Pals in a new leash of life

Dog lover’s care saved home­less man

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News - DERRICK KRUSCHE

WHEN Deb­bie Or­gan helped res­cue the dog of home­less man John, nei­ther of them knew it would be the be­gin­ning of a friend­ship that would ul­ti­mately save his life.

In 2013, John was beaten up while sleep­ing rough in Syd­ney’s CBD, prompt­ing his fox ter­rier Car­rie to run away in ter­ror.

Ms Or­gan — who saw John reg­u­larly on her way to and from work in Pitt St Mall — learned of Car­rie’s dis­ap­pear­ance and posted a re­ward on­line.

Be­fore long, she found Car­rie and re­turned with the dog to in­tro­duce her­self to John. The two be­came friends.

“Ini­tially it was the dog (that com­pelled me to act) be­cause I’m a big an­i­mal lover, but then I sat down to talk to John,” Ms Or­gan said.

“Peo­ple would come up and say hello to him, but one day there was a very good look­ing young man in a suit who started swear­ing at me in the mid­dle of Pitt St Mall, say­ing ‘you’re en­cour­ag­ing home­less­ness by sit­ting with this idiot’ — and then John stood up to pro­tect me.” In 2017, John had a fall and was rushed to hos­pi­tal in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion. He needed surgery but, with no le­gal guardian to give con­sent, doc­tors could not op­er­ate. Once again Ms Or­gan — and Car­rie — came to the res­cue. Ms Or­gan’s num­ber was on Car­rie’s col­lar and when a stranger found the dog alone she was called, trig­ger­ing a search for John. Even­tu­ally, Ms Or­gan found him in Royal Prince Al­fred Hos­pi­tal. “John had no­body to sign his con­sent forms and no­body to care for him. So I had to be­come his le­gal guardian,” she said. “I went through the guardian­ship process. They weren’t sure he was of sound mind — he’s much bet­ter now.” For her self­less­ness, Ms Or­gan has been nom­i­nated for a Pride of Aus­tralia award. John re­cov­ered af­ter his op­er­a­tion and Ms Or­gan helped him find ac­com­mo­da­tion in a Bel­rose nurs­ing home near her house in Frenchs For­est.

John’s best friends Deb­bie Or­gan and fox ter­rier Car­rie in Syd­ney. Pic­ture: Richard Dob­son

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