Some aged enjoy the flair of all-out bucket lists, but Ms. Gertrude (that’s Gertie, for all you humans) prefers to keep it simple and, well, snuggly. This purebred “Who Knows What,” as Mom calls her, is 14 years old and on a short but ambitious journey: she wants to get 1,000 hugs.
Gertie and her young canine brother Pablo were abandoned in the 107-degree Arizona heat at a McDonald’s. A Facebook request went viral, but no one stepped forward to take the couple in. Pablo the Chihuahua wasn’t the best with people, and Gertie was already 12 years old.
Their chances were not promising. But, not long after seeing that adorable elderly face (and picturing these two waiting in 100-degree temps in fur jackets), a woman named Kate Goodhart invited them inside her house.
True, Gertie is an elderly lady, but those who have had a senior dog in their life know that doesn’t matter. People walking through with icy faces seeking for a place to live are regrettably all too prevalent. On Gertie’s Facebook page, Goodhard writes:
“They see adorable, cuddly, and lively, but ignore older, calmer, and loving.”
Those three things sound like heaven to Goodhart and anybody who has ever wrangled a dog. So why wasn’t anyone interested in this wise old sweetie of a dog? Nobody anticipated them to be able to manage all the love, in our opinion.
Gertie and Pablo aren’t going anywhere—they’ll always be the Goodharts. Despite their veterinarian’s advice to put Gertie to sleep owing to her multiple medical concerns, her family recognized she still had some fighting spirit. Her health truly improved when she moved in.
Gertie is now on a mission. She’s an old lady in her golden years who may not have much time left, but she’s still full of life. According to her mother, she likes “meeting new people and being cuddled by everyone she meets.” So why not say goodbye with a bang and a thousand hugs?
According to Goodhart, the goal of this project is to make Gertie happy, but if “she happens to eliminate the blind spots people have for senior dogs, all the better.” It’s also about having fun, and if Gertie isn’t in the mood or becomes sleepy during a hug session, she will (regrettably) deny more hugs. She is also staying in Arizona and Nevada, namely at “Anthem, Cave Creek, Carefree, and surroundings south to around Greenway.”
Send her some love on Facebook or pay her a visit and give her a huge bear hug! Gertie, best wishes on your journey to 1,000 hugs! We’re sending you virtual cuddles!