Little acts of kindness…

Before I begin my story, I just want to tell everyone that this story is 100% true…I wouldn’t make up anything like this and even if I fabricated this story, it almost wouldn’t seem realistic… I normally wouldn’t even write about something like this but I think it deserves to be mentioned because one man and his family did an incredibly wonderful thing, on a completely random Sunday… It’s acts of kindness like this that helps restore my faith in humanity when so many terrible things are happening in the world. On a broader spectrum, it probably means very little to a lot of people, but again, it’s worth a read and I hope it kick starts your Monday and gives you some good vibes…

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

How it all started is a little mundane, but here is how the story goes….

As you all know, I am a freelance writer/photographer for various automotive publications, and one of the main books that I work for is Honda Tuning magazine. Rodrez is the head editor over there these days but even though he spends much of his time putting every issue together, he still continues to shoot many of the stories in the Socal area. I will shoot for him occasionally, but for the most part, if time permits, Rodrez will knock out the shoots. I received a text message from him last Wednesday and he asked me if I could shoot for him over the weekend because he had a prior engagement in San Diego. He notified me as to what car it was and the owner and I remember chatting with the guy at the Evasive Motorsports open house, so I told Rodrez that I would do it. May was out of town in Dallas, Texas on business so I had some free time on my hands. If I could occupy that time and make some money, why not? I try to help out Rodrez whenever I can now as well because he has a newborn baby and I would much rather he spend that extra time with his family than shoot a car when I can easily knock it out…

Randomly during the week, I also found out that our buddy Takeshi Kobayashi from Japan was here in the states. He flew out to handle some business matters but he would have time in the evenings to hang out. We always try to spend time with him whenever we can because he’s just a good guy and we want to show him around. I notified the owner of the car I was shooting that I had to push the shoot back to Sunday because not only was it a complete ghost town on Sundays where we shoot, it also gave me some more time to hang out with Takeshi. We only get to see him a couple times per year so it’s important that we get to see him. The owner was cool with it so we were set to meet him on Sunday morning. Come late Saturday night though, I was a little hesitant about shooting early because me and a couple of the guys were having so much fun just hanging out at DPK David’s house and catching up with our Japanese friend. I made my way home, got everything packed up for the morning and went to bed for like, 3 hours…I got up, threw on my contacts which made my eyes burn from the lack of sleep and set out to Downtown L.A. for the shoot…

On Sunday mornings, this particular area is just DEAD… I mean, it’s an industrial area and located down in the warehouse district so the majority of the businesses aren’t even open on Sundays. The owner arrived on time (which tends to be sort of rare these days) and I found a spot to shoot at. It’s a familiar spot, I’ve shot there a couple times and this location dates all the way back to the days when DPK David got his first magazine feature (not shot by me because I didn’t even know how to turn on a camera then), and that had to be like 2006 or so. After I had set-up my light stands, I grabbed my camera to catch a candid shot of the owner and his car. He was busy preparing his car and that’s usually when I try to get some behind-the-scenes photos for this site….

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I snapped this photo and it wasn’t particularly good, but whatever…my eyes were still pretty tired from being up late the night before so I just looked around to see if anything caught my eye in an attempt to snap me out of my early morning funk…. In the distance, down the street, I spotted a puppy walking around… it wasn’t very big and it’s furry white appearance instantly grabbed my attention. I didn’t think anything of it, other than it being a little sad to see a puppy run about in a ghost town by itself…

So the dog ran off, turned a corner, and the owner of the car was ready to shoot, so I got to work… I had him position his car at the angle I wanted and started snapping away…I wanted a low angle profile shot of the car so I laid down on the ground. After getting the shots I wanted, I got up to stretch, looked around and saw the puppy again. I guess the dog had noticed us too and came a little closer to see what we were doing….

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I snapped this photo of the puppy just hanging out in the distance. It didn’t want to get too close to us because we were complete strangers and it probably didn’t even expect to see any one in that area that morning, but it sat down on the pavement and watched us… As the minutes turned to hours, the puppy started to come closer, to the point where it was now walking around right next to us. I continued to shoot but my attention was turned to the puppy often, and every free moment I got while I had the owner re-position his car, I spent it staring at this puppy. It just seemed happy to have some company…it had no idea what we were doing, but it didn’t matter… you can tell that the puppy was lonely, tired, hungry…but undeniably friendly, fearless…as I walked around to different areas to get different angles of the car, the dog would follow me. I don’t think it expected anything, it was just cool to be around another living being. The owner of the car I was shooting took out a bottle of water and poured some out for the dog, and it happily obliged…

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There was some broken pieces of plastic on the floor, probably from a child’s toy that had been run over by a passing car, and the dog snatched up a piece of it with it’s mouth, and started to play. It seemed excited to have company, which gave her energy to be playful. It’s fur was tangled and knotted, and the rain from a couple days before had probably stained it’s fur and gave it an almost greyish appearance. Even though the dog was tattered and dirty, it still had a cute face… I snapped the photo above after it had stopped for a break from running around the car….

