No birthday is complete without a birthday cake with a candle on top. Your one wish per year, how will you use it, what will you wish for? Maybe a new car or a vacation to Malibu, mayhaps a wish for world peace or infinite amounts of money? Well, we know what one man wished for as his dream came true nearly as soon as the candles were blown out.
A homeless man was seen throwing a humble birthday party for his two dogs, singing them ‘Happy Birthday’, giving them hugs, and treating them to cake all whilst sitting on the stairs of a public park, having no other means of shelter. But that would soon change.
As always, don’t forget to leave your thoughts below. Let’s get into the story!
More info: Instagram
Well here’s something you don’t see every day! A man named Choco sat on some stairs at a local park with two dogs wearing party hats
One sunny evening, a man walking through a park in Bucaramanga, Colombia, saw a homeless man throwing what seemed to be a birthday party for his pet dogs. The man named Choco was sitting on stairs alongside his companions Shaggy and Nena, almost as if basking in the late sunshine, however, the party hats sitting atop of the pup’s heads told a different story.
They were celebrating the birthday of Shaggy the pup. Cake and candles were revealed and he started singing ‘Happy Birthday’
The bystander decided to capture the event on camera and we’re very glad he did as what happened next is truly heartwarming. Choco gave each of the sleepy pups some pets before unveiling a small cake and candles. He then started singing to his two companions a version of ‘Happy Birthday’. It appeared that it was Shaggy’s birthday and Choco was throwing him a little party.
Two candles were lit on the small cake, the pups carefully observing their owner’s actions, thinking of their wish
During the song, the two candles were lit up, Choco affectionately petting and clapping to the pups in celebration. Soon the candles were blown out and each dog received a kiss on their tiny puppy cheeks. The man then grabbed a small plastic knife, looking to cut the cake and the pups finally started gaining more interest.
The candles were blown out and a wish was made as the pups received pets and kisses
Image credits: joseluis.matos.7906
Choco then cut a slice for each of his companions before cutting one for himself, seemingly getting emotional
Choco, of course, cut the first pieces to give to his dogs, offering more to each of them from his own plate and it’s hard not to get emotional over the fact that the cake, candles and party hats probably cost the man a lot of money, but he still put in all that effort for his friends to have the celebration they deserved. It seemed that Choco was wiping a few tears himself.
Could someone please cut the onions in the other room? Thanks. Bring some tissues back as well.
Once the video was finished, the man came over to ask some questions and it was revealed that they were homeless
The man then watched the birthday boy finish up his cake, leaning in to give him a hug. The other puppy received more kisses afterwards, whilst Shaggy did a sneaky sneak and started monching on the rest of the cake. Can’t say I wouldn’t do the same.
After ending the video, the person filming approached Choco to ask about their lives and to offer help. It was revealed that Choco had spent the last several years living on the streets after escaping an abusive home. Despite the hardship, he’d made sure that Shaggy and Nena were always taken care of to the best of his ability.
After running away from an abusive home, Choco found solace in Shaggy and Nena, who’d become his new family
The video quickly gained traction, encouraging people to donate food, supplies and money to help get Choco and his pups back on their feet
Once the video was posted, it quickly went viral, amassing over 440K views. Lots of people decided to come in and help the little family out and get them back on their feet.
The park where the festivities were held has become a gathering spot for other animal lovers, who donated food and other supplies for both Choco and his pups. They also had the man pose for pictures with their own pups for a little bit of fun, but that was just the beginning.
Someone gifted Choco a new phone, on which he started his Instagram, gaining over 180K followers
Someone gifted Choco a phone and he was able to start an Instagram account, which now has over 180K followers. On one Instagram Live he opened up about his life, stating that he’s originally from the municipality of El Peñón.
Shaggy was celebrating his 4th birthday and Nena’s 11th birthday would be celebrated in November. He also shared his dream to pursue music and to open an animal shelter. Choco has been selling some shirts, also donating a percentage of the profits to stopping animal abuse.
He’s expressed the wish to pursue music and to open up an animal shelter in the future
Wishes do come true, it seems, but the sad truth is – the rare person becomes homeless for any fault of their own
It seems that whatever he wished for on those candles, they are working their magic and things are finally going better for this man and his beloved pets. But there have been discussions as to why homeless people take on caring for animals when they’re struggling enough to provide for themselves as is. Let’s look into that a little more.
The sad truth is that no one ends up homeless for no reason, some at completely no fault of their own. Family violence, a shortage of affordable housing, physical and/or mental health issues, unemployment or job loss, and drug and alcohol abuse are some of the most common reasons for why people become homeless.
Homelessness is a serious social issue that greatly affects those unfortunate enough to experience it
Fred Victor, a social service charitable organization, points to the fact that living on the streets can be a very dehumanizing existence, in which “people act like you’re invisible – or worse, they want you to make yourself invisible.”
Isolation, fear and constant uncertainty are factors that would affect the state of being of any person and having a pet there for comfort and a bit of protection can make a world of difference to those that have little to nothing.
Having a pet can greatly increase morale and chances to better your life, though it comes with additional costs
Having a pet can be a major contributing factor to a person’s survival, not only because of their unconditional love but also because of the responsibility that comes with taking care of them. Many studies have shown that having a pet decreases the use of drugs and alcohol and limits high-risk behavior in the fear of losing the animal companion.
However, it’s a bit of a double-edged sword as Louise Scanlon et al. argue that pet ownership has been suggested to perpetuate homelessness by restricting access to support services, especially housing. It is very common that people are forced to choose between a shelter bed and staying on the street with their pet and, needless to say, most people choose the latter.
The changes to perception and stigma of homelessness are crucial to helping solve the issue and providing help to those that need it most
We have a long road ahead when it comes to solving or at least bettering the issue, however, it does start with our perception of homelessness and the person suffering. We tend to have a very rigid opinion of what a homeless person is like, how they’re potentially dangerous or unpredictable.
Victoria Lawson, a professor at the University of Washington, stated: “There is a villainization of poor people, and the lack of services available is connected to how people are prioritized. We need to start to think critically about how we understand ‘the other’; seeing homeless people as flawed and inadequate allows us to see ourselves as stable and good.”
A little goes a long way and even if you can’t afford to donate money, you can always volunteer your time
More homeless shelters, tent cities and housing that could accept pets should be the first steps being taken. Then there are bigger issues to tackle, such as access to mental health care or affordable housing, and the surplus of animals bred to maintain a pet industry.
The division in the public persists, one group showing sympathy for the pet, but not the person, questioning the quality of the pet’s care. And on the other end are those that sympathize with those in unfortunate circumstances, wanting to help but not knowing how.
According to Love to Know, the main thing is to educate yourself on the issue and aim to dispel any stereotypes or stigma regarding homelessness. Donate necessities to local shelters and money if you have it. Otherwise, volunteer your time to help those in need. A little goes a long way.
The debates continue in the public but one thing is for certain – animals save us as much as we save them
We hope the best for Choco and his family and we’re sure that there’s a bright future awaiting them
Image credits: joseluis.matos.7906
At the end of the day, the homeless do take care of their pets and have a lot of love to give them; and to some degree, both save each other.
It seems things are going well for Choco and his pups. The man has publicized his phone number as well as his PayPal account for those that wish to help them out. But it seems that they’ve already got something that others can only wish for upon a birthday candle. And in Choco’s own words: “A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be so bad.”
You can watch the full birthday party here
Let us know what you thought of this story in the comments below and upvote this story to show your support. I wish you a great day!