• R. E. Maynard

Basket Case

Hard to tell if the truth would ever save him from a lifestyle of addiction that controlled most of his demeanors for living. Each day’s new horizon offered him potentials for taking advantage of resources from around the city. He frequented the Main Street shelter a few times a week, but he spent most of his time awake and seeking that next high. 

Basket Case

Brave is a quest for his unsure recovery. He knew that if the dope did not kill him, eventually, he would kick the vice altogether. He had lost all his connections to family and only had one friend for drowning his sorrows. Basket was a chihuahua that wandered into his life unexpectedly. A fraction of his pandering went to feed the tiny dog, so the rescue mission was already working toward less usage. Both the pup and man needed the proof of his dedication to change such a poor habit, as he mainlined heroin multiple times a day.

In the months after finding his little friend, he became very ill. The field where the homeless resided was a damp place in the Fall months leading into Winter. He knew the shelters would not allow Basket’s entry. Loyal is the devotion a dog showed him everyday, so he returned the favor respectfully. He stopped going to the shelters for the dog’s sake. The tiny dog slept inside his trench coat right next to the man’s heartbeat. 

A hard rain dumped a great deal of bad weather upon his makeshift camp. After hearing a sound in the distance, the little dog pokes a tiny head from the confines of his bundled coat. An officer making rounds on the homeless scene brought bagels for breakfast every Saturday. Basket barked a few times, as the officer extended a hand. The chihuahua sniffed his hand alarmingly. 

“I got a 10-54 and possibly the result of a 10-50. I’m on the hillside behind the business district—feeding the homeless.” He called for transport of the man’s lifeless body. “Come see little pup,” the officer insisted, and Basket’s curiosity gained interest. 

The little chihuahua still stood his ground, as he did not want to leave his loved one’s side. The officer picked at a bagel, breaking off small pieces, and fed the hunger pup. Together, they waited sitting on the hillside for the arrival of the corner and transportation. 

You’ll need to trust me. I will care for you, little guy.” The officer kept kindly offering food to the frightened Basket. 

The day passed to weeks and months, the two now kindred spirits became heroes in the local newspapers and best friends. The officer and Basket went on to advocate for addiction and homelessness. They both were pinned in a ceremony honoring the betterment of their civil duties, as heroes serving justice to a deserving community—this turn of events was a true Basket Case.

— R. E. Maynard

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