Arguably the most popular resident of a Madison nursing home has been kicked out of the only home he's ever known.
Even at the very best nursing homes, there's always a common complaint that the residents are sometimes starved for affection and company.
To truly understand the depth of that need, remove a beloved community dog like Turk, a 13-year-old schnauzer who lived in the Elmcroft of Twin Hills nursing home for his whole life.
His rescuers say without his nursing home companions, Turk is truly depressed.
"All he wants to do is just lay in one spot all day. He doesn't move around much and seems to be very depressed and unhappy," said Robin Gracey, with the group Schnauzer Love Rescue.
Since birth, Turk had been the community dog at Elmcroft of Twin Hills, but when he suddenly had to leave, the residents - already so fragile - were deeply wounded.
"When we were leaving, people were wiping their eyes. It was just so sad, because I felt like I was taking a family member from them," said Kim French, with Schnauzer Love Rescue. "These are people who have no one else, have no family. And even the ones who have family, the families aren't there all the time. But Turk is."
Elmcroft Regional Director David Grady said as Turk got older, he displayed aggressive behavior. It was a safety issue for the residents, he said, and they worked for months to find Turk a home. He said Turk was loved by all, but the safety of the residents came first.
The rescuers who took Turk in said the dog is completely unaggressive. And as for the residents, not one of them said he was anything but precious.
"Some of them, he is all they had, because they would send him to patrol the rooms at night time. And if someone had fallen, he would get help for them," French said.
The folks at Schnauzer Love Rescue said they would love for someone to adopt Turk and let him visit his friends at Elmcroft maybe once a week. If not, the dog will likely be moved to the Knoxville area.
For more information, contact Schnauzer Love Rescue at 615-519-7930 or visit http://www.schnauzerloverescue.org.
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