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Danny a Neglected Little Dog Finds Happiness With the Homeless on the Streets of L.A.

I am a writer of poetry and fiction. I especially love flash fiction. My name is Ruby, and I live in Southern Illinois. I am a retired R.N.


Danny runs through the fields of clover and dandelion, romping with joy as he stops to smell the sweet aroma.

Danny thought he was in doggie heaven when he found his new friends. ( The homeless people who lived on the streets in L.A. ) He knew he was sure to get food from the dumpstures where his friends searched daily.

Danny was adopted from an animal rescue by a man named Roger. Roger was a busy man who found that a pet needed a lot of care, in fact more than he was willing to give. Often leaving him caged with just enough food and water to keep him alive.

Oh how Danny yearned to be free to romp and play with the other doggies he watched from his locked cage.

One day a little neighbor boy came to his cage and thought, " You look so unhappy. I wonder if I turn this key it will open the door and set you free? " Sure enough when he turned the key the door swung open freeing Lenny. He licked and smothered the little boy with wet kisses as he danced around with glee.

He began to run. He ran through fields of clover and fields of dandelion and a forest full of trees, stopping frequently to smell the sweet aroma.

When he entered the city streets he felt afraid. Where could he go, would he be picked up by the mean old dog catcher?

He felt so free and happy he soon forgot to be afraid. He stopped outside a restaurant and sniffed the grilled steak sizzling. He was quickly shooed away by the owner. The same thing happened at the doughnut factory, then a back alley caught his eye. He cautiously entered and was greeted by an old woman pushing a Target shopping cart. She reached inside a plastic bag and shared a hotdog with him. He noticed an old man asleep on the concrete floor. He laid down beside him and slept peacefully. When he awakened he was treated with a bowl of milk and a half of a balogna sandwich.

Danny soon began to mill around the alley. He saw people of all races, old men and women, young men and women, families with children. He followed them out to the main street, all were begging for money, some holding signs asking for money for food.

Most of the people passing by looked the other way, sometimes hostile words were hurled at them like, get a job you lazy bum! Occasionally a person would drop change in their cups. The old man would buy a cheap bottle of wine and retreat back to the alley where he felt safe.

One night Danny was awakened with the sound of vile curse words and painful punches from a gang of young hoodlums looking to get their kicks from hurting a homeless man. They beat the old man until he was unconscious. Lenny began to bark and nip their legs. They kicked him in his side causing a skin tear. A police siren scared them away, but all who lived in the alley knew they would return again when they needed a fix.

The old woman with the Target shopping cart nursed Danny's skin tear with an antibiotic salve and a bandaid she kept handy in her cart. Soon he was romping about again.

One day the police came and told the homeless people they had to leave. The city has passed an ordinance, no loitering within the city limits. They all went together and found a place under an overpass outside the city. Of course Danny was bundled up and went for a ride in the Target cart to their new home.

The nights were beginning to turn cool so they found an old barrel to build a fire in. They continued to go into town to look for food and beg for money.

Danny stayed close to the old man, sleeping by his side every night. They shared food and a blanket wrapped tightly around the old man's arm where Lenny slept.

One day a police car pulled up informing the people that a new facility had been opened up to house the homeless. They were all thrilled except the old man. He knew he couldn't take Danny. He asked anyway and was told, " No animals allowed. "

One dark and bitter cold night the old man and Danny were huddled together under the blanket when the old man began to cough. His face turned red and his breathing labored. Danny stayed by his side until he stopped breathing.

The next morning the body was removed to the city morgue. Danny stayed close by only leaving for food and water.

A young woman appeared the next day, thanking them for notifing her her of his death. She was his granddaughter and had tried many times to get him to come live with her, but he refused.

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The policeman told her about Danny always being by his side. She looked at Danny and felt a closeness. She patted him and told him to come with her. He felt safe with her and felt her kindness. She asked the policeman if he knew his name and he told her that everyone called him Danny. She looked at him and said, " Let's go home Danny. " He jumped in her car licking and kissing her face. Somehow he knew he'd found a new home and a love that matched his love for the old man who shared all that he had with a runaway dog looking for love.


Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on April 28, 2020:

Hello Bronwen. So nice to see you and so happy that you loved my story. Thank you much.

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on April 27, 2020:

What a delightful story; loved it.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on April 25, 2020:

Hello Patricia. I grew close to Danny while writing this story. Thanks for coming by, Thanks for the angels.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on April 25, 2020:

Hello Ann. We are all uncertain of the future, esp. one's pets. I love that you have chickens for pets, what a treat! My mother had pet chickens. I am thrilled that you liked this story enough to read it again. Thank you so much.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on April 24, 2020:

I agree Peggy. I know some live on the streets by choice, but some are forced because of poverty. In a land of plenty, this should never happen. Thank you my traveling friend.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 24, 2020:

Sweet ending and lovely story of the connection between those who found each other just at the right time.It happened twice for Danny!! Angels headed your way. ps

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on April 24, 2020:

Ruby, I had to read this again, and for the second time it brought tears. This coronavirus has brought added worries to many of us. Our closest relatives live about 700 miles away. We worry about what would happen to our pets if we were suddenly taken. I wouldn't want our kitties to go to a shelter. And our five chickens are not just egg layers. They are our spoiled darlings, too. I wouldn't want them to go to a place where they wouldn't get individual attention and treats, or worse yet, where they would be processed for meat. At least Danny's story had a happy ending.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2020:

After Hurricane Katrina, many people got separated from their animals because shelters were not equipped to take in people and their pets. Some laws were changed after that happened. Now, if a similar emergency would happen, the pets would be included, at least in our area.

