It's a story about friendship, kindness, and corgis.
Last year, when a Hollywood couple lost their beloved dog, they were devastated. Then a friend came across an ad about a homeless man in need of a temporary home for his dog, and the couple stepped up to help.
Now, a year after their story was first published, readers have been eager for an update. Los Angeles Times City Beat columnist Nita Lelyveld joined us with the latest on their unexpected friendship, and how one small act of kindness can make a difference.
The man that put out the ad had a Ph.D. and a job in a specialized field, and was doing well, but then he lost his job and found himself in dire need.
"After about four years, he found himself without a place to live for him and his corgi," said Lelyveld. "So he reached out on Craigslist to strangers asking for help to take care of his dog. He wanted his dog to be taken care of during this time of great upheaval in his life. Ted and Sandy Rogers in Hollywood saw this ad, and they weren't ready for a new dog of their own. They loved Sienna, the dog they lost, but they thought maybe fostering his dog would help them. And, it turned out it didn't only help the man, but it helped them immeasurably in finding their own way to happiness again. And then he would come over every Sunday to play with his dog."
LA Times readers came through for this homeless man after Lelyveld wrote the original story.
"The response was incredible from the moment it went live. Within an hour, I started hearing from people who wanted to provide housing for the man and his corgi. And, I heard from people who wanted to help Ted and Sandy find a new corgi of their own. People just stepped up and wanted to donate, set up a GoFundMe, and they donated money to help the man and his corgi have a little bit of a cushion. Somebody in Palm Springs said they would provide the man and his corgi housing for a year rent-free at an apartment in Palm Springs. So, that was an incredibly important gesture because one of the hardest things is in finding your way back from a rough situation because you do not have the stability to work on pulling yourself out of the hole," added Lelyveld.
The man ended up taking the housing offer in Palm Springs, which gave him time to put his life back on track. Then job offers started to come.
"He started to get job offers in the field that he was looking to join — data science — but then he just lucked out in the end, and somebody from his old line of work called him and said she was leaving her job he ended up getting that job. So, he is back in his old field, making a good salary again," said Lelyveld. "He also has his dog with him. When he moved to the place in Palm Springs, he sent me a picture of him and his dog snuggling in their new home."
Sandy and Ted, the couple who helped the man out, also got help from strangers.
"All sorts of corgi lovers came out trying to help Ted and Sandy find a new corgi, and they were ready once the fostered corgi went back to his owner," Lelyveld added. "It was right when the pandemic hit, so they were looking to rescue a corgi, and all the rescue places had no corgis because everybody wanted a pet for the pandemic. So, they started looking at other breeds and started looking at breeders. And this woman met them virtually because of the story, was also looking at breeders for them, and found them a breeder in Wyoming who had a puppy. Ted and Sandy automatically said they wanted the puppy. And this woman who did not know them drove from her house in Los Angeles to get the dog for them."