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A Dog-Gone Shame

By Shannon in Miscellaneous on Sep 13, 2007 6:30PM

woofEvery day, we walk along a stretch of Madison Street in order to get to work. Outside a certain Dunkin Donuts west of Wells, we frequently spot a bike with a trailer on it filled with blankets and newspapers. That particular bike belongs to an aging, mild-mannered man and his large yellowish dog, who squat in alcoves and under awnings, looking for handouts. We’ve seen plenty of people who take a couple minutes out of their hectic schedule to pet the pooch and converse with its owner. The whole situation always fascinated us, but we never got involved.

It took a hardship for us to put a name to the faces, both human and furry. Reba, four-legged sidekick of street staple Tom Finley, was stolen on Friday at around 3:15 p.m. The Alaskan mix was last seen with a strange woman, possibly homeless, while Finely was procuring food. Finley, 69, is a former cook who picked up the canine at a pound 12 years ago. He’s not homeless, but his monthly SS check is only $50 more than his rent, so he and Reba have spent a lot of time panhandling in the Loop over the years. Apparently Reba is fond of Wendy’s and a good scratch on the head, especially from what we’ve seen. And yes, she’s named after that Reba.

Local nine-to-fivers have poured their support over Finley. One woman even gave him a cell phone so he could take tips on Reba’s whereabouts. It’s been almost a week, and Finley’s getting anxious; not only because he’s lost his beloved companion, but because Reba’s got a bad hip, for which she takes pills. Finley’s friends are also worried about him, saying he’s not eating. We’ve seen him without his dog before, but it’s definitely not the same…we can’t imagine how he’ll hold up if something dire happens to Reba. Any tips or information can be directed to 312-375-9091.

Image via Betty Rocker, who has a nice little writeup about Reba of her own.