As to this story, it has a happy ending for Danny, the dog. It is nice to think that animals give homeless people some comfort, but the fact of their being homeless people on our streets is awful. No one should have to live that way in the U.S.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on March 14, 2017:

Hello Eric. Your comment made me laugh, plus it made me happy. Animals are so precious, and they have hearts that hurt just like us. I love Danny, and enjoyed taking him on his journey. Thanks so much for having a heart that feeds the doggies. Smiling!!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on March 13, 2017:

Why would you write a story that made me cry by the third paragraph. My boy and I bought a bunch of "yukkie" hot dogs. We got them for the dogs. We know our peeps and dogs around here. Oh please do not tell his mom.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on February 26, 2016:

Hello Miz Bejabbers. I am thrilled that you enjoyed my story and was moved to tears. That's what makes writing so much fun. Thank you so much..

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on February 26, 2016:

This left me in tears, Ruby, and you told the story so beautifully. I see so many animals at the shelters because their owners have died. I'm so glad that Danny found a home with someone who will give him the love he deserves.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on January 19, 2016:

Hello William. Thank you The for the nice comment. Cheers.

William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on January 18, 2016:


Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on January 18, 2016:

Hello aesta1. Nice to meet you. Yes, I think Danny will be loved. Thank you for coming by.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 17, 2016:

I am happy Danny ended in a home that for sure will love him.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on December 09, 2015:

Hello gerimcclym. I'm so happy that you liked my story. I agree, shelters need to care for homeless animals as well as people. I see you have started to follow me. Thank you. I will be over to see you.

Geri McClymont on December 08, 2015:

As an animal lover, I loved your story. My eyes welled up as I read it. I wish shelters could accept animals, as they may be the only family a homeless person has. Pets add so much to our lives. Thank you for your touching story.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on September 03, 2015:

Hello DzyMsLizzy. Please forgive me for being late with my reply. I am so pleased that this story moved you to tears. If only all humans had your heart. Thank you so much.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 29, 2015:

Wiping tears as I try to type. What a beautiful story with a bittersweet ending.

Sadly, there is more truth than fiction in this tale. We need to have more human compassion for folks who are down on their luck, and not discount the value of a faithful furry friend when it comes time to seek a shelter facility.

Voted up +++

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 29, 2015:

Hello Mary. I'm so glad you felt all the emotions you mentioned. Your comment makes me a happy camper! Thank you....

Mary Craig from New York on July 29, 2015:

Ruby you had me from the get go. Lenny is a character that inspires those around him. You know a story is good when you cry, you feel empathy, you laugh a little, you cry and you're led to a happy ending!

You're a story teller Ruby and a darn good one.

Voted all but funny.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 27, 2015:

Hello Nellieanna. So nice to soo you on my page. I hope your hands are healing. Thank you for a sweet comment..

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on July 27, 2015:

So touching - and inspiring, Ruby!

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 24, 2015:

Hello Shyron. I'm glad I found a soft place in your heart. Thank you so much.

Blessings and hugs my friend...

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 23, 2015:

Ruby, you found the soft spot in my heart and settled in. Thank you for the happy ending.

I am glad Lenny found a home.

Blessings and Hugs Dear Ruby.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 21, 2015:

shanmarie, I'm cracking up here! lol.Hee...

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 21, 2015:

Hello newbizman. Nice to meet you. Happy you found this a moving piece. Thank you...

Shannon Henry from Texas on July 20, 2015:

Good, because I didn't even get it right with the second attempt! LOL Hope. . .haha with hope.

Maurice Glaude from Mobile on July 20, 2015:

Very moving Thank you.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 19, 2015:

Hello Genna. I'm happy you found this inspirational. Some animals are so mistreated and the homeless is a tragedy that shouldn't ever happen in the world. Thank you so much..Hugs...

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 19, 2015:

Hello Gals. I like your comment about loyalty. So very true. Thank you....

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on July 19, 2015:

What a sad, tragic and beautiful story, Ruby. I felt as though you transported us to those streets, and this happy ending. Thank you for this wonderful and inspirational read on a Sunday morning. :-)

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on July 19, 2015:

This is a wonderful story. It just goes to show you that loyalty can pay you back with loyalty. How wonderful.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 19, 2015:

Hel Blossom. So good tose you again. Thak you much. Happy you thought it was a lovely story.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 19, 2015:

Hello shanmarie. Thank you for liking the way I tell stories. I knew what you meant. Cheers...