A couple hours go by and I figured I had taken all the shots I needed for the magazine feature, and started to pack-up….Again, I was pretty beat in the morning from lack of rest so I had to cycle through the usual shots I take to see if there was anything I missed. I was half finished packing-up when I realized that I needed to get a detail shot of the wheels on the car so I pulled my gear out again. I usually have a towel that I kneel on or lay on top of when I shoot so I don’t get dirty, especially on the streets of Downtown L.A. For the wheel shot, I had to lay down and shoot upwards so I laid the towel out. I pick-up my camera from my camera bag and I walk back over to my towel, and the puppy is laying on top of it. It probably hadn’t had anything soft to lay on top of in awhile so it laid down comfortably on the towel. I let it lay there for a little bit until it decided to get up. I took the spot, got the shots I wanted, and packed up the rest of my stuff once again. The entire time, the puppy was hanging out in our area, as happy as it had been in awhile…

I walk over to my car and the puppy followed suit. It didn’t bark or even make a single sound the entire morning, and just seemed to be a really kind, friendly puppy. It didn’t try to jump in the car or anything, but it didn’t seem like it wanted us to go…I shake hands with the owner, chat with him for a couple seconds, and send him on his way. He gets in his car and drives off…

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I think the puppy knew that we were leaving so it looked up at me as I toss my camera bag into the car…I will be the first one to admit that I am not a dog person, by any stretch of the imagination…I am not even a cat person, but I have two cats that live with me because my sister just loves cats. I’ve grown to really like cats over time, but dogs were just not animals that I ever thought of as a pet. I never wanted a dog and I have no idea really how to even take care of one, but I was completely enamored by this puppy. It just seemed to project this sense of innocence. It was so friendly, quiet, fearless…it needed a home…but I just wasn’t the person to provide that home…I felt really bad about it because I knew I would have a whole lot of regret to deal with later on. I captured this last photo of her to remind me of this once-in-a-lifetime meeting with this little puppy…

There was a point in time when I wanted to take the dog, but I had no idea where to take it…an animal shelter would have worked, but I don’t know what would happen to a dog like that. I don’t even know anything about animal shelters or their procedures…what if it ended up in some kennel where they would put it to sleep? Shit…I wanted to take the dog, I really did, but tossing an animal into the car with an unknown state of health from the run down streets of Downtown L.A. just sounded really sketchy. I could make an endless amount of excuses for not taking the dog, but it didn’t make me any less regretful…

I said bye to the puppy and it just stared at me, still never making a sound…. I got in my car and began to drive off. As I drove away I looked into the rear view mirror and saw the puppy chasing after the car…I felt so bad…I think I even got a little choked-up, and I’m usually a pretty emotionless guy… I made a right back onto the main street and looked behind one last time and saw that the puppy had stopped running. It just stopped and stared, realizing that it couldn’t catch-up to me…it probably just didn’t have the energy to…

The whole time I was driving home, all I could think about was this dog. I had completely forgotten that I was just so tired and needed to go back to sleep…When I got home, I pulled my memory card out of my camera and moved the photos of the puppy to my desktop…. I felt compelled to tell my story to someone, so I decided to make a post about it on Facebook. The second photo of the puppy staring at us in the distance was a story that could be told without words…

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I wrote a little blurb about it and it instantly attracted the attention of my Facebook friends…More than I expected… many were sad, some were upset that I didn’t take the dog with me, and a couple people even wanted to know where the dog was because they wanted to go get it. One of the first people to ask was my buddy Arn…

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Arn (pictured with all smiles above) is the owner of a K-swapped Integra that you all should be pretty familiar with. He lives deep in the valley, way north of Downtown L.A., but was willing to make the drive to go get the dog. In the comment above, you’ll see that he makes reference to picking up the dog for “jr.”…”Jr.” is his baby boy and Arn had recently started a family. Being able to have a puppy in the family sounded like a perfect piece to add to the puzzle of his life. I commented back right away with the address where I shot at, described the surrounding areas, and laid down to get some rest. I laid down in bed, constantly checking my Facebook updates to see if he had actually gone down there, as well as to read the rest of the comments from the post…There was abour 40 people that had something to say, and I was genuinely surprised by the reaction that this little puppy generated…I eventually dozed off though and fell asleep on top of my phone. I think at one point Arn even called me because I turned and heard a faint “hello?…hello?” on the phone in the midst of my slumber…

