Toodles the poodle offering hope for seniors

Publish Date:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016 2:54 pm EST

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News Organization:

WSB-TV

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BUCKHEAD - Residents at a Buckhead retirement home are finding new joy in an old dog.

The poodle, named Toodles, got a forever home for the holidays at the Sunrise at Buckhead retirement Complex.

But residents said they're the ones who got the real gift.

"He's the sweetest, nicest dog," said resident Stacy Haugen, who now sleeps with the dog nightly.

Haugen said “most of the people who live here have had their own dogs, and maybe couldn't keep him or give them to other family members.  It's wonderful that they can pet him and talk to him, and he's a very good listener."

DeKalb animal shelter workers found Toodles wandering around a gas station parking lot a month ago. He was skinny and starving.

Now, he's thriving.  And so are the retirement home residents who now find themselves negotiating over who gets to hold the 8-year-old poodle.

Resident Jo-Lynn Burge said they offer "maybe a promise of something later on, like you can have him for 15 minutes extra tomorrow or something."

Shelter workers said not many people adopt older dogs, like Toodles. 

Karen Hirsch, who helps run the DeKalb Shelter through Lifeline Animal Project said "retirement homes are perfect for older dogs, calm dogs, small dogs who just want to kind of take it easy and be loved on all day.  What better life could you hope for?"

The shelter is looking at other local retirement homes for more opportunities for dogs like Toodles, who is now

known around his new home as the king of the roost.  Residents said his throne is anyone’s lap.

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