A twenty-two-year old man, down on his luck, says his dog is all he's got left in the world. Despite losing his job, his girlfriend, his home and all his money (he's down to only £30 left in his wallet), Luke Male won't even think about giving up his faithful 15-month old Staffordshire Bulll Terrier, Elvis.
"I lost my job, ran out of money, and split with my missus," he said. "I sold my TV, X-Box and vacuum cleaner to get by – my dog is all I've got left in the world and I'm not going to get rid of him."
A window fitter by profession, Luke lives in Plymouth, UK. When he exited his last job after things did not work out, he expected to find new work right away. Instead, he's found it a challenge to find any job. Soon after, his economic situation took its toll on his relationship with his former girlfriend, and he moved out of the home and into his truck.
For the past two weeks, Luke and Elvis have been living in his vehicle, washing up at relatives' homes. "I spend half the time walking around because it's cold," he told the Plymouth Herald. "Sleeping in the car is cold too, and uncomfortable."
Unable to claim unemployment insurance, Luke is feeling the pressure to find work fast. But with the economic downturn, the job market has also gone down.
Days are spent taking care of Elvis and trying to find work, but Luke is feeling more and more hopeless and wondering how much longer he will be able to afford to keep his truck, the one roof over his and Elvis' head.
Although the situation for Luke is desperate, he's been receiving help from a local career recruitment association and hopes something will turn up soon. He doesn't plan to give up, just yet saying, "I'm still going to try to get on with it." No doubt with Elvis by his side.
Update June 28, 2012: Offers of help have been flooding in for Luke and his dog Elvis. Within hours of publishing Luke's story yesterday, kind readers have offered Luke a job, a roof over his head and food for his faithful Staffordshire bull terrier.
Astor Hotel owner Joseph Louie has asked to meet Luke to see if there is a job he can do at the Hoe hotel. He also has a room Luke can use.
In addition, property developer Gabriella Moor, of St Judes' G&M Property Development, said she could maybe help with a construction job and accommodation, saying: "No one should have to live in their car. I'll have a chat with him."
Luke was touched by the generosity of well-wishers and said: "It's lovely." He was excited about the job offers, but hesitant about the public outpouring for donations and added: "The others I appreciate, but I feel funny about accepting charity."
Luke's friends and family have also stepped in to help and Luke is now planning to move in with his father.
But if this does not happen then Adrian Jones has offered a spare room in his Devonport house.
He said: "I've been in that position myself, a few years back, but got back on my feet."
And Elvis has not been forgotten. Sarah Cooper, of Harlequins Pet Care, in Plymstock, was among people offering food for the homeless mutt, and said: "It tugs at the heartstrings."
Laura Inman, from Milehouse, said Elvis could have food her retriever Rolo wasn't interested in and said: "I can even drop it to him."
View more articles in: Community News