Johanna and Gucci

When Johanna Carrington lost her beloved Rocky, she was worried she would spend the rest of her life without a dog. At the time, Johanna was 100 years old, and she thought that many shelters would be unwilling to adopt a dog to her due to her age.

Fortunately for her, a neighbor introduced her to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, where 11-year-old Gnocchi was in a similar pickle. Most adopters were not interested in Gnocchi due to his own advanced age.

With promises from the daughter and caretaker to ensure Gnocchi’s care, the rescue decided to give them a chance.

Gucci at Muttville – Credit Muttville Senior Dog Rescue

A Match Made in Heaven

Johanna renamed Gnocchi to Gucci, and the two hit it off right away. Gucci wanted to be an only-dog home, and Johanna wanted a dog who wanted to snuggle and be pet all day. Gucci ran right up to greet her the very first time they met, and immediately enjoyed a good snuggle.

“He came to the house like he’d been here before,” Carrington said in an interview with TODAY. “It was remarkable. He saw me sitting on my chair, jumped up on me, and sat on my lap. He made himself very, very comfortable. He was just our baby right away.”

Johanna got straight to work spoiling Gucci. Her caretaker helps with walking Gucci and caring for him as needed, and Gucci now has more toys for fetch and tug than he could possibly ever use.

It’s a great step up for Gucci, who was once a member of a crowded hoarding situation, sandwiched between 22 other pets. He is overjoyed to be the only dog, and to get all of his loving owner’s attention all to himself.

Gucci with some of his toys – Credit Debbie Carrington

A Passion for Dogs

When Johanna was a child, there was no opportunity for owning pets. She grew up in war torn Germany, where dog ownership was simply out of the question. Once she grew up, she made sure dogs were part of the rest of her life.

At one point, Johanna and her husband had 8 Pekingese dogs, loving and cherishing each and every one of them.

Credit Debbie Carrington

Dogs are Good for Seniors

Johanna credits pet ownership as one of the reasons for her longevity. She’s likely on to something. A 2020 study looking at the role of pets in the lives of senior citizens found that pets can boost the mental health of older people.

This is backed up with other studies that find seniors keeping pets help reduce stress and buffer cognition in older adults.

Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, where Johanna adopted Gucci from, knows this. They have a “Seniors for Seniors” programs that helps connect senior dogs with senior citizens. The program not only gets needy senior animals in the arms of someone who cares, but also waves the adoption fee and provides a starter kit as well.

Gucci going for a walk – Credit Debbie Carrington

32% of adoptions from Muttville are through this program. One of these great dogs is Payara, a beautiful 14-year-old chihuahua who still has her spark. If you are looking for a lovely old gal for your own home, please give this girl the chance she deserves.

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By Andrea

Andrea is a dedicated dog mom of three chihuahuas. She has over a decade of experience as a dog groomer, chihuahua owner, and more recently as a dog trainer. She loves all things canine, particularly chihuahuas.

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