While some senior canines appreciate the flare of elaborate bucket lists, Ms. Gertrude (Gertie, for all you humans) loves to keep things straightforward and, well, cuddly. This 14-year-old purebred, “Who Knows What,” as Mom calls her, is on a modest but worthwhile quest: she wants to get 1,000 hugs.
Pablo, a tiny dog, and Gertie, a larger dog, were left at a McDonald’s in the 107-degree heat of Arizona. A Facebook appeal went viral, but nobody volunteered to house the pair. Gertie, who was already 12 years old, wasn’t the best with Pablo the Chihuahua.
Their chances weren’t great. However, not long after they saw that endearing senior face (and imagined these two sitting in 100-degree weather in fur jackets), a woman by the name of Kate Goodhart extended an invitation to them to stay in her house.
It’s true that Gertie is a senior dog, but those whose lives have been touched by one understand it doesn’t matter. Sadly, it’s not uncommon to see people walking by with icily pale faces as they search for a place to call home. Goodhard posts this on Gertie’s Facebook page:
“They see younger, calmer, and more caring, yet they are blind to cute, cuddly, and bouncing.”
For Goodhart and anyone who has ever wrestled a puppy, those three things sound like heaven. Why then did nobody seem to be interested in this sage old sweetie of a dog? We don’t think anyone thought they’d be able to take all the love.
They won’t be splitting up anytime soon; Gertie and Pablo will always be a couple of Goodharts. Despite the veterinarian’s recommendation to put Gertie to sleep because of her various medical problems, her family was aware that she still had some soul. In fact, after she settled in at home, her health became better.
Gertie has a mission right now. Even though she may not have much time left, she is an elderly woman in her prime who still has a strong sense of life. Her mother says she likes “meeting new people and getting hugs from everyone she meets.” So why not go out with a bang and 1,000 hugs?
Making Gertie happy is the goal of this project, according to Goodhart, but if she “happens to remove the blinders people have for elderly dogs, all the better.” In addition to enjoying yourself, Gertie will (regrettably) deny more hugs if she isn’t feeling it or becomes fatigued during a hug session. Additionally, she is residing close to her family in Arizona and Nevada, namely in “Anthem, Cave Creek, Carefree, and area south to around Greenway.”
So visit and give that girl a big bear hug or leave her some love on Facebook! Gertie, best wishes as you work on receiving 1,000 hugs! You have virtual hugs coming from us!