Pets can provide protection, a reason to get outside and exercise, a daily routine and most importantly companionship. According to U.S. News*, “At the end of the day, having a pet means that you have made a promise to continue being involved in another life. This commitment is one of the most positive decisions you can make as you grow older.”
Walt (Quarry No. 382) and Wilma Klein live at Western Reserve Masonic Community with their two senior dogs, Sadie and Nikki. A Husky and an American Eskimo dog, both pups have an independent nature when it comes to tricks and commands, but are avid cuddlers and enjoy spending time with Walt and Wilma as well as their many friends across campus. Wilma enjoys taking the dogs for walks despite the possibility of running into the local Canada Geese as Nikki has appointed herself Wilma’s bird security.
Linda Murphy’s dog, Happylegs Wyldwyn Daffydd, or “Dave” for short, is a wonderful example of a gentle giant. Linda adopted the four-year-old Bullmastiff from a friend in Ann Arbor, Michigan when he was twelve and a half weeks old. After a brief time as a show-dog, Dave has easily settled into the leisurely life of a pet at Browning Masonic Community. Linda says that he now only sits and stays when he wants to. A very social, people-loving dog, Dave’s favorite things to do with his human are running errands, popping by the main building at Browning and traveling to visit Linda’s family.
Army veteran, Art Meharg (Morning Star No. 795) lives at Springfield Masonic Community with his eight-year-old Cocker Spaniel, Lincoln. An active dog who likes long walks and playing fetch, Lincoln was born on a farm in the mountains of Tennessee. Art brought home the eight-week-old pup and named him after his high school alma mater, Lincoln Consolidated in southeast Michigan and after our 16th President. Art and Lincoln walk at least one mile every day and when they are at home, Lincoln is Art’s constant shadow, following him from room to room. “I don’t know what I’d do without him,” says Art.
Honey Bear the cat came to Donna Ross as a stray several years ago in Cuyahoga Falls. Now a resident of Western Reserve Masonic Community and strictly an indoor cat, Honey Bear remains a bit jumpy and shy, but he and Donna live together peacefully, respecting each other’s space. Although he doesn’t like to cuddle, he does enjoy being brushed and the occasional nap with his human.
Nikki the Toy Poodle is a small dog with a big personality. After spending the first three years of his life in a cage at a puppy mill, he has since been living a life of leisure with Mickie and Russ (Medina No. 58) Palmateer. Having only recently moved to Western Reserve Masonic Community, the Palmateers are still getting adjusted, but find comfort in having their little buddy around. Nikki enjoys going on walks, with Mickie taking the day shift and Russ walking him in the evenings and although he has a calm and gentle personality, Nikki isn’t afraid to bark at other animals, as long as they’re on the television!
Naomi Duff adopted Mister the Pug from an animal shelter when her late husband, Edward (St. Andrews No. 619) was ill. True to his breed, Mister was a wonderful comfort to his owners during a tough time, even being called a “God-send” by Edward. Now, wherever Naomi is, eight-year-old Mister is not far behind. A big fan of socializing, Mister will strategically plant himself near the mailboxes after a walk around the Springfield Masonic Community campus to obtain the maximum amount of attention and treats from passersby. According to Naomi, Mister is a smart pup who can count treats, shake hands and even knows when it’s bedtime and will climb his doggie ladder to the bed and turn down the covers for her!
Lawrence Albon (Northern Light No. 40) and Duke, a six and a half-year-old Labrador Retriever go just about everywhere together. Duke was just a pup when Lawrence and his wife, Suzanne, bought him from a breeder in North Carolina. He has since become a great source of comfort to both of his owners as Suzanne is now a resident of Browning Masonic Community’s (BMC) Pathways Memory Care Center. Lawrence and Duke live nearby in one of Browning’s villas and make the short, journey daily to visit Suzanne. When Lawrence and his furry friend aren’t visiting Pathways, Duke prefers to spend his time running in the fields behind BMC, getting his back scratched or sleeping on Lawrence’s bed.
Western Reserve Masonic Community resident, Elzora Alber has always loved cats, but Fritz the seven-year-old Domestic Shorthair is special. Adopted from a shelter in Medina, Fritz is a very loving pet who enjoys sitting with Elzora while she brushes him. When the pair moved onto campus, they relied on each other for reassurance as they adjusted to their new home. Although Fritz seems to like their apartment, he still tries to sneak out the front door from time to time to explore.