“I don't think that what I did was an act of heroism.
I think I did what should have been done!”
“I stopped at a gas station last winter. It was just north of here…, ” Tia is being interviewed.
The town was Tahachapi, California.
“…full on blizzard.” Tia continues. “It was snowing, absolutely freezing temperatures. And I saw this guy with a big backpack and a sleeping bag, and he was playing with his dogs off to the side. You could tell they were part Pit Bull. And it was pretty obvious… the man looked homeless. .
“I left and came back later that night to get something. It was late. By now, the snow was just coming down.
“It was so cold. I can't tell you how cold it was… wind blowing… and there he was, the same guy.
“He was now in front of the building trying to get under the little overhang. But he had his blanket and sleeping bag wrapped around his dogs. And there he was in his jacket, just shaking.
“He was all dirty. And I could see the dogs' little heads peaking out.
“I'm watching from the comfort of my car, with the heater going, people just walking past him… just walking past him… not one person said anything to him.”
“How do you not notice that?” Tia says. “How do you not see this man trying to keep his dogs warm?”
So Tia gets out of her car and asks the man who he is and his dogs' names.
The friendly, homeless man tells Tia his story.
The next thing Tia is saying, “I'm not leaving you here,” and she's in town looking for a hotel that accepts dogs.
After putting the man, whose name is Ben Arnold, up in a hotel for several pricey weeks with the help of friends and people who chip in for things like another night's stay in the hotel, dog stuff, clean clothes for Ben and a pizza here and there, Tia does even more.
Ben, who has worked his way across the county, expresses a desire to return to his home state of Kentucky. Tia gets the money together and drives Ben back to Kentucky. And more than this, Tia gives Ben a motor home to live in.
All in a day's love, kindness, and compassion for the woman who has championed the unappreciated underdogs, from Pit Bulls to parolees, to simply anyone in need.
There is so much more in the video on the next page. If you're a Tia fan, you'll want to catch every second of it.