Whether big or small, short or tall, sassy or sweet, it's hard not to love the furry friends we share our homes with. To celebrate National Dog Month, we decided to shine a spotlight on the puppers in the Merrill Family of Senior Living Communities.
Please enjoy a cuteness overload by getting to know the dogs of our residents and team members across the country, followed by a short quote from their owner.
Bella, Havanese, (six years old), Seattle, WA
"I adopted her about a year ago, and since then I call her my soul creature. She's so good at matching my energy - whether it's chill and cuddly or sassy and rambunctious, she's my little bestie. Bella goes everywhere with me - the office, out to dinner, to visit friends, and she loves it. But not quite as much as she loves getting in a good nap with her lamby toy and more often than not, her tongue slightly sticking out."
Titan, Great Dane (four years old), Kissimmee, FL
"When COVID-19 shut everything down, I was not working for Merrill yet, however, I was in marketing for a home health company and had Merrill Gardens on my account (where I later went to work 😊). Since no one was allowed into the community at that time, I took Titan to see the residents and bring a smile to their face."
Poe Dameron, Chocolate Labrador (five years old), Marysville, WA
"Poe is the happiest dog around and hasn't met a human or dog he doesn't want to be besties with! His favorite things are hikes, chasing rabbits, swimming, meeting new friends and butt scratches."
Charlie-Chip, Cathoula Leopard Dog/Pitbull Mix, (five years old), Seattle, WA
"Charlie-Chip is Buddha in dog form. He has a kind and gentle spirit and even the most stolid, reserved residents come to visit with him. He comes with me to work every day and lays on a pillow next to my desk. Whenever a resident or team member walks in, he stands, grabs a toy, and greets them. He seems to "know" who he needs to be gentle with. He's had an effect on so many people here. He's gifted with toys and snacks from residents and team members and we've even had people make him clothes. Our salon stylist saves part of her lunch for him every time she's here. A caregiver takes him up to Garden House on each shift when they're in the community together. When we had a memory care resident move to a higher level of care, the son of the resident came and picked up Charlie to bring him to visit with his Dad at the new community. He participates in all the holidays and special events. Most importantly is the calming effect he seems to have on everyone. People mention to me that they came to the office because they're having a bad day and they sit with Charlie and things are better. Even the General Manager sits on the floor with him. Please allow me to clarify something. I have nothing to do with how this dog is. He was transferred from a shelter in California to the Seattle Humane Society's location in Bellevue, WA. He was almost two years old at that point, and his behavior was already formed. He came to me loving, gentle and in love with life and the world. It was one of the luckiest days of my life. He's won the Merrill Gardens H.E.R.O. award for the work he's done in Garden House and the General Manager had a painting made for him. It will be a heart-breaking day for me and an incredibly sad day in this community for so many people when Charlie is no longer among us. But for now, he's a blessing to everyone he comes in contact with, especially me."
Hairy-et, Terrier Mix, (ten years old), Seattle, WA
"I rescued Hairy-et when she was two years old from the Tri-Cities Humane Society. From the beginning, she loved old guys in wheelchairs (possibly was a previous owner). Her favorite food is duck jerky. Hairy-et is the friendliest dog. We put her on the schedule for pet therapy here at Truewood by Merrill, First Hill throughout the week, and other residents love to come down and visit!"
Max, Pug, (seven years old), Davenport, FL
"This is my Max. He likes to play with his toys, he LOVES to cuddle, and he dances for treats. Max makes friends easily but won’t venture too far from me. Max spends his days under my desk when I am working from home and follows me wherever I go."
Sadie Mae, Molly Sue, Gracie Lou, Honey Bea, (all under one year old), New Bern, NC
"Most loved and spoiled babies ever! My husband brings them up to Truewood to visit every other week and everyone has enjoyed seeing them grow!"
Ginger, Maltese, (three and a half years old), Port Charlotte, FL
"Studies have shown that dogs make you happier and healthier. We have a member of our Truewood by Merrill, Port Charlotte family that is more than a dog and makes us all happy. Ginger is our mascot and the love of our community. Just looking at her smiling face makes you smile back. She is the sweetest little girl that everyone loves to be around. Maltese are known for their kind and loving disposition and Ginger is a true Maltese. At 3 ½ years old she is well behaved and loves to take rides on Dean’s walker. Dean and Pauline take care of Ginger, but Ginger takes care of them as well. “Ginger is my guardian angel”, says Dean. She made sure to alert someone that something was wrong and never left his side when he had a health scare last year. Friendly, loving, a guardian angel, and our community sweetheart, that’s Ginger!"
Gibson, Newfoundland, (four years old), Seattle, WA
"Gibson, aka Gibby, is a lover of people. She wanders up to anyone with the hopes of being pet. She has her favorite seniors (the ones with treats in their pocket), but she loves them all. The residents, in turn, just think she is a hoot, and ask me, “How much does it cost to feed her?” I try to bring her as often as possible."
Zoey, Long Haired German Shepard, (two years old), Burien, WA
"Zoey is sweet and gentle with a big bark. She bounces around more like a fox than a dog. She loves people and wants to play with every dog that she meets. She answers mostly to 'pumpkin head' or 'floof girl'."
Woodstock, Bloodhound, (eleven years old), Venice, FL
"Woodie was a K-9 officer search and rescue dog, he helped find missing and endangered children and adults. He was born into a non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide Bloodhounds to Sheriff’s departments throughout the United States. Woodie is a regular visitor to schools and assisted living communities as an education ambassador and our residents love spending time with him."
Tali, Chihuahua Mix, (eight years old), Mount Pleasant, SC
"Here is Tali with her favorite resident at Merrill Gardens at Carolina Park - Diane. Tali is the unofficial mascot of Merrill Gardens. She doesn't always come to work with me but when she does - the minute she sees Diane, I don't exist. She runs to her and jumps onto her lap. Tali loves everyone, and everyone loves her. When I was living in New Jersey, I went to visit a local shelter to drop off a donation, that's when I saw Tali, she had just arrived from a high-kill shelter in Georgia. She slowly approached me so I could pet her. Once I looked into those eyes I was hooked. After her first checkup, I found out from the vet that she was highly abused. But those days are behind her now. When she comes to work with me, she is treated like a princess by everyone, to say she is spoiled rotten would be an understatement. Residents call her "the little one". She's cute and she definitely knows it. Look at that face, what is not to love?"