“My name is Brigitte ______. I am downtown on skid row. This is my service girl Nubian. She has me because I have issues. I hate to say it, downtown is the only place where you can come and get assistance once you’ve been put in a position where you become homeless.
“Thirteen years ago, I lost my son. I went to counseling and she told me it was more than that; I need to go to the mental hospital. And, that’s when I was diagnosed with my situation and that was my first round of being homeless. Two years ago, a good friend of mine, she goes, ‘Look, girl, you know you’re crazy; your anxieties, whatever, whatever.’ And, she goes, ‘I have a gift for you; she’ll keep you calm, she’ll help you more than anybody else can help you. She’s yours.’
“I said I didn’t want an animal because that’s a responsibility, but once I got a hold of Nubian, I won’t trade her for the world. She makes me feel like I have a reason to be here.”
Five months after being interviewed for the “My Dog Is Home: The Experience of Human-Animal Homelessness” exhibit, Brigitte received a Section 8 studio. “I have just the necessaries that you need. I used to think I needed all that materialize things and it’s not important. I got my girl; we get to go for our walks and we eat, and that’s it! You know, I don’t need all of that stuff anymore.”
Human-Animal Homelessness. That’s the catchphrase, but the owners’ stories tell of embracing responsibility, care-taking, joy, and finding unconditional love. In other words, reasons for living.
“My Dog Is Home,” is essentially an online exhibit presented by the National Museum of Animals & Society. The show consists of photography, sculpture, and other art. Curator Christine Kim states, “This exhibit is dedicated to the uncounted number of humans and animals who have found a home in each other despite having little else.”
The show may be experienced in person at the Union Station Homeless Services’ Adult Center through Tuesday, June 24th.
Pop and Wednesday
Untitled 2 by Christopher Chinn
Kalynda Follett, Sampson – My Cha-Warrior, acrylic on canvas