I woke up a couple hours later to a text message from Arn, which he sent probably an hour after I knocked-out…

“cant find dog :(“

That was it…all hope was lost…

I responded and told him that it was okay…he tried…and he was a better man than me for making the effort. I also apologized for falling asleep and missing his call. I hop back on Facebook to see if there was any updates…Another person on my FB page also decided to head to that area in search of the dog. In an attempt to further his search, I once again posted-up more details on the surrounding areas where I last saw the puppy…

A couple minutes later, I received a text from Arn…

“found and rescued looking for a groomer who will clean her up”

What?! He found the puppy!! What great news it was after it seemed that all hope was lost. Looking back at the timelime of messages and during the time that I fell asleep, Arn must have been down there looking for a couple of hours….There were a lot of sad faces on Facebook in regards to my story on the puppy, so I decided to update everyone with great news…

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The comment I put along with the photo said it all…. Arn was indeed the man, he did what almost seemed to be the impossible. For those of you who don’t know what that area looks like…trust me, it’s a very vast area. A lot of buildings, a lot of cars, though it was empty throughout the day, finding anything is difficult. There were also a lot of places where the dog could have hidden, even a train and train tracks not far away… I was just so happy to hear that Arn was able to locate the dog and take it home. I text him back and I told him to give me updates when he could and also send me a photo of the dog after they had it cleaned up…

The other individual that made his way down there also posted and said that he had no luck finding the puppy, and that he was happy to hear that it was picked-up when his wife saw the update on Facebook and called him to let him know. He too deserves some praise for making the long drive down there in an attempt to give the puppy a home…

As I said on Facebook, in this instance, social media actually did quite a bit of good for a change…for all the bullshit that we see on Facebook of people posting up stupid ass shit, we were finally able to make some use out of Facebook and changed a life in the process…

I sent him a text message to see where he found the dog and he quickly responded…

“a few streets down under a car. u were right she is super friendly”

Well, I assumed the dog was a boy the whole morning and it turned out to be a girl….

“thanks joey, anthony (Arn’s baby boy) has a new buddy now! by the way we’re naming her Joey”

If anything, Arn should have named the puppy Arnette or something because he deserves all the credit for saving her… I did nothing but tell a sad story about an encounter I had with a stray…nonetheless, I was honored. The post in response to Arn finding the puppy was just overwhelming. For all the sadness that people felt early that morning, they were all amazed to hear the good news. Arn has been a great enthusiast to look up to for his automotive endeavors, but we will always know him as a hero and a utterly amazing human being for what he had done….

Some time passed by into the late evening when I got a notification on my Facebook application on my phone… It was from Arn…

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The little girl cleans up pretty well I must say! Haha, doesn’t even look like the same dog after she got all cleaned-up. She was still very frail and thin, but still dressed to impress, and she had food and water. Apparently she seems to be pretty photogenic as well!…Seriously, you can’t even make this kind of stuff up…

As for the post I was notified of on Facebook, I’ll let Arn tell you his side of the story…

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Here’s the post that I copied and pasted. I figured it’d be easier to read here than on a screenshot….

“whoa, what an adventure today. i started my day as usual on facebook and found joey lee’s post about this dog that caught his attention. i asked the boss if she wanted a dog and thats where our journey began…

we drove from the SFV to downtown LA in search for this special dog. we got to the area where the dog was last seen and slowly drove around the cuts for about 45 minutes looking her with no luck. so we took a break from the search and went to lunch at aloha cafe.

after lunch we continued our search and in the last minutes of the hour we found her under a car, trying to keep cool from the hot sun. i pulled out some leftovers and began to feed her. she ate everything then with no hessitation she let me pick her up to put her in the back of our SUV.

when we got back to the valley we wanted to get her cleaned up so we drove to 3 groomers to find that they were all closed. luckily the people at pet people they were able to direct us to a groomer that was open on sundays. we got to top dog groomers in northridge and dropped her off to get pampered. a few hours later they called and told us that she was ready for pick up.

so without any further adue…we welcome JOEY L. (Lucky) REYES to our family. =)”

You just can’t help but smile when something good like this happens…. It was definitely an emotional ride, and I’m just happy that this story has a happy ending….I know it’s not your typical car story you’ll see here on The Chronicles, but it’s good to remind ourselves that we are all human sometimes, and outside of all this madness with cars, there are a lot of great people within our community. Congratulations to Arn, his family, and his new puppy. I hope she lives a long life and they make great memories together…

57 thoughts

  1. Great story man.

    I had a similar story with a cat while fixin a car it just kept coming back sitting on my porch and did not go away or move and we could not find the owner.
    So we found it a new owner.
    I had al the same feelings like you did with the dog kinda funny.

