As one of Portland’s estimated 2,500 homeless people, Scott (who declined to give his last name) says he feels safer sleeping on the streets with Bear Dog than he does in a shelter.
Bear Dog, a 3 1/2-year-old German pointer, chocolate Labrador and chow mix, was a birthday present to Scott as a puppy. Now he can’t imagine being without him.
“I’m a lot safer,” Scott said after a snack at JOIN, a nonprofit homeless advocacy organization. “He lets me know when people are close, and he lets other people hear him so they stay away.”