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 18, 2015:

Hello Martie. It's so good to see you! Happy endings are fun to write although sometimes the endings are unhappy. That's life. Thank you...Hugs..

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 18, 2015:

Hello Paula. Thank's so much for thinking this is a winner. Smiling BIG time....

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on July 18, 2015:

What a lovely story.

Shannon Henry from Texas on July 18, 2015:

Always with some hooe. That's what I was trying to say!

Shannon Henry from Texas on July 18, 2015:

Moving, my friend. Sad and heart-warming. I adore the way you tell stories. Always with some

Martie Coetser from South Africa on July 18, 2015:

Heart-touching picture and beautiful, fitting story! By hook or by crook, Ruby will always create a happy ending :)

Suzie from Carson City on July 18, 2015:

Ruby.....Have I told you lately that you tell the most wonderfully touching stories?? This is a winner....made me smile all over with a tear or two included.

You're a special writer, Ruby!......UP+++ tweeted. Peace, Paula

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 18, 2015:

Hello William. Thank you for the ' nice comment...

William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on July 17, 2015:


Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 17, 2015:

Hello Mike. I'm so glad you liked my story. I like to think there is still good people in this world. Roger had a good job, yet he lacked the love needed for an animal. The old man had a drinking problem, yet he had love to share. I'm also glad the characters were real to you. That's what makes writing so much fun. Hugs my friend...

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 17, 2015:

Hello Shauna. It is always sad when someone dies but Lenny found a good home off the streets. I'm sure God welcomed the old man into heaven. He was a good man just had a drinking problem but lot's of love in his heart. Listen to me, I sound like he was real! Thank you so much. I miss your writing...

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 17, 2015:

Hello Wendi. Nice to meet you and thank you for stopping by....

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 17, 2015:

Hello Ruby. I liked your story. There is a lot of saddness out there, but here you portrayed hope, love and dedication. Your characters were so very real.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 17, 2015:

Hello Faith. I am so honored by your comment. Writing is such a pleasure and to have someone like you say it is memorable is fudge icing on the cake! I fell in love with Lenny. He seems real to me. I know there are many Lenny's out there who need love. Hugs my friend....

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 17, 2015:

Hello whonunuwho. So nice to see you. Thank you kindly my friend and many blessings to you....

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 17, 2015:

Hello Mar. Your comment, using a ' pawprint ' was the most rewarding accolade bringing a BIG smile. I feel so blessed that you are so supportive of everything and anything I put on paper. Thank you so very much. I love you too..Hugs..

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 17, 2015:

What a sweet story, Ruby! It's sad the old man died, but Lenny has found a forever home where he love and be loved.

Summer LaSalle from USA on July 16, 2015:

Lovely, heart warming story! Thanks! :)


Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 16, 2015:

Awweee, Ruby, this is the sweetest most heartrending story I have read of late! You have certainly written it so well and it is memorable, something all writers dream of ...for their writing to be memorable. I am happy Lenny is going to be loved so much more. I believe all who read fall in love with him.

And that video brings back so many memories for I would sing that song as a child!


whonunuwho from United States on July 16, 2015:

Nice work my friend and blessings. whonu

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on July 16, 2015:

Oh Ruby,

Lenny has left his pawprint on my heart...and your writing leaves tears in my eyes.

It is truly wonderful to have you back inspiring with your tales of humanity, love and hope - more, please.

Love you and hugs, mar

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 16, 2015:

Hello drbj. Your comment warms my heart. I'm happy that you enjoyed. Thank you, but I missed a poem from you. Hee..Cheers my witty friend..

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 16, 2015:

Hello rebeccamealey. I must admit I shed a few tears while writing the ending. I'm so glad you enjoyed the video and Lenny's story. Thank you so much..

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 16, 2015:

Hello Bill. I know you love happy endings. I do too. Although this is fiction, it continues to happen all over the world. Thank's so much for coming to read....

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 16, 2015:

Hello DJ. It's good to be back writing. Thank's for the sweet comment. I haven't heard that song in years either. Cheers...

drbj and sherry from south Florida on July 16, 2015:

Thanks for this sweet story of Lenny who no longer needs to roam.

Now his big heart has repaid him and he has a lovely new home.

Stories with happy endings are the best and you shone with this one, Ruby.

Ruby Jean Richert (author) from Southern Illinois on July 16, 2015:

Hello Frank. Your comment touches ' me ' heart. Thank you so much....

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on July 16, 2015:

Ah, what a story. And went I saw the video, you picked? Well, it's a good thing this isn't on paper, or the letters would be blobs of ink!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 16, 2015:

Unfortunately there is a lot of truth in this story. Many of the homeless I see have a dog, and although the dog is obviously loved, it is rarely taken care of well....and then deaths occur and the dog is left to wander.....anyway, I'm rambling. You know I love a happy ending and you gave me one. Thank you my friend.

DJ Anderson on July 16, 2015:

Sweet story, Ruby.

Could not tell you when I heard that song, last.

It is good to see you back writing.


Frank Atanacio from Shelton on July 16, 2015:

my goodness this was amazing... a bold triumph.. it'll stain my heart for years to come... brilliant...

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