After a 100-year-old Californian lost her beloved dog, the “sad and quiet” senior was cured of her melancholy by the introduction of a senior chihuahua.
Without letting her advanced age stand in the way of her love for dogs, Johanna Carrington, originally from Germany, explained to her daughter Debbie she was looking to get collared once more, but Debbie was worried she didn’t have the mobility to care for a dog.
Fortunately for Johanna, a special animal shelter in San Francisco had a unique “Seniors for Seniors” adoption program to help senior citizens enjoy the mental health benefits of animal companionship by adopting out senior dogs and cats.
A little chihuahua named Gnocchi with a reserved personality and no teeth was available at Mutsville Shelter after being rescued from a dog hoarding situation and seemed the perfect fit for her mom.
After assurances from Johanna’s caregiver Eddie that he would take the still-active pooch for walks, Gnocchi’s name was changed to something equally-Italian, Gucci, and brought to his new home.
“After she lost her other dog, it was kind of sad here,” Debbie Carrington told. It was quiet and depressing, but Gucci made the home happy. It’s making her happy to see him doing silly things and sleeping with her in bed or in the recliner.
Johanna, who is due to celebrate her 101st Birthday with Gucci in a few days, couldn’t have a dog as a child growing up in an orphanage in war-torn Germany. She has never smoked nor drunk a drop, and attributes the many years she’s lived to her being around animals. At one time there were eight Pekineses.
“He came to the house like he’d been here before. It was remarkable,” Johanna Carrington said. “He saw me sitting on my chair, jumped up on me and sat on my lap. He was very, very comfy. Our baby from the very beginning .”
She showers him with oodles of toys, and gives him back massages while they watch TV at night.
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