Two nights later, Chris found himself on his way for the crime. He prowled his way towards the street his targeted house stood. He had the entire plan about how to do it in his mind. A very calm face masked Chris’ criminal intentions. He took the final turn on the street to reach the lane and stopped on his tracks. Before him lay a street mongrel with a profusely bleeding leg. Muffled whining cries escaped the dog’s mouth. It seemed to be in terrible pain. Noticing him, the dog looked up to Chris’ face. Chris’ first instinct was to overlook it and move on his way but the eyes of the dog seemed to speak of the pain it was in. He could not take a step further. A feeling of care he had not felt for long aroused in him. His prime purpose of being there had already been lost. He could not contain himself any longer. He bent down and gathered the injured dog carefully in his arms, speaking, “It seems you need attention. So be it.” To his own surprise, he turned down and walked the same path that had brought him here. He took the dog back to his abode of ruins. Placing it on the cot, he examined the wound after washing it with the alcohol he had in his stash. “It seems to be a minor injury. Thank God I spotted you.” Chris said, cuddling it. He went in and came out with a cloth. Having appointed the cloth as a dress wound around its injured leg, Chris caressed the dog until it drifted off into a peaceful slumber.
Chris lay on the ground as he did not want to disturb the dog sleeping on the broken cot. He was trying to sleep but his heart filled with an unknown feeling of happiness did not permit him to. He looked at the dog and a smile spread across his face. He kept staring at him till dawn.
Morning came and Chris went out. He came back with a can of water and a loaf of bread. He fed the dog which he relished with obvious happiness.
The dog was living his fifth day with Chris. It had its injury almost healed up. It never occurred to Chris that he had already given up the stealing job he used to do. Maybe a good company changes even the most hardened and coldest of hearts. The dog was too grateful to Chris. He had saved its life after all. And Chris was happy just because of the company he now had. Both of them needed each other and that was what they had. He had named the dog Tuffy. Tuffy used to accompany him to every place he went. When Chris realized that it was because of his dog that had caused a change in his character, he loved it even more.
One night, Chris lay on his cot with Tuffy sleeping beside him. It was well past midnight but his eyes had no trace of sleep. Chris was in deep thoughts. This night was going to be his night of realization. Tuffy had brought a great change in him. It took him an animal to be back a human from being an animal himself. If Tuffy could bring that level of satisfaction to him, what could more dogs do! He had made his mind up for something good. Holy, in fact.
Chris went out on his usual morning strolls, but the new days were different. He used to spend his days finding a job but also looked out for other stray animals in need. Whenever he saw one, he used to bring him to the same ruins where he had created his own little world. Time went by and he had seven more companions to look after. Noticing the increasing number of stomachs to be fed and filled, he took the job as a log cutter he had previously rejected owing to his ego. That job earned him enough wages to feed his new family just fine. It was all because of the new character of humility that had risen in him, thanks to Tuffy.
One morning, Chris saw a child sitting at the main door to his ruins. Realizing he was homeless and had nowhere else to go, he accepted him in. His family now had an added helper. The same evening saw a new board at the main entrance, which read, “Nobody’s alone. Not even you. We welcome you to our family!” He accepted all homeless, orphans and beggars into his ruins which was now a healthy seven human, eleven mongrel family.
The story of the amazing family spread like fire. People were moved by the relation the disowned part of the society had made and maintained. The dogs and the humans looked after each other and were each other’s guardians. People started donating money as a token of their participation in the wonderful deed. Chris was happy that all of them now had a future and a better life awaited them all.
Chris was happy and content that his efforts were finally bearing fruit but he had never expected the President to pay them a visit. He came straight in one day. He looked at them with a smile on his face. Chris wasn’t sure whether he saw the President wipe a tear off of his eye. He turned around and announced to renovate the ruins into a proper shelter for them. Turning around to shake hands with Chris, he hugged him whispering, “I am so proud of you!” Chris did not have to wait for long for his real family to show up at his doorstep one fine day. He ran straight to his mother and hugged her. He said, “See Mom, I am standing out, like you asked me to.” His mother, her face all wet with tears, replied, “I know son.” His father too couldn’t keep his tears from rolling down his cheeks. Seeking forgiveness, he said, “Please forgive me, Son. I could never understand the reason of your birth. How could you waste your life accumulating personal wealth when you were born to live for others.” Chris hugged his family and with a smile turned around to introduce his families to each other. In an interview, Chris considered himself to be the luckiest human on Earth. “Well, it is not for everyone that you have two families to live with. My world is far more than complete. I thank myself for running away from the house.”Chris says with a grin on his face.
Chris still lives in the ruins which now has taken the shape of a grand house where both dogs and the homeless are sheltered with his actual family visiting him every now and then. Chris has often been awarded for being the founder of the house which stands as one of its own kinds in the entire world.