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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Portrait of a Man and Dog, on Sixth Avenue

Man and Dog, nyc
Photo by myself on Sixth Avenue in Midtown.

A man named John sat with his dog, Aria, Monday afternoon. A sign in front of him reads 'Everyone needs a little help now and then'.

I'd seen John earlier this year and gave him some money. You often see homeless people on the streets, but only a small percentage have dogs with them.

Monday I stopped to speak with John. Aria, a pit bull mix, was extremely friendly, wiggling about and giving me hearty licks. She has an ID tag because she is a trained therapy dog.

'You've been here a long time,' I said. 'I saw you earlier this year.'

'Not that long', he said. 'About two months' (!).

I have mixed feelings about people on the streets with animals, since the animals are used to induce sympathy. In my case, it worked, though Aria obviously cares for her master.

On more than one occasion, I've seen mothers sitting on the sidewalk with their small children, requesting donations. It is very, very sad.

The Portrait Series is a once-in-a-while installment, featuring New Yorkers encountered on the street.

Related posts: Portrait of a Guy, on Sixth Avenue, Portrait of a Musician, in Midtown, and Portrait of Five New Yorkers, on the Upper East Side.

15 comments:

Olivier said...

c'est vrai qu'un enfant, un chien entraine la condescendance, et que l'on donne plus facilement, mais on pas toujours s'arreter

Andy said...

He's right.

s.c said...

Yes , you see it more and more in our western world. It really is something we must shame about in our society.

Brianna Asaro Photography said...

I have to admit, when there's a dog or animal involved, my heart aches for them. I also think his sign is unique in that he doesn't just blatantly ask for help or request donations. It's simply a true statement that induces generosity. Seems like a very smart man that could, indeed, make something great of himself.

Lily Hydrangea said...

Aria-what a beautiful name!
Whatever the case may be, I hope I am never driven to such extremes.
My favorite type of photograph is one that makes me think. Another great shot Kitty.

gerry suchy said...

Kitty,

This is a great image on many different levels. I applaud your social conscience for taking the time to both converse with this guy as well as take the photograph. You might be interested in following this page on Google+ https://plus.google.com/115900988169485165846/about

It is a group of photographers myself among them who engage the homeless and post a photo along with their story. I'm sure you'd be very welcome.

Gerry

Paz said...

Aria is very cute and I love his/her name.

RedPat said...

It seems that a lot of the younger homeless kids here have dogs. I think it satisfies a need for love and affection. The dogs are always well taken care of!

Luis Gomez said...

Kitty, what a wonderful and moving portrait in all levels.

Banjo52 said...

It's complicated, isn't it. How are we supposed to know the right move?

But I do like the photo.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Oh Kitty, the realities can be so heartbreaking and hard hitting. Thanks for being (you) and bringing forth this post.

liisamarja said...

reasons for homelessness are varied, and differ from one country to another. although we do have great wellfare system we have homeless, most of them fighting (or perhaps not) some sort of addiction.

our newest social problem are beggars who are "imported" from another country just to do that. we never used to have pickpockets, either...

nevertheless, yet another great picture, kitty.

Stefan Jansson said...

I think he probably likes the company of the dog as well. always horrible with homelessness.

Celebrity Catwalk said...

we saw himn there on Wednesday & gave him some dog treats!

Paul B said...

We (UK) have a national charity here called Shelter and it is one I do try to give to. We have a real problem with homelessness and its such a complicated thing and of late it seems to be getting worse. The only time I recall seeing beggars with v young children was in Paris.