Every drunk has a dog.

Kevin said that this saying was especially close to his heart and was meaningful because of the circumstances of how, when, and from whom he first heard it said. He told me that when he and his grandfather first came from Guatemala to the United States, they were both shocked to see the overwhelming number of homeless people on the streets, something neither of them had experienced much before. His grandfather told him this saying, adding that every drunk or bum has a guardian angel in dog form by their side. Kevin seemed moved by this and also shares his grandfather’s sentiment. Kevin said that this saying was like a reminder that God does not leave anyone alone.

The context of Kevin’s personal experience with this proverb and its meaning is uniquely appropriate to the larger discussion of the proverb’s meaning. Drunks or homeless people as Kevin mentioned, are often times outcast from the rest of society within our communities and must feel incredibly lonely and perhaps forsaken at times. However, this proverb seems to challenge this very idea of the most outcast and even marginalized members of our communities being completely alone. As the proverb states unequivocally; every drunk has a dog. It is important to note that every drunk is not being followed by a dog or pestered by a dog. They have a dog, a significantly different relationship. This suggests the same kind of relationship anyone else who has a dog might have, drunk or homeless- or not. Dogs as “man’s best friend” offer companionship, comfort, and joy. So, Kevin and his grandfather’s interpretations could be good interpretations of the proverb, because whether or not the dog is divine, the solace it offers could definitely be a reassuring presence in the life of a seemingly otherwise forsaken person.