    Greets from the netherlands.

    J.

  2. Read this while in class didn’t even pay attention such a heart touching story and made my Monday great. Sometimes we all loose hope in people but things like this light something inside you giving you a great feeling, and a smile.

  3. Joey is the real hero here! if it wasn’t for joey…lil “joey” would still be roaming the mean streets of downtown LA looking for her next meal. lil “joey” is home now, but can’t deny the fact that she has mean street cred. u can take the pup out the hood, but u can’t take the hood out of the pup. lol

  4. I was so upset during the first part of this story. If you knew me you would know how much i love animals. Arn is awesome… and must really be a great man. She “joey” knows what you all did for her and she will show her appreciation for you acts of kindness forever. I love this story.. Oh… one more thing… u missed out Joey on a awesome dog. u should be kicking yourself in the butt for not snagging her first.

  5. So glad she found a home, your post was the first one I saw in the morning, it was sad. Again so glad and happy it had an awesome ending. Arn is the man. Great story Joey she deserves your name 😉

  6. That is great! It is rough when you see a person or animal that has fallen on tough times and you can’t do anything. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  7. Congrats on the new dog! I was waiting for the happy ending and when it did get to it that brought a smile to my face. The owner should bring the dog to shows so I can see it. Haha. Good story stickydiljoe! This one made up for the couple of days that you didn’t post shit 😛

    • i don’t mind bringing her and the fam to shows, but on the way home and to the groomers and to the vet she gets very car sick. she’s thrown up in every car ride so far. =( the vet says thats pretty normal and hopefully she gets used to it so we can take her with us.

      • Congratulations on taking in a stray dog. Obviously you could tell that she would be friendly. God bless you.
        What a difference in the before and after pictures; she sure is a cutie!

      • Try some travel calm or rescue remedy.. Works like a charm and all natural. You are the man!! She is a beautiful dog and you are a kind soul!!

      • Arn,

        My pup is like that too – he throws up every time we ride in the car over a minute or two. They say it’s because he’s nervous, but I don’t believe it. Oddly enough, you can give a dog Dramamine (or its generic) to calm their car sickness. We give him a pill 30 minutes to an hour before we go somewhere, and it works every time. The general recommendation is 4 mg per pound of dog. Just something to try!

        Thank you for taking in this little girl!

  8. Damn me if I’ve ever felt the pain of a tear on a wound in my eye. Thanks a whole lot for that Joey and Reyes FAMILY! :HUGS: I’ll be seeing you soon.

  9. Read this story in a rush but still hit home it is good to see that Arn is not only an amazing car enthusiast but a great guy down to the core i am from texas and some of us can get a little crazy when it comes to our animals good to see there are great people left in this world by the way hey Arn you might be able to stump the Guys at ASC speed metal have them build something for this precious little girl lol

    later

  10. glad to see she was rescued and found a great home!
    wifey and i are dog people. have two dachshunds of our own. happy ending FTW!

  11. “As I drove away I looked into the rear view mirror and saw the puppy chasing after the car…” awww when I read that I felt tears were imminent.

    Congratulations to Arn and his family for the rescue and new welcomed family member. happy ending is happy =)

  12. I’ve had a really awful day. I am an avid animal lover and am always on social media trying to help save the homeless pets of the world. Joey I would have been mad if you were my friend and left the dog. But like Arn I would have been on the way to get her. This really brightened my day. Kudos to you Joey and to Arn and his family. She’s a doll. I expect this to go viral in a good way :0)

  13. It’s always great to see such acts of kindness nowadays, considering the way humans are mostly all about themselves and what ways are most beneficial for them. I am glad Arn adopted the little doggie. Joey, I am even more moved that you actually spent the precious time to let the world know of such an opportunity. Kudos to the both of you. Many Blessings!
    -Hedi@Bisimoto

  14. It’s always great to see such acts of kindness nowadays, considering the way humans are mostly all about themselves and what ways are most beneficial for them. I am glad Arn adopted the little doggie. Joey, I am even more moved that you actually spent the precious time to let the world know of such an opportunity. Kudos to the both of you. Many Blessings!
    -Hedi@Bisimoto

  15. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story if only more people would think this way.I am so thankful to you both. If you had not shared the photos and the story,this may have ended differently.Thank you for caring enough to make a big difference in this lil dog’s life. 🙂

  16. The guy that rescued the dog will in return be rescued when he needs it the most w/ devotion and undying love from her. And when the little one passes, he will have an angel watching over him and will be there to great him when he is called home too.

