Tuesday, December 26, 2006

malachi is wicked cute!!!

there is NO doubt in my mind malachi IS indeed a therapy companion. NONE. i am so very happy the people around mr slight fought to get BOTH he AND malachi into an apartment. a story WITH a happy ending (yes, it's about time)

A Long Road Home As a vet and his dog wandered Middletown streets, officials struggled to find them shelter — together.

By ALAINE GRIFFIN Courant Staff Writer December 25 2006 MIDDLETOWN -- It's been a while since Roger Slight had a home.Back in April, the 54-year-old Navy veteran was told that he qualified for federally funded public housing. Problem was, Slight's dog, Malachi, a 125-pound American bulldog, didn't.So Slight held out on a home to be with his buddy - even if it meant shivering through the nights and waking up in his tent recently with a dusting of frost covering his scraggly beard.Slight's devotion to his docile dog became the talk of the town at the local soup kitchen. Some thought he was crazy. Word soon spread to a band of social workers, who joined Slight in his quest for a home. The 8-month push reached the mayor's desk and the offices of doctors, who told housing authority officials Slight needed Malachi for emotional support.But Slight, a shy but personable man with a smoker's-hack laugh, had struggled with homelessness before. He prepared for the worst."My doctor told me she had a new tent for me if this didn't work out. And there's always him," Slight said pointing to Malachi. "He keeps me warm. He's like a horse, you know."The old tent, worn and stuffed with sleeping bags, was pitched among brush along the Connecticut River just steps from Route 9 traffic. A rusted baby carriage parked next to a suitcase there held cans of food and served as Slight's clothesline. A tattered soccer ball, chewed-up stuffed animals and empty ALPO cans marked Malachi's spot at their riverfront home................

...........Malachi showed Vasiliou what outreach workers, locals at the soup kitchen and downtown merchants already knew - he wasn't just any dog.Like good medicine, Malachi's name was on the prescription slips of doctors who advocated for Slight to be allowed to keep Malachi in public housing. The dog is Slight's emotional support, they said, a service dog in a sense who, like a guide dog leads the blind, serves as the antidote to Slight's depression and antisocial ways.............

ROGER SLIGHT returns to his campsite on the Connecticut River with Malachi, his 125-pound bulldog, after lunch at the St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen in Middletown.

A HAND-ROLLED CIGARETTE gives Slight some comfort in the cramped tent he once shared with Malachi. Slight often spent his evenings with a flashlight propped on his shoulder, reading science fiction.

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