After an organization took care of his dog while he got back on his feet, a veteran is now giving back.
As an aircraft armament systems specialist, Harold Palmquist had been all around the world, serving our country, before getting married and having two kids. But after his divorce, things started to go downhill.
He began driving a taxi to make money, living out of it when he wasn’t on the clock. But soon, he ended up the streets. His saving grace was his companion Daisy, an Australian shepherd mix.
“Daisy was the one consistent part of my life and has been a constant companion and comfort through the roughest part of my life,” Palmquist tells This Dog’s Life of his 10-year-old friend. “When times are tough, all one can do is ‘be there.'”
When he tried to go to shelters, they would allow him in but not his dog. Not wanting to part with Daisy, he turned to an organization that assisted vets with dogs.
“I called Vets and Their Pets so that Daisy would have a homeless shelter while I was in my homeless shelter,” says Palmquist. “In the long run, we would both still remain together, however separate during our shelter stays.”
When Palmquist got back on his feet, he decided to share his story and how Vets and Their Pets changed his life. But rather than speak at local community centers, Palmquist wanted to go big. He wanted to tell the world.
“I bought a bicycle trailer with my remaining cash that I had earned, called Michael West [of the organization] and told him to send me a banner, and that I would be riding cross country for Vets and Their Pets,” he recalls.
Starting in Los Angeles and ended up in St. Simons, Ga. Now he is turning around and heading back.
While Daisy gets to relax in her trailer during the day, she earns her keep in the evening.
“We have stayed in places that would make your mother cringe, most anyone for that matter,” he says. “Daisy sleeps with one eye open, and knowing this, I am most comfortable in committing myself to recovering after a hard day’s ride, asleep like a baby.”
For those who want to keep tabs on his road trip, you can follow his page on Facebook.
“This journey has been a joy. How else could one explain the fact that a person in my social standing could make such a difference for others,” he says.”There is no greater gift than to do what comes from the heart, and sharing with others what Vets and Their Pets has done for me and others.”