CHRISTMAS SPIRIT: Wally Townson and PennyTwo found each other just before Christmas.
CHRISTMAS SPIRIT: Wally Townson and PennyTwo found each other just before Christmas. Rainee Shepperson

Best of friends: two seniors find a match

AN ELDERLY Mackay resident is celebrating Christmas with a new friend.

Wally Townsonwas gifted a furry companion from the Mackay council after he signed up to the council's Senior Pets for Senior People program.

Mr Townson has lovingly dubbed his new senior pet 'PennyTwo' in memory of his previous dog, Penny. It's only been three days but the pair are inseparable.

"She's the most loving and obedient dog I've ever had,” MrTownson said.

"My wife Irene passed away a year ago and we owned a dog called Penny.

"Having this new dog has brought back so many memories.

"Penny never left my side and neither does PennyTwo.”

Mr Townson plans to walk PennyTwo every morning and evening.

Having a companion has changed his life.

"She's the only company I've got and I'm the only company she's got,” he said.

"Taking her for a walk each day is going to keep me going, otherwise I'd be lying around doing nothing.”

Mr Townson is 90 and has owned dogs all his life. He would walk for miles every day with Penny by his side but stopped going after her death.

"That's why I signed up to the council program because I wanted to start going for walks again,” he said.

Being registered blind can make walking to the shops difficult, but with PennyTwo leading the way MrTownson said his daily outing would be a lot easier.

"I can't see very well but PennyTwo will be my eyes,” he said. "She already listens to my commands and comes when I whistle for her, and it's only been a couple of days.

"She's got such a beautiful nature.”

PennyTwo was one of several abandoned animals up for adoption under council's Senior Pets program. As part of the program, if a pound pet is considered a good match for a senior person it is offered to them free.

Mr Townson said he would have saved all the animals if he could.

"There were so many abandoned dogs, I wish I could have given all of them a home,” he said.

"I think this program is a great idea for seniors in need of a companion.”

With Christmas fast approaching, MrTownson said a fishing trip might be on the cards.

"I still go out fishing on my boat so I'm looking forward to taking PennyTwo with me,” he said. "I think that would be a nice Christmas present for her.”



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