11 April 2018

Seven years into Sadie’s career at Brookdale Dublin in Pennsylvania, she is as excited about it as ever. Socializing with the residents, demonstrating her ball-fetching ability and more make her mission fulfilling. Sadie is a 12-year-old rescue Boston terrier-pug mix who accompanies her human, executive director Natalie Romano, to the community every day.

Sadie is one member of the menagerie that’s part of daily life at Brookdale across the country. From animals that live with residents, have been adopted by communities, come to work with associates to those that visit regularly, barking, purring and other happy sounds give voice to Brookdale’s pet-friendly nature. Beyond their joyous presence, their friendship, energy and tactile pleasure help enhance residents’ emotional and spiritual wellbeing. In honor of furry friends and the happiness they bring, April 11 is designated National Pet Day.

“Sadie loves being here and interacting with our residents,” Romano said. “If there’s a morning when I’m leaving for work and she doesn’t think I am bringing her with me, she sits and stares at me with the saddest eyes. She has a real connection with people here.” 

Chula, a five-and-a-half pound Chihuahua, has been coming to Brookdale Northdale in Florida with executive director Lisa Gonzalez for seven years. Each morning she crosses the threshold clad in a different eye-catching outfit. “She loves to wander through the community, saying hello to people and enjoying treats,” Gonzalez said. “When we have parties and events, she always takes part, dressed for the occasion, of course.”

Also in Florida, a llama stopped in for a while one day at Brookdale Downtown Sarasota.  The occasion was among a stream of visits and events at the community that involve animals. 

In Texas, Brook the cat has called Brookdale Clear Lake home since turning up outside the community following flooding in the region three years ago. Her owner could not be found and Brook rapidly took to Brookdale life, claiming resident laps, participating in events and strolling the halls.

Then there’s Izzy. The compelling story of how Tennessee’s Brookdale Kingston adopted the aging dog after the resident who owned her passed away is featured in the new book published by National Geographic titled “Love Unleashed: Tales of Inspiration and the Life-Changing Power of Dogs.”

On the day that honors pets, Brookdale raises a glass, or should we say a water bowl, to the furry friends of Brookdale and everywhere!

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