15, 03:42 AM
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Originally Posted by hooCycles View Post
Edit: I also feel very young for not knowing what a smoke shack is.
Assuming the OP means a semi-open shelter near the entrance to a public/commercial building designed to provide a semi-sheltered place out of the worst of the weather, a place for smokers to have a cigarette so they won't/if they can't smoke indoors. My state passed a total ban on smoking indoors in public buildings about 5 years ago, some large public facilities like malls put these up the statutorily mandated distance of at least 30 feet from building entrances to encourage smokers to comply with the law.
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Old 11-19-15, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by hooCycles View Post
Edit: I also feel very young for not knowing what a smoke shack is.
A vestige from the widespread, ubiquitous smoking of yesteryear. Any covered structure meant for, at least at one point in time, for keeping all the smokers in one space. Mine is a covered, glass-walled building with a single entrance/exit which now sports a bike rack and "this is a smoke free campus" signs.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post

Is your bike park locked? Do you pay for it? How does the homeless guy get in?
It's a converted butt hut, the door stays open.

Originally Posted by sci_femme View Post
Dear friend - your privileged socioeconomic bubble is a result of choices and decisions you have made throughout your life. As is his. And it does not have to be anything drastic, just many small things - like studying vs. not making enough effort in school, being reliable instead of showing late for work or an interview, building network of friends as opposed to choosing not to talk to a social worker, not blowing off adult education opportunities when it is oh so tempting to sleep in late, speaking in mid-Western English as opposed to whatever dialect, looking for opportunities instead of laying blame, etc., etc. Get the picture - doing what feels right, not what feels good and understanding the difference. Middle-class guilt is unbelievably corrosive and very easy to exploit by unscrupulous individuals, be it your pastor, your teacher, your Congressman. Slogging through my sixth decade I realized that boring, boring mainstream is a mainstream because it works. Don't be appalled - this cold-hearted analysis is done by a mother and a wife still married to the father of her grown children. How unfashionable.

The dog, however, does deserve better.

Ride safe and stay warm.

SF
Some in my family also feel this way generally, but this view holds within it an assumption that the person in question (there was no person there - I meant only to say that I have previously seen a person sleeping in the shack before) has had the same opportunities as me.

This may not be the case, principally either through what economists refer to as the birth lottery or by possibly having some stigmatized medical condition which has precluded gainful employment or economic advantage. When younger I had espoused such a view which placed all socioeconomic burden upon the individual, but I have since spent time actually getting to know homeless folks and have realized that not all on the street are there for reasons that are 100% within their ability to change.

I do not mean to insinuate that all homeless individuals have no control over their own destiny, but rather that there are plenty out there who just got shafted by society. Sadly, the most vocal ones, the ones who panhandle for liquor, the ones who refuse your offer for McDonald's because their tired of eating it, the ones who are obviously abusing hard drugs, are the ones you see the most of. The decent folk with the highest socioeconomic potential tend to stay to themselves as they do not wish to associate with the bad actors. At least this is what I have experienced within various homeless communities through those I have befriended.

As for the dog, I see others in said smoke shack so infrequently that I won't worry about it. Nobody there today. Should I see it again, I'll buy something at the company store for it, if I get to work early enough.

Last edited by jfowler85; 11-19-15 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 11-19-15, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by sci_femme View Post
Dear friend - your privileged socioeconomic bubble is a result of choices and decisions you have made throughout your life. As is his.
Or its from unsupported and untreated mental illness. But hey, lets not allow statistics to get in the way of a good speech on choices.
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Old 11-19-15, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by jfowler85 View Post



... this view holds within it an assumption that the person in question (there was no person there - I meant only to say that I have previously seen a person sleeping in the shack before) has had the same opportunities as me.

This may not be the case, principally either through what economists refer to as the birth lottery or by possibly having some stigmatized medical condition which has precluded gainful employment or economic advantage. When younger I had espoused such a view which placed all socioeconomic burden upon the individual, but I have since spent time actually getting to know homeless folks and have realized that not all on the street are there for reasons that are 100% within their ability to change.