  17. I’m so glad that you and Arn were able to rescue that sweet little puppy! 😀 There’s one last thing I would recommend that Arn do though – it would be wonderful if he could have the puppy scanned for a microchip when she goes in for her first checkup. That way, you can be absolutely sure of whether she is an abandoned stray or someone’s lost pet. There are various website where people can read the information on pets based on their microchip number, and sometimes owners will post the microchip numbers of missing pets on HomeAgain or send the info to Animal Control. Not everyone who loses a pet is a neglectful or cruel owner – it could be that there are people missing her very much right now. I hope though that that is not the case and that she will be able to stay with Arn and his loving family ^_^

      • Arn, way to go. My husband would have done the same thing :). There are some good guys out there! I write this as I sit with my two death row dogs – Spot and Lilly. Very inspiring story, and glad you stepped up.

  18. Making our world a better place, one act of kindness at a time. Joey, thanks for sharing the rescue of Joey L. Reyes. I read it via a Petfinder.com post on my facebook page. For those who think this story is amazing, it really isn’t amazing. It’s what everyone could do, with a little effort. But it is a fabulous example of how rewarding that little effort can be. To Joey and Arn, bless your hearts!

  19. I loved your story! Thank you so much for sharing it. Also, it may inspire other people to help other four legged creature on this planet.

  20. For all you “I’m not a dog person” people: You don’t have a be a dog person to save a homeless dog. Just a simple phone call to a few friends or the local animal shelter (who even comes to pick up the dog for you!) is much better than leaving a poor, homeless dog with no food and shelter.

  21. I loved reading every word of this story. Happy endings are priceless. Thank you to everyone involved in making this a success story.

  22. Real Men are kind to Animals,I thank you guys for making life great for this little Girl,you will be rewarded till you take your last breath! Thank you!

  23. Joey, a Facebook friend shared this story on her wall, and I’m so glad I took the time to read it. I have a big smile on my face and drying tears have streaked my makeup. Thank you for sharing this story. You have made a BIG difference in quite a few lives. God bless you!

  24. I read half the story before I went to class, and could not wait to read the rest when I got home. I am glad your friend when to get the puppy. I think more people should be like him! THANKS ARN!

  25. Thank God for people like you guys! I could not stand the idea of that poor dog being left behind! She so obviously was begging for help!!!!! I am so glad that she now has a home! What a cutie!!!

  26. Pingback: Little Acts Of Kindness | A Place to Love Dogs

  27. While this story ends well for the dog, the lesson here is never leave a stray dog out there – hoping it will be ok somehow. Much better to take it to a shelter or rescue, where every effort is made to rehome it… and where it is warm, dry, safe, fed, and has care. No matter what happens in the long run, this is a much better option than simply leaving it in a vast empty part of a city to fend for itself! I’m so glad your friend Arn went looking…but he shouldn’t have had to

  28. I agree with Ann. You really should have picked her up. The fact that your friend was able to find her is a miracle. Usually that is not the ending. I know you meant well, but, it is so often for people to NOT do the right thing, then beat themselves up for it, almost in an effort to make themselves feel better. Not trying to be too harsh – next time – pick the dog up! I also agree that this dog had a better chance at a shelter then just being left behind. Your friend Arn is a real gem – his wife too.

  29. The last few comments are unnecessary, LA shelters are mostly kill shelters and keep the strays for short time unless rescue groups are stepped in and pull saveable dogs out.
    He saw the dog, took photos, took the time to post it on FB and Arn acted fast and got the little girl who is safe, warm and in loving home. Not all people can pick up strays you know. So stop making him feel bad. Didn’t you read his post, they have 2 cats in the house. what if he picked the dog up took her home and cats don’t want the dog here, I’m sure you know the dog and cat fights and it made life miserable for the household, then they would resent the poor lil girl who would end up in one of the shelters. So be glad the story has a wonderful ending for everyone and that includes little Joey girl.
    Joey you did real good for posting, Arn you and family are the heroes for driving to that part of town looking for her, not giving up till finding that little treasure and taking her home.
    Ruby

  30. Pingback: MMXII: The Year That Was…Part 1 of 2… « The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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