Even in frigid weather conditions, this homeless man wouldn’t leave his beloved best friend.
Bernard Holland, 53, and his dog, Oreo, had been staying in a tent at a homeless camp in downtown Indianapolis. Earlier this month, an outreach worker from Horizon House — a multi-service center for homeless people — saw the pair outside on a night when the temperature had dipped below zero, and encouraged Holland to go to an overnight shelter. The 53-year-old, who is fiercely attached to his dog, refused.
“Bernard told [the worker] that he could not go to shelter unless Oreo had a place too,” Mary Stickelmaier, director of development and communications at Horizon House, told The Huffington Post in an email.
Holland knew that the frigid temperature wasn’t suitable for his pup though, so he asked Burgess about crafting a foster care plan for Oreo. Burgess got in contact with Wigglebutt Doghouse, a local dog care facility, which agreed to care for the pup for the time being with an end goal of reuniting the two. The facility’s owner, Ben Bierlein, even paid for Oreo’s veterinarian expenses.
It’s an arrangement that Holland says he’s grateful for.
“I’m truly blessed,” Holland told the Indy Star. “My dog is taken care of, and I’ve got enough blankets to keep me warm.”
The 53-year-old is currently working with Horizon House toward employment and permanent housing, Stickelmaier told HuffPost. He regularly visits Oreo, and is looking forward to reuniting with his beloved canine permanently.
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