Milt Lessner, a lifelong dog-lover, is 104 years old.
When asked in an interview with BBC if dogs are the ticket to a long life, Lessner expressed, “I’d like to think so”.
“I enjoy the familiarity with them, and the pleasantness, and the bonding – especially the bonding.”
After the loss of his wife, Lessner has found bonding with his dog a crucial part of his life.
At first, Lessner struggled to adopt a new dog because of his age. Numerous rescue organizations would not allow a man over 100 years old adopt.
Fortunately, he got in contact with Lionel’s Legacy in San Diego, California. This rescue works with elderly dogs and worked to allow Lessner to foster.
Layla, a calm and loving mutt, began her life with Lessner in November 2016.
“In no time at all, we were quite friendly with each other,” he explained. “She’s very conciliatory and very agreeable.”
“We’re trying to stay in good health, both of us. So far, we’ve succeeded and we’re still alive.”
Before Lessner was retired, he was a psychiatrist. In his practice, he used dogs to relax patients. For Lessner, Layla is the perfect calming companion.
“I can’t think of anything better,” he says.
Many older dogs end up in shelters as their owners move into apartments or fall into challenging financial times.
Layla was a stray, though she had clearly been cared for in the past. Unfortunately, she had pyometra—an infection of the uterus.
Thanks to veterinary care, Layla survived and was taken in by Lionel’s Legacy.
Laura Oliver, the founder of Lionel’s Legacy, is glad to see the perfect match made with Lessner and Layla.
“You can tell they’re both smitten.”