It is difficult to imagine their lives… They walk and talk alone on the main street, they sleep or they wake up at different hours, they attract people’s pity or disgust, they are fed and dressed up by who knows who…
I am talking about homeless persons, about a particular type, which puzzled me when I saw him for the first time. I instantly remembered the book “Sans famille” (“Nobody’s Boy”) by Hector Malot, which I read when I was a child. That man was middle-aged pushing his wheel cart along the main street where I live, followed by his dogs. From time to time he makes a halt on the pavement, sleeping there over night near the walls, covered in his blankets. His dogs also sleep in their cardboard boxes.
I passed by many times and sometimes those dogs are really fearsome. They choose who to bark at violently, they choose who to scare. The man orders them to be quiet (sometimes). A few times it was so hard to avoid him, following my road. When the homeless is on his moving periods the dogs don’t bark or bite. He has beautiful, faithful dogs, they are content with their fate, almost smiling, always showing their tongues and teeth, following closely their master. The dogs seem happier than him. He seems indifferent or a little cross and grumpy. His voice is hollow and resounding but he doesn’t talk much.
He is on the street either summer or winter. He doesn’t beg for food or money or I didn’t notice that. One morning, at 10 a.m. last winter he was still sleeping or leaning on his back. While passing by I noticed that one of his dogs was trying to get out from his blanket, unwrapping it, dragging it on his back around that man.
January sun –
the homeless’ dog
wraps around a blanket
P.S. I never tried to photograph him, not even in his sleep and I am not a photographer. I found many photos like this one I used above on flickr. This kind of homeless persons with dogs spread around many cities.