Navy Vet, Mr. Tony Lockhart found himself homeless for nearly 5 years before becoming a client of Easterseals Louisiana. Although those times gave him some of life’s hardest trials and tribulations, it also brought him the unlikeliest of friends; three-legged dog, Obe. Obe, now three and a half years old, became Tony’s “fur baby” just 10 days after having his leg amputated due to being hit by a car. Tony rescued him because many of the dogs in the pound at the time were coming down with PARVO and he didn’t want the same for Obe. Tony joked, “but who really rescued who?”
Mr. Lockhart spent many years traveling to find day labor and doing whatever he could to make a few dollars. He explained, “the longer you are homeless, the harder it is to get out of. It just gets harder and harder to get off the streets. But Obe really kept me sane my last year on the streets and motivated me to do better. He never left my side.” Tony explained that often times shelters and other nonprofits would offer to help him, but wouldn’t allow him to take Obe and he couldn’t leave his three-legged companion because he never left him.
That was when Easterseals heard of Tony, a homeless vet in Northwest Louisiana that needed help getting back on his feet. Tony was hesitant, “I didn’t know if they were going to let me keep Obe, but that night they were there to help me and Obe.” Since then, they are both doing great! Mr. Lockhart went through the Shreveport Mental Health Housing Program, receives counseling to assure he is staying on track, has a job through Volunteers of America, and Obe has even become a certified service dog!
Tony and Obe are the perfect example of the mission of Easterseals- to serve all with disabilities so that they can live, learn, work, and play in our communities. We are Easterseals and we are taking on disability, together!