Adoption of Homeless Win-Win For All
New York, NY, February 9, 2011 -- Eleanor Rosenblad sits in her spacious six room Upper East Side apartment sipping tea while her homeless companion Larry Corbett plays with a squeaky gun toy on the floor. "It really does feel fulfilling to be in a position to help people whilst getting something back," Eleanor says, reaching over to rub Larry's head affectionately. Eleanor and Larry are two of many that have found companionship as a solution to the increasing population of homeless and destitute throughout the city.
Larry is a 32 year old Gulf War veteran who never seemed to find his place again after he was bankrupted due to mounting medical bills following his return stateside from Iraq in 2005.
"You'd sure be surprised how much that damned Iraqi bullet in my ass cost me," he said, before scampering off to sample the roast beef in his food dish. Larry appears to be one of the lucky ones now, but that wasn't the case a mere five months ago when Eleanor spotted him digging through a dumpster beside the bakery she frequents.
"One look at him and I knew that if he were cleaned-up, fed and properly trained he could be a wonderful addition to my life," Eleanor related.
Cleaning and feeding were relatively simple, but the training took some time, according to Eleanor. "There were some abysmal moments in the beginning when he would get so excited to see guests that he would pee all over the room. Also the crotch sniffing made some of my more reserved guests feel uncomfortable," she said. "Those times have passed now, though, and there are only occasional issues for us to work through."
One of those issues became evident a few weeks prior to the interview, when Eleanor's niece and fiancé spent Christmas with her. On one of nights of their stay, Larry snuck into their room while the couple was engaged in an intimate embrace. They tried everything to get him to leave the bedside, Eleanor recounted, but he just sat there with an odd look on his face before finally going to sleep on the floor.
Larry and Eleanor are constantly together and can be frequently seen in the neighborhood walking together as she goes about her daily routine.
"He's much handier to have around than a simple dog or cat. He's permitted to enter most stores, as well as carry my groceries and shopping bags, all on top of keeping me safe," raved Eleanor. "The only time I have to keep an eye on him is when we come near a homeless person. Larry hates those bums and tries to fight them."
According to Volunteers United by Love for Vagrants in America (VULVA) representative Stacey Nedimeijer, "Many well-off people are in search of companionship and like the thought of doing something to help others. Plus a lot of rich people are allergic to animal hair."
VULVA records indicate 762 companions have thus far been placed in loving homes. Only a very small percentage have to be removed from abusive homes and relocated.
Thomas Newman of the Human Humane Society, a national volunteer organization created specifically to stop what he terms the "de-anthropomorphication disease", thinks otherwise. "These rich people only see the bums as potential pets now. They are not pets. These bums are humans, human beings with feelings, emotions and pride who do not deserve to be owned and put on display like some purebred canine."
Eleanor takes issue with Newman's characterization. "I would never treat Larry like a pet. He's my companion. Do I show him? Well of course I do. I'm so very proud of my little tiger."
Larry appeared to share Eleanor's umbrage. "That mother****er can kiss my scarred-up, hairy ass," he observed before resuming lapping beer from his bowl in the kitchen.
"He still has a few rough edges we need to work on," Eleanor said with a sigh.
By Raoul Thibodeaux, Avant News Staff Writer
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