Missing her beloved Pomeranian, Barbara Carpenter got helping hand from Hermitage staff

10:00 am | October 1, 2013
Photo by Brandon Hicks

Barbara Carpenter and her dog Fluffy spend their days together at
Hermitage Health Care. Carpenter has owned Fluffy for eight years

Many a tale may give readers the warm and fuzzies, but the story of Barbara Carpenter and her beloved dog might bring on a case of the warm and “Fluffies.”

Carpenter’s story began in March, when she became ill. After some time in the hospital, she was taken to Hermitage Health Care Center in August.

Being separated from her 8-year-old Pomeranian Master Fluffy was difficult enough; then she said she learned that the person she thought was caring for her dog was neglecting her furry friend’s needs.

Enter a certain nursing home administrator.

To lift Carpenter out of her depression — and to provide better care for Fluffy — the administrator worked out a plan to have a staff member take Fluffy home and bring the dog to work with them. Social Services Director Michelle Gray volunteered about a month ago to take care of Fluffy.

The prized Pomeranian now comes to the nursing home Monday through Friday and spends the days with Carpenter.

“She thought she had someone she could depend on to help her take care of the dog, and he was slightly taken care of,” Gray said.

“She told us for a long time she needs to stay here, and she has told us for a long time she doesn’t know what she is going to do about her dog, because her dog is essentially her kid,” Gray said. “Barbara thought he was taken care of, and she was really let down.”

Carpenter is widowed and has no children to help care for Fluffy.

“He’s my baby,” Carpenter said. “I want him to be taken care of like you would want a human to be taken care of. If he’s sick or something is wrong, take him to the doctor or you find out what it is and get it taken care of. I don’t know how many times I called and asked her to take him to the vet and to get his food for him.”

All that’s in the past, however.

Carpenter and Master Fluffy now spend their days together at Hermitage. Fluffy goes everywhere Carpenter goes — except the dining room. He is also not allowed out on the floor when food trays are being delivered.

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