Dog set to be euthanized finds love at Md. senior living facility

Residents and staff members at Sunrise Senior Living of Chevy Chase couldn’t stop gushing about the facility’s newest member, described as full of love, hugs and affectionate face licks.

It has been a long road for Journey, a 6-year-old dog that almost didn’t make it. She was set to be euthanized in rural Virginia, but one day before her last, she was found by Amy Creel, with Knine Rescue in Montgomery County, Maryland.

“She was living in a cage her whole life and then, when her owner died, she ended up in an overcrowded shelter,” Creel said.

Now, at Sunrise, Journey is bursting with life. “It’s like she walked in and belonged here. She just owned it,” said Kathy Tyler, the facility’s executive director.

Creel had no idea what she would do with Journey, but she decided to bring the shy dog along to an adoption event at Sunrise. “She had a wonderful day greeting people and walking around,” Creel said.

At the end of the event, Tyler decided Journey should stay on as the house dog. It was the perfect match. “It was just amazing to think that this dog who never had anyone to care for her was now going to be cared for by this entire community,” Creel said.

Beth Mauser, a resident at Sunrise, is one of Journey’s newest family members. She got her first dog at 78 years old and, at 80, she was thrilled to learn Journey would be sticking around.

“Journey is just perfect. Every senior group should adopt a dog,” Mauser said.

Journey has made the place more lively but is still at just the right pace for the residents, Tyler added.

“It’s so exciting to see all the experiences that she’s having now ’cause she’s never had a lot of walks or all this love. You’d think she was trained to be a service dog, and she wasn’t,” Tyler said. “She’s on a new journey now, sharing her love with all our residents.”

It’s a match Creel said has made clear how much senior residents could benefit from this kind of companionship. She now hopes to place more older dogs in similar facilities to help save more lives. “I’m really hoping that we can do more of this in the future,” Creel said.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2019 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up