"If I didn't have my dog, I probably wouldn't be here"

23 Aug 2019
by Devon Lee

Mr. Fang is a Framework resident with a difference. He’s fluffy, he’s furry… and he’s also a dog – an adorable Husky belonging to Shane, a formerly homeless man who lives with us.

We caught up with Shane and his ever-faithful friend at one of our Supported Housing services in Nottingham.

He explained: “I’d always wanted a Husky, well a wolf, but a Husky is the closest thing. I had a look on Gumtree and saw a couple getting rid of a husky called Harry, they were moving home and the new landlord didn’t accept dogs. For me it’s no dog, no move.

“I went to see him and straight away he came over to me and the bond was there instantly. I just had to change his name because Harry didn’t suit him at all!

Shane had slept rough for many years, but after living in our London Road service, he secured private-rented accommodation. When his landlord sold his property Shane was made homeless again. He explained:

“It does make things harder when you have a dog. I went to housing aid, they said if I wanted a fighting chance [of getting housed] I should get rid of him. No chance. He’s family, and he’s been with me through everything; he’s basically my furry kid”.

After a period of rough sleeping Shane was found by our The Street Outreach Team. He was very cold and his health was suffering. The team put him and his dog into a hotel for a few days, as part of the No Second Night Out Scheme. They then found them both accommodation at our London Road service.

“When they found me I had psoriasis all over me and my arthritis was getting bad, it hurt to stand up sometimes. They didn’t mention anything about Mr. Fang, it was no problem. They even paid the extra money for him to come and stay in the hotel with me.

“If I didn’t have him I probably wouldn’t be here after some of the things I’ve been through, he’s my rock. I used to self-harm and have suicidal tendencies but since I’ve had him I don’t think about it. Who would look after him? My friend takes him for walks sometimes when I’m selling the Big Issue, I usually have to go with them because he’s looking back for me, he wants his dad. He’d miss me a lot”.

“We lived in London Road for a while, there were other dogs staying there. It’s a big place and lots of people, it was a bit too hectic for us really. We moved into another service, I think Mr. Fang is the first dog to stay here, but he won’t be the last though I tell you! The staff love him here, he relieves all of their stress. He’s so good too, never caused any trouble”.

“There’s a lot of walls that are put up for dogs, not everywhere accepts them. It’s sad people aren’t more understanding. We’re moving into our own place in a few weeks, we can’t wait”

Shane and Mr. Fang make a great team and we wish them all the best in their new home.

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