Jenna Homsi met Gary, a homeless man, and his dog Buddy, on a hot day in Tucson, Arizona. Homsi was touched to find that despite Gary's difficult circumstances, he went above and beyond to take care of his pup.
In especially hot climates, pooches can be at risk for paw burns from scorching pavement. Gary made sure to protect his four-legged friend's feet by equipping Buddy with dog booties. The devoted dog dad also made sure Buddy had a bowl of water to keep him hydrated.
Homsi, an animal rights advocate and TikTok personality, took to social media to share the story of Gary's admirable pet parenting. The video, which has amassed more than 2.7 million views, shows just how special Gary and Buddy's relationship is.
"Sir, can you tell me why your dog is wearing shoes?" Homsi asked Gary in the clip, pointing the camera at a tail-wagging Buddy. "Because it's hot out here in Arizona," Gary replied. "I love my dog. If he don't wear them, then I don't wear them. It's the same thing." It's no surprise that the comments on Homsi's videos are flooded with praise for the exemplary pawrent. "I love when animal lovers know how to protect their pets," one user wrote. Others admire Gary's extraordinary selflessness. "You can tell he puts the dog first over himself," another commented. Too true!
In fact, viewers were so moved by Gary and Buddy's bond that they wanted to provide even more support. Homsi launched a GoFundMe to help out the duo by raising money for new pet and human supplies to keep them safe in the heat. "Let's help Buddy and his human," Homsi said in a second video. She listed items she hoped to purchase, including a cooling vest, new shoes, and cooling pad for Buddy, as well as clothes, sunscreen, a water bottle, and extra cash for Gary.
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After Homsi gathered the supplies, she set out to find the buddies--but couldn't track them down for four days. Thankfully, she ran into Gary coincidentally and was able to set a time and place to deliver the goods. "Hello, she found me!" Gary said cheerfully when they reunited.
Homsi recently updated viewers by sharing a video of her shopping trip for Gary and Buddy. She placed leashes, tent materials, a pet first aid kit, a water bowl, and more into the loaded cart. "Thanks to your donations we were able to get Gary and Buddy clothes, food, shelter, phone lines, vet care and much more!" Homsi wrote. Buddy, who was sporting his brand new cooling vest, showed how grateful he was by excitedly playing with his new toys.
In addition to providing new supplies, Homsi scheduled a neutering appointment for Buddy. Thanks to Gary's newly acquired phone, they will also be getting the pooch microchipped. TikTok users even filled the comments with suggestions for potential jobs for Gary. The pet community sure knows how to love!
"Now this is what a true friendship is," wrote one viewer. Gary and Buddy's wholesome connection is an inspiration for pet parents everywhere!
What do you think of Gary and Buddy's story? Tell us at our Wide Open Pets Facebook page!
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