(CeliaSue Hecht, jornalista, in A third of the homeless people in America are over 50. I’m one of them.):
Unhoused people often prioritize feeding their pets over even themselves. It’s not that surprising — dogs are vital and necessary for providing comfort, protection, and companionship for women without homes, especially during this dangerous and isolated period of their lives.
My dog, Cici, a spotted Dalmatian mix, gives me a reason to wake up in the morning. She helps me meet kind strangers who come up to pet or feed her and strike up a conversation. I keep myself going day after day to make sure that she’s walked, fed, and given affection. Whenever I start feeling depressed or suicidal, she is the reason I choose to live. The idea of her having no one to care for her is too much to bear. And she makes me laugh every single day, which is a true lifesaver.