I do not mean to insinuate that all homeless individuals have no control over their own destiny, but rather that there are plenty out there who just got shafted by society. Sadly, the most vocal ones, the ones who panhandle for liquor, the ones who refuse your offer for McDonald's because their tired of eating it, the ones who are obviously abusing hard drugs, are the ones you see the most of. The decent folk with the highest socioeconomic potential tend to stay to themselves as they do not wish to associate with the bad actors. At least this is what I have experienced within various homeless communities through those I have befriended.
+1. And I'm in my 60s too...

Last edited by Reynolds; 11-19-15 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 11-19-15, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by TriDanny47 View Post
Assuming the OP means a semi-open shelter near the entrance to a public/commercial building designed to provide a semi-sheltered place out of the worst of the weather, a place for smokers to have a cigarette so they won't/if they can't smoke indoors. My state passed a total ban on smoking indoors in public buildings about 5 years ago, some large public facilities like malls put these up the statutorily mandated distance of at least 30 feet from building entrances to encourage smokers to comply with the law.
I didn't get that either, my first thought was a place to smoke fish, but I am in a less urban place apparently than the OP...
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Old 11-19-15, 12:14 PM
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A homeless guy has been on my mind the last couple weeks as he has taken up residence on the bike trail I commute on (vs in the woods next to it like the dozens of other homeless people who use that trail). He has a sizeable camp that overflows 2 shopping carts when he is moving it. I guess he camps on the trail because the carts are not off-road carts? He spreads out pretty far across the trail which made a surprise obstacle the 1st couple times I came on him in the dark. He can set up the carts as a windbreak for his 2 burner stove. It's quite a spread really.
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Old 11-19-15, 12:26 PM
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Tennessee Man Killed by Shelter Dog He Adopted Earlier Same Day
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Old 11-19-15, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sci_femme View Post
Dear friend - your privileged socioeconomic bubble is a result of choices and decisions you have made throughout your life. As is his. And it does not have to be anything drastic, just many small things - like studying vs. not making enough effort in school, being reliable instead of showing late for work or an interview, building network of friends as opposed to choosing not to talk to a social worker, not blowing off adult education opportunities when it is oh so tempting to sleep in late, speaking in mid-Western English as opposed to whatever dialect, looking for opportunities instead of laying blame, etc., etc. Get the picture - doing what feels right, not what feels good and understanding the difference. Middle-class guilt is unbelievably corrosive and very easy to exploit by unscrupulous individuals, be it your pastor, your teacher, your Congressman. Slogging through my sixth decade I realized that boring, boring mainstream is a mainstream because it works. Don't be appalled - this cold-hearted analysis is done by a mother and a wife still married to the father of her grown children. How unfashionable.

The dog, however, does deserve better.

Ride safe and stay warm.

SF
So true. I chose to be born smart and healthy in an affluent family with highly educated and committed parents, and my wise choice has proved over and over again to be the best thing i ever did!
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Old 11-19-15, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by sci_femme View Post
Dear friend - your privileged socioeconomic bubble is a result of choices and decisions you have made throughout your life. As is his. And it does not have to be anything drastic, just many small things - like studying vs. not making enough effort in school, being reliable instead of showing late for work or an interview, building network of friends as opposed to choosing not to talk to a social worker, not blowing off adult education opportunities when it is oh so tempting to sleep in late, speaking in mid-Western English as opposed to whatever dialect, looking for opportunities instead of laying blame, etc., etc. Get the picture - doing what feels right, not what feels good and understanding the difference. Middle-class guilt is unbelievably corrosive and very easy to exploit by unscrupulous individuals, be it your pastor, your teacher, your Congressman. Slogging through my sixth decade I realized that boring, boring mainstream is a mainstream because it works. Don't be appalled - this cold-hearted analysis is done by a mother and a wife still married to the father of her grown children. How unfashionable.

The dog, however, does deserve better.

Ride safe and stay warm.

SF
Choosing to have good parents helps a lot, too. Some people just get dealt **** hands.

edit: @cooker beat me to it.
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Old 11-19-15, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
cooker beat me to it.
jfowler85 even earlier.

Originally Posted by jfowler85 View Post
A what economists refer to as the birth lottery .
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Old 11-19-15, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
You should contact the local animal shelter and have them take it.
My first thought as well...
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