We don’t call man’s “man’s best friend” for nothing. In fact, it might be better to call them the favorite companions of seniors.
The elderly often find themselves in the heartbreaking situation of living out their final years alone. Their children have grown up and their friends and spouses have themselves already passed on.
Many of them find comfort in canine companionship. Yet even this can become a double-edged sword of sorts.
That’s exactly what happened to 84-year-old Shirley Lann. The North Carolina resident lost her husband in 2011.
Inside Edition said that she found solace in a pooch named Kinsey, a dog the couple had cared for together.
So when Kinsey died in August, she found herself exposed to fresh hurt once again. And it didn’t escape her family’s attention.
“My grandma has been pretty upset about the whole thing,” her grandson, Matthew McVey, said. “We realized her mood had changed.”
That’s no surprise. According to Aging Care, pets offer a whole host of benefits for older adults.
Studies have shown that they can lower blood pressure and relieve stress. What’s more, they markedly decrease feelings of loneliness or depression.
So it makes perfect sense that Lann felt low when her beloved dog died. Fortunately, her family stepped in to intervene.
A video captured by McVey shows his grandmother watching television as the family enters the room with a gift — a Lhasa Apso of her very own. Lann gasps as she sees what they’re holding.
My grandma lost her dog that she’s had for the past 14 years about a month ago (she was extremely close with her since it was my late grandfather’s dog too) and hasn’t been the same since she passed. Today my mom surprised her with Sammy ?❤️ pic.twitter.com/QpipPdxKOl
— matt 🙂 (@matthewmcvey_) September 5, 2018
“I see you smiling!” the elderly woman proclaims. When her daughter, who is behind the camera, asks, “What do you think?” Lann breaks down in tears.
She nods enthusiastically when asked, “Do you like him?” The whole time, her weeping continues unabated.
Lann then engulfs the little dog in her arms, murmuring, “Hello, precious,” and “Hi, darling,” as her family looks on. “I think she likes him,” her daughter intones.
Indeed. Of course, it is important to keep in mind that pets shouldn’t be seen as some cure-all for older adults. As The New York Times has pointed out, when the elderly own pets, they may be less likely to visit a doctor and get the health care they need.
Still, it’s heartening to see a woman in her twilight years get such obviously delight from her new dog. May they enjoy many more years together.
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