After adopting a golden labrador named Joe, Annabelle Weiss' life changed for the better.
There’s a reason dogs are referred to as “man’s best friend.” They live to please their ‘owners’, are enthusiastic about belly rubs and are quick to offer unconditional love whenever an opportunity is offered. It’s this type of affection and support 92-year-old veteran Annabelle Weiss needed in 2013, and some would say adopting Joe, a golden labrador, changed her life.
When Weiss was just twenty-years-old, she enlisted in the U.S. Marines. For two years, she worked as a driver and plane engine inspector. After being discharged in 1946, she started working as a nurse. Later into her life, she developed thyroid cancer but was able to combat the disease.
Having felt like she had experienced all the world had to offer, the senior decided four years ago that she was lonely and needed a companion. That’s when she came across America’s VetDogs, an organization that pairs veterans in need with trained service animals. The rest was history…
Weiss ended up adopting Joe, a yellow Labrador who, according to her, is willing to “follow me to the end of the Earth.”
The Lindenhurst, New York, resident relies on Joe to bring her items that are dropped, to open and close doors, and to brace her when she needs to get out of a chair or walk up or down stairs. She told TODAY:
“I have rags on my dresser drawers and I tell him ‘tug,’ and he opens them. I tell him ‘push,’ and he closes them.”
“He can get my phone,” Weiss added. “I tell him ‘phone’ and he brings me the phone. Not that I always need it. Sometimes I say it just to keep him sharp.”
If you think the dog is smart, Annabelle would agree. “I think he’s pretty intelligent,” she said.
Intriguingly, they’re both about the same size. According to the WWII vet, Joe weighs about 85 pounds and she weighs 90 pounds.
“I’m not even five feet anymore,” she lamented. “I’ve shrunk, of course!”
Though she’s now 92-years-old, Weiss is still one tough Marine. She takes pleasure in driving herself to her and Joe’s favorite diner and, of course, the library. The NYC resident explained,
“Yes, I still do drive! People say, boy, you’re such a peanut, what are you driving for? If only they know what I used to drive! (In the Marines) I drove jeeps, big trucks, station wagons. I used to drive the colonel around.”
At home, they also visit a nearby park which is the perfect place to go on walks. “He loves the birds, but they don’t love him,” said Weiss.
“He changed my life, he really did,” said Annabelle. “Without him, I would be at the house a lot. Now people call me and I’m never home!”
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