An old man at a supermarket was heartbroken when he could not afford pet food for his old dog. He lost hope in humanity after the cashier humiliated him in front of everyone. Then he heard a sweet voice from behind that reassured him of compassion and melted his heart.
Corey Foster, 81, was heading home, tears running down his wrinkled face. He wanted to stay a little longer mourning near his wife Brenda’s grave, but he was thirsty and tired.
“See you tomorrow, darling,” he whispered, placing a rose on her resting place.
Before Brenda’s passing a month ago, Corey thought he had nothing to worry about in life. “What would happen to you after I die?!” Brenda often joked. But old Corey brushed it off, saying that wouldn’t happen.
Sadly, his world shook under his feet after Brenda passed away during her sleep, clutching his hand. The old man became lonely, careless, and confused, with nobody to take care of him. That’s when a God-sent furry companion came into his life…
Corey Foster was crushed after his wife Brenda’s passing. | Source: Pexels
One afternoon, Corey was crossing the street after buying a water bottle. Tears and sweat gushed his face. He walked slowly because he hated returning to his house. The emptiness that sprawled there after Brenda’s death haunted him.
Whenever Corey returned home after doing some carpentry work, Brenda would wait for him, waving from the doorstep. But now, she was not there to welcome him home. The hollowness she left behind in his heart hurt even more.
Corey was just about to near the end of the street when he noticed a poor old dog lying on the bench on the sidewalk.
Corey found a sick old dog on the street. | Source: Pixabay
The old man stopped and looked at the dog. “Oh my!” he sighed and lifted itt.
He splashed some water on the dog’s face and hope sparked in Corey’s heart as he saw the poor animal blink. He tried feeding it water, but the dog was too exhausted and sick.
Corey wanted to go home. He was hungry and tired, but the sight of the poor dog troubled him. Then he spotted a note on the dog’s collar: “To whoever finds him, please take care of him.” The pup’s owners had seemingly abandoned him.
“Come here…come here, boy…come on,” he muttered as he scooped the dying creature in his arms and walked to the vet.
The dog was treated for a couple of days. It turned out that the animal had passed out due to hunger and thirst. Corey stayed with the dog these two days and looked after him. Eventually, he had spent almost his entire savings restoring the dog to health. Although the vet suggested giving the dog to the shelter, Corey refused.
“I’ll take him with me!” he exclaimed.
Corey called the dog Hercules, and soon, they became close friends. Corey no longer felt lonely and loved the company of his furry friend. But shortly after, some new troubles knocked their world of joy.
Corey & Hercules led a happy life until they had to deal with some problems. | Source: Pixabay
“…And there’s $1…and $1 in the toolbox…wait, let me see in the closet….” Corey muttered as he gathered some money from every nook and corner of his house. “Ah, there’s $10 in the drawer!”
With his lack of knowledge about budgeting, Corey had blown all his money on groceries and costly dog food. He never planned his expenditures, and due to his spendthrift nature, he arrived at a situation where finding a mere $1 appeared like a jackpot to him.
Corey began to eat less so that his dog could eat well and stay healthy. One day, he took Hercules to the store to buy some dog food and groceries.
He rummaged through the aisles and tossed some dog food into his cart, along with some canned beans and sausages. Corey wanted to buy more, but the sound of coins in his pocket reminded him of his poverty.
“That will do for a few days,” he exclaimed and walked to the cash register to settle his bill.
Corey gathered all his money & went shopping at the supermarket. | Source: Unsplash
“$20, please!” the cashier said after billing the man’s shopped items. He looked at Corey from top to toe and smirked. “$20, PLEASE!” he groaned, tapping on the counter.
Corey took out the money from his pocket. He counted the cash several times, a weird look of disbelief cloaking his face. The cashier was frustrated.
“Sir, $20…Make it quick, please…There are more people behind you.”
Corey looked helpless.
“I…er…I don’t want three packets of dog food…make it one, please,” he shyly said. “And I don’t want the canned beans and sausages.”
The cashier was annoyed. “If you didn’t want them, why did you take them?” he fumed. “And that dog of yours…it stinks!… Don’t bring it in here again!”
Corey did not have enough money to buy dog food. | Source: Pixabay
At this point, Corey became teary-eyed. He recalled when Brenda did all the shopping and always returned home with bags full of his favorite food. Now he could hardly afford anything he wanted. But he made sure that he bought at least one bag of dog food for Hercules because he felt the pup was now his responsibility.
“You only have $12, and the dog food costs $8…The other stuff totals $12…I’m sorry, but we don’t give discounts,” the cashier grinned.
Just then, Corey heard a squeaky voice from behind. “I’ll pay for it!” Corey turned back and saw an 11-year-old boy standing behind him, smiling.
“You! I know you! You were playing with Hercules the other day in the park!” Corey exclaimed in tears.
Tom nodded joyfully and paid for all the stuff Corey had in his cart. He even bought more groceries and dog food and paid for everything from the money he had saved.
“This is so kind of you, son! How will I ever repay you?!” Corey said.
That’s when Tom surprised the old man with an unusual request that brought tears to his eyes.
A boy offered to pay for the items Corey had shopped. | Source: Pexels
“Well, just pay it forward!… And bring Hercules to the park every day and allow me to play with him!” he said. “His dog food is on me after this, I promise!”
Tom dreamed of becoming a vet one day. He was new in town after his parents were transferred, and he had no new friends. Corey was pleased to let Tom play with his dog.
After being ridiculed by the cashier, Corey also realized the importance of money. He decided to resume his carpentry work and make some money out of it.
The next day, he opened the door and found his neighbor’s children bawling on his doorstep.
“Hey, what is it, sweethearts? Why are you two crying?” he asked the girls.
The next day, Corey found two children sobbing outside his house. | Source: Unsplash
Corey liked children, and since he and Brenda never had any, he always loved being around kids.
“Why are you crying?” he asked again.
The children told him they wanted a backyard swing, but their mom never bought them one.
Corey’s neighbor, Maria, was a single mother. She worked as a nanny, and the money she made was barely sufficient to run the house. She had no option but to refuse to get a swing for her kids.
Corey looked at the children, and Tom’s words the previous day echoed in his ears.
“I’ll pay it forward now!” he muttered and rushed to his garage, where he started working on building a lovely swing for the children.
A few days later, he presented the girls with a new swing in their yard. Maria was delighted when she saw her children smiling again. But she was worried about paying the old man because she only had money to buy groceries.
“Ah, don’t you worry! Uncle Corey ain’t charging you for that!” Corey joked. He understood the helpless look on Maria’s face. He patted his chest and felt proud of himself for doing something kind!
Corey paid Tom’s favor forward by making a swing for the two girls. | Source: Pexels
What can we learn from this story?