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Last year, Johanna Carrington, a centenarian living in Moss Beach, California, faced the heartrending loss of her beloved pet, Rocky. The void left by Rocky was deeply felt. Johanna’s home felt empty and her heart heavier. Her daughter, Debbie Carrington, noticed her mother’s despair and decided to adopt a new dog to fill the loneliness.

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At first, the notion of a 100-year-old woman adopting a new pet seemed unusual, even unlikely. But then, a ray of hope came from Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, a San Francisco-based organization that rescues senior shelter dogs and connects them with adoptive owners, regardless of their age. Provided there was a solid Support system in place – which Johanna indeed had – adoption was a feasible solution.

And so, eight months later, Johanna’s life was transformed by the arrival of Gucci, an 11-year-old Chihuahua mix. Rescued from an animal hoarding situation, Gucci quickly became Johanna’s best friend, bringing a visible change in her demeanor.

Gucci’s gentle nature and his constant companionship have made Johanna much happier. His unwavering loyalty and fondness for Johanna are evident, waiting for her while she readies for bed and even accompanying her in the shower.

Johanna, who grew up in Germany during World War II, had long yearned for the companionship of a dog. Only after moving to the United States with her husband, an American soldier, was she able to fulfill this dream, adopting as many dogs as possible while raising her two children.

The companionship of dogs has always brought Johanna immense joy, a sentiment echoed by Sherri Franklin, the founder of Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. A study published in 2021 by Frontiers in Public Health echoed this sentiment, showing that seniors with pets felt less lonely during the covid-19 pandemic and more socially connected.

Muttville’s mission is to match older dogs with loving homes, often with seniors like Johanna. They even offer a cuddle club for seniors unable to own dogs but wish to spend time with them. If a senior dog owner passes away or cannot care for their pet, Muttville ensures the animal finds a new loving home.

In her golden years, Johanna’s life has been significantly improved by the companionship of Gucci. His presence has brought her joy and companionship, affirming that age doesn’t limit the capacity for love and friendship, whether human or canine.

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