Southbank’s guardian angel
“I wouldn’t be alive today without Buck”.
Despite his tough appearance and his weight of a little more than 40 kilograms, five-year-old Buck is a thorough “social butterfly” who greets everyone and thanks those who give coins to his owner Sharkawi.
He is not an ordinary Bull Arab, but a therapy dog trained to interrupt undesirable behavior.
“I wouldn’t be alive today without Buck. He keeps me alive,” Sharkawi said.
Buck can feel when his owner Sharkawi is depressed and feeling unwell. He has helped him many times by trying to stop him from doing “stupid things” – something that happened recently when Sharkawi felt helpless.
“He makes me think twice,” he said.
Sharkawi became homeless when Buck was just a little puppy. Since then, they have lived on the streets together and have been each other’s safety. “He really is my everything.”
Buck sleeps a lot during the day, but at night he stays awake and keeps an eye on Sharkawi.
“He makes me feel secure when I sleep.”
Despite taking good care of his dog and giving him lots of love, Sharkawi often hears insults about Buck from passers-by daily.
“They usually say that I should take my dog home and things like that. Well, I would have done that if I had a home. They don’t know that my dog has everything he needs just like any other dog,” he said, while pointing to a trolley he had behind him.
On the trolley are three large bags that Sharkawi carries with him. Two of them belong to Buck. In one, he keeps everything Buck needs, such as food, extra clothes, leashes, brushes, a bed, and blankets. The other bag contains all of Buck’s favourite toys. Sharkawi himself only has one bag where all his belongings fit.
Many people tell Sharkawi that they understand his situation, but he said that they really had no idea.
“There are few people who have gone through what I am going through, so it is not easy for them to understand. Most people wouldn’t even be able to live like I do for a day.” •