I knew shortly after my 9-month old Rat-Terrier mix named Maya ran away, that someone was temporarily holding onto her. I just had this crazy feeling that she wasn’t hiding out or dead but in the company of someone that temporarily needed her. Maya means magic and that’s what this dog is.
This angel man named James told me that his street name was coincidentally “Canine”. This man loves dogs and as soon as he got Maya, he fell in love. He’s been living out of his car with his pal Andy for months, just trying to get by. James recently lost his own dog a week ago and has been torn up about it ever since. When Maya ran away, it didn’t take her long to join the company of some nearby homeless guys setup near my office in East Hollywood. One of those guys was friends with James and knew how hurt he was, so decided to gift Maya over to him, I’m guessing so he could keep her forever. After a few hours, James pulled Maya’s harness off and noticed her dog tag with her name and my number on it. James didn’t have a cellphone so he had to wait until the next day to call me. I can't truly express the emotions I felt when I finally got that call. I could feel the warmth of James' heart through that conversation. He said that once he saw that she belonged to someone, he was devastated and knew what I was going through.
I can’t fully explain what I’m feeling right now through words. All I must say is that my faith in people just got a whole lot better. I often find that those who have nothing in this world often have the most to give. Lessons were learned today for everyone. And the biggest lesson for me was that you can't put a price on a good heart. I gave James $200 in cash but he refused several times to take the money. He just wanted to get her back to the person who loves her the most. It was all about love for James. After several attempts, I insisted he take the money and wouldn't accept NO for an answer. James started to cry. He needed the money but didn't want to make it about that. He was so grateful.
One thing that stuck out for me the most is when my Mom and I were screaming for joy while holding Maya, James' buddy Andy kept saying to him, "Look at what you did James. Look at their faces man. You did this." While Andy is saying this, I see a proud James, tears in his eyes, soaking up this moment of love. I saw a man that was at a crossroads in life. This was a redemption day for him to do the right thing. To be the hero. I felt it. He felt it. We all felt it. It was so powerful of a moment. With tears in his eyes, James told me to pray for him.
This is my way of praying for James. So many of you were touched by this story and have asked me how you can help send James some good will. This is the way. I think in James' mind we will never see each other ever again. I have other plans in mind.
If you have anything to give today, tomorrow, the next day, please consider donating. A small financial contribution to this man will go way further than you think. I want to help this man. I want to let him know that people are touched by him and his actions so that he can continue to spread that to others. Change starts with mindset. It starts with one person, one at a time. We are all equal and everyone deserves love and to know that they are loved. This entire 36 hour ordeal from separation to reuniting showed me just how much love is amongst all of those around me, both near and far. I love you all and thank you for giving me the best birthday present ever. You gave me hope. Now lets give some of that hope to James. He deserves it.