Pets can be a healthy addition to a senior living community both for the owners and for other residents who may not be able to manage a pet full time but enjoy interacting with their neighbors pets. There are responsibilities when it comes to pets in a senior facility and these are born almost entirely by the human in the equation. Let’s hear from one such senior living pet.

Hello! My name is Sophie Hillmer and I am an eight pound miniature poodle. I live with Marc and Ruth in a cozy apartment on the third floor. Marc and Ruth, who I consider my dad and mom, passed the test for entering the community, but I had to be interviewed separately by Mr. Steve, the head dog. I even have a picture taken on his lap. He is a nice fellow.

Here I am at home with my little toy dog, the one with a red hat, and my bone behind me.
Love Sophie

Mom told me to be on my best behavior so Mr. Steve would let me come here to live. She said there are almost 500 people here and that I should treat everyone just like I treat my mom and dad. Every chance I had I tried to show this and I think it worked.

When I met Mr. Steve I was being very good and sat quietly until I heard him say I could come here to live. Then I just had to give him kisses. He had a furry chin too.

We moved, the three of us, in January and my bed and toys came along with us. I had never been in an elevator before but I learned to jump over the opening and help push the doors open when we landed. I love being here. All sorts of kind people stop to give me lovin’s and I love that in return. When I go out in the morning I always get a special lovin’s from Mr. Rick, the valet and from Mr. Bill, the bus driver. Miss Dawn and Miss Jane always have good treats at the reception desk. It helps to remind them by wagging my tail. I love the delicious little bites my folks bring me from the dining rooms. No wonder people say you could easily gain the “freshman 15”.

I like my walks and have made friends with Sadie, the Scottie, Cora, the Corgi, Sophie, the Dachshund, and Annie, the Havanese. I never heard of that kind before. I’m a little afraid of the Great Dane, but I bark at her just to show I’m not scared.

I promise I will do my best to guard the Manor and keep all the people safe. One day when I was walking by the front door, I accidentally got my leash caught on a light fixture and an evil wicked goose attacked me. He bit my head until it bled and I was really terrified. I had a real “goose egg” on the top of my head. I was smart though and quickly wriggled out of my collar and ran for the front door.

With me gone, that darn goose got Marc, my dad. He said he couldn’t believe how strong that bird’s wings were. The people here were so concerned that the very next day they put out coyote posters and moved the nests to keep us all safe. I am so glad I live where people care about each other.

Yesterday on my rounds I investigated something that looked rather odd to me. They told me it was a flower called a white iris and it wasn’t supposed to be there. At first I trembled and crept up to it-stretching as far as I could to sniff. It was ok though, but I wanted to be sure it was safe for everybody.

I try to help clean up any popcorn that might have spilled on the floor by the Tavern just to do my part in helping keep the place clean. I am told that some people are afraid of dogs. I am sure that wouldn’t be the case with me if we had the chance to get to know each other. Anyway, I promise I won’t ever hurt anybody — I just like being a good girl and loving everybody.


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