Birmingham, Alabama—I’ll call him Denny. Denny lived in a rundown part of town. His was a rundown house with plywood over a busted window.
He drove a truck for a living, he supported his four-person family. But families aren’t cheap, and driving a semi isn't exactly a rich man’s job.
One evening, Denny came home to an empty house. He found a note on his refrigerator. His wife had left him for another, and taken his kids.
It was a cruel blow.
He was in a sad state for the following year. He says he contemplated ending it all with a bottle of pills.
“Just couldn’t,” he said. “Gott’em to my mouth a couple times, but didn’t have the guts.”
One weekend, a knock on his door. It was a little girl. She was looking for a dog.
“He’s a brown Lab,” she said. “His name’s Bo, and he’s kinda fat.”
Denny told her he hadn’t seen any Labs. Her face grew long. She thanked him and walked away with her
He thought about her all day. She reminded him of his own daughter. Something came over him. He laced his shoes and hit the neighborhood streets.
He spent the weekend walking house to house, asking neighbors if they’d seen a chocolate-colored dog. He estimated that he knocked on seventy doors. Seventy.
He developed blisters on his feet and a sore lower back.
He was met with a string of sorry-haven’t-seen-hims. And he was about to give up, until he knocked on a door in a neighborhood that was a few miles away.
A woman answered. She told him a stray came into her yard days earlier. A brown dog. She’d carried it to a no-kill shelter.