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Puppy love at first sight

Gail Furos, a resident at Bethany Community in Alexandria, has struck up a special friendship with Carl, a St. Bernard puppy. When Carl gets off the elevator he always makes his way right to Gail's room. (Amy Chaffins/Echo Press)1 / 8
Gail Furos and her new friend, Carl, spend time together August 26 during one of the 4-month-old puppy's visits. (Amy Chaffins/Echo Press)2 / 8
Carl, a 4-month-old St. Bernard puppy, befriended Bethany Community resident Gail Furos this summer. Carl took a rest while residents were visiting on August 26. (Amy Chaffins/Echo Press)3 / 8
Gail Furos, a resident at Bethany Community in Alexandria, has struck up a special friendship with Carl, a St. Bernard puppy. The two took part in a dog parade at the facility on August 26. (Amy Chaffins/Echo Press)4 / 8
Gail Furos, a resident at Bethany Community in Alexandria, has struck up a special friendship with Carl, a St. Bernard puppy. The two took part in a dog parade at the facility on August 26. (Amy Chaffins/Echo Press)5 / 8
Gail Furos and her friend, Carl the St. Bernard puppy, visited with Bethany Community employee Ashley Sutherland after the facility's dog parade on August 26. Sutherland introduced her dogs, Bear and Raleigh, to Carl. (Amy Chaffins/Echo Press)6 / 8
Gail Furos, a resident of Bethany Community in Alexandria, shared strawberry ice cream with her new friend, Carl the St. Bernard puppy, on August 26. (Amy Chaffins/Echo Press )7 / 8
Gail Furos, a resident of Bethany Community in Alexandria, shared strawberry ice cream with her new friend, Carl the St. Bernard puppy, on August 26. (Amy Chaffins/Echo Press)8 / 8

Gail and Carl share prime rib dinners and strawberry ice cream.

They go for walks and stop to chat with folks.

"I just love his paws and he has beautiful eyes," Gail said.

When Carl walked into her life, she said it was love at first sight.

Bethany Community resident Gail Furos and Carl the St. Bernard puppy were instantly friends when they met in June.

Since then, Carl visits Gail nearly every day and the timing of this friendship was perfect.

SHE WRAPPED HER ARMS RIGHT AROUND HIM

Lynette Primus and Denny Johnson are neighbors who live near Bethany Community in Alexandria and they go out for a daily walk and usually pass by Bethany.

Carl is Lynette's puppy and he's always in tow for the daily walk.

In June, Lynette said she noticed a lady out in front of Bethany, sitting in her wheelchair off to the side all by herself. She nudged Denny to bring the puppy over to her to try and cheer her up.

"I get a lump in my throat thinking about it because she's pretty much alone," Lynette said. "Well, Denny went over there with Carl and [Gail] got the biggest grin on her face. She gave him a hug and then a kiss and Carl sat there with her. They've been friends ever since."

"She wrapped her arms right around him," Denny said, "and it was love at first sight."

After seeing the joy that Carl ignited within Gail, Lynette and Denny said they knew they had to make this stop part of their daily walk.

"Carl is my loyal visitor," Gail said. "If he didn't come, I don't know what we'd do."

HE LOVES STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM

Over the last two months, Carl has learned to take a left off the elevator and saunter his way down the hall right to Gail's room.

And when popcorn is popped for residents on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Gail always makes sure she has a bag ready for Carl.

Last week, Gail sat with a pint of strawberry ice cream in one hand and a spoon in the other. Carl scooted closer. She said, "He is just the best little baby you'd ever hope to see. He loves strawberry ice cream."

"I think he loves you," Denny said.

They're a charming couple. Carl is 4 months old, weighs 68 pounds and will grow to a whopping 200 pounds of pooch. Gail is 86 years old and she was a stewardess for 29 years for Northwest Airlines. He's a fluffy fella with sweet eyes and he gets baths in a Jacuzzi tub. She has kind eyes and has photos of Carl posted outside her room.

"He makes life worth living," she said.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

(320) 763-3133
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