Things That Matter

Heartwarming Video of Homeless Man Celebrating His Dog’s Birthday Goes Viral and Now People Work To Find Him a Home

A heartwarming video of a man celebrating his dog’s birthday went viral this weekend.  

The video, which began circulating on Instagram, shows a man sitting down outside with his two dogs. He then puts birthday hats on his dogs and takes out a cake from inside his backpack, cutting it into slices and serving it to each of the dogs on a plate. 

Since then, people have taken to social media to express a wide range of emotions about the video, from love to sadness to anger.

And while most users expressed sadness toward the video, some on Twitter have pointed out that the video romanticizes the poverty that many people ignore, saying “What assholes romanticizing the loneliness of a poor man that nobody cares about his birthday, just because he shared it with some innocent little dogs…”

The video grew even more widespread when it was shared by Puerto Rican reggaetonero Ñejo who wrote in Spanish “It’s too early to be crying.” 

After the video went viral, many were left wondering about the man featured and how could they help. Colombian radio station W Radio tracked him down and found out that the man in the video is José Luís Matos (or “Choco”), a 25-year-old homeless man in the Colombian city of Bucaramanga. His dogs are named Nena and Shaggy — the latter celebrated his birthday on January 7. 

Matos told W Radio that he’s lived on the streets for 15 years but that his dogs keep him company stating that “even though they don’t talk, they say a lot with their looks. I feel like they want to tell me something with their looks and it fills me up with enough hope to keep going forward.” 

Since the video took off, the community of Bucaramanga has gathered to help Choco and his friends find a place to live. Choco has also used his newfound fame to post more about his life on Instagram, ways that people can help him out, and even about animals that are up for adoption. 

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