OBITUARY - Lawrence Joseph Sheppard - June 13, 1947 to October 24, 2011

Met Larry & Cowboy,” a Pit Bull Mastiff mix at Pershing Park while serving a hot meal. Over the next few weeks Larry & I struck up a real friendship. We share the same faith & he immediately reached out with compassion to my invalid wife. Larry had life threatening medical problems, the worst of which was asthma.  Medical appointments gave us time together. Due to Cowboy, Larry couldn’t ride the bus. I can honestly say that Larry became one of my closest friends.  Rough at the edges & very stubborn, but always wanted things to work out. On his 64th birthday I took him to Sizzler & gave him a card (he remembered my birthday with a heart-warming message on a card).  I was stunned to hear him say after lunch, This is the first time that I have had my birthday celebrated.” Sleeping on the streets was wearing Larry down & seriously affecting his health.  If something wasnt done soon, it would be the hospital, or worse. He had a car in storage in Mojave with a dream to get it running, pay off traffic fines, bring it back to SB to sleep in at the Safe Parking Program.  On August 22, I drove them to Mojave taking my very first picture of them. We kept in touch via Larrys cell phone.  When I last spoke with him in early October, he was close to his goal.  But two weeks of silence on Larrys part, concerned me & I began making inquiries.  A message from a chaplain at the Yuma Regional Medical Ctr alerted me that Larry died on October 24 & were unable to locate next of kin.  A remembrance service was held at Holy Chaos Homeless Church on Nov. 6.  Larry, a wonderful man was just trying to better himself & to care for his faithful canine.  This child of God had been sober for twenty-one years. Oh dear God, how I miss my friend!  But I know he is happy now, breathing freely & deeply in the presence of Christ Jesus whom he loved.  Bill Macpherson, MD retired.