Homeless Veteran and His Dog Hit While Riding Bike For Awareness

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
A homeless veteran and his dog were recently struck by a motorist as they were biking across the country raising money and awareness for a great cause.

I have the best job. I get to meet the most amazing people and write about pets and their humans. One of my favorites was Harold Palmquist, a homeless veteran who travels the country with his fantabulous dog Daisy, raising money for homeless veterans with pets.

You see, it wasn’t all that long ago that Harold and his 10-year-old dog Daisy were homeless. They had been living in a taxi, and when they had to find other shelter, they found no places that would allow Daisy to accompany him.

Related: Cross-Country Cycling Tour Highlights the Plight of Homeless Vets and Their Pets

Harold contacted the organization Veterans and Their Pets, who worked with him to help keep Daisy with him in shelter. Harold found that compassion and service inspirational, and he decided he and Daisy would like to help the over 40,000 homeless veterans in America who have no place to be with their pets.

Pets who are sometimes the only loved ones these heroes have left.

Since writing about Harold, I’ve followed his and Daisy’s journey across the country, and was horrified to see that while just outside of Natchez, Mississippi, Harold and Daisy were struck by a car.

The pictures Harold posted that day were terrifying, showing how lucky they both were to be alive. Harold said it came out of nowhere, and he felt like a rag doll being hurled by abominable forces.

Harold has been biking with Daisy’s crate and a trailer and both, along with Harold’s bike, were crushed.

When Harold looked for Daisy, he first saw that her crate was empty, and he felt gutted. He found her, though, and when she started wagging her tail for him, he felt immediate relief. Thankfully, people stopped by to help ensure no more was run over, and to make sure they were okay and tend to medical issues for both him and Daisy. Harold said the driver of the SUV that hit him was full of remorse, and Harold felt sorry for how much the man must be beating himself up.

A man at the scene offered to take Harold and Daisy into town for checkups and Michael West, with Veterans and Their Pets, was in touch with Harold to help with expenses for Daisy’s veterinary care. Harold also received care and so far, x-rays look clean, though an MRI is on the horizon to see about the extent of his injury.

For his part, though, as always, Harold focuses on the positive–that he and Daisy are safe and people are kind and helpful. He wants to continue his tour, as he says it’s so much bigger than him and Daisy–it’s about all our veterans who are now homeless and keeping their fur families together.

Related: ‘Shelter to Service’ Helps Save Veterans, One Dog at a Time

For now, Harold is working with the SUV driver’s insurance to work on replacing his bike, trailer and rig, but of course, welcomes any donations for immediate and future needs. He and Daisy took up a kind offer to stay at Under The Hill Saloon to recover, and it’s the first time in a while that Harold has had to depend on the offers to help. The two organizations Harold would welcome donations at are Veterans and Their Pets, through Valley Dogs Rescue, who is helping coordinate his and Daisy’s recovery there in Natchez as they are temporarily sidelined. If you’d like to follow his journey, you can find his Facebook page and offer best wishes as well.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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