@_dadanddolly / Tiktok

TikTok users are gushing over the dynamic duo of Dolly the Pomeranian and her human, John, that has gone viral with their sweet relationship. The account, @_dadanddolly, is run by John’s daughter, Katie, and features videos of the two snuggling and taking walks together. John moved next door to Katie’s flat in London over two years ago after being diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. 

Dolly, now 7 years old, was adopted by Katie in 2019, but after her father moved next door, she worried about him being lonely. Speaking to Fox News Digital, she shared about the experience. “I knew they would be very good flatmates. She is such a sweet, easy-going dog, and she just wants to sit on the sofa all day and chill out, and so does my dad,” she said. She added that Dolly keeps her dad active, something she feels may benefit him with his diagnosis. “He has to take her out on a walk, and that’s really good for him because he engages with people when he is out. She also goes at the same pace as him. I think with a [cognitive impairment] diagnosis like that, there is still sort of an element of hope and things you can do to delay progression, and I think [Dolly] helps,” she said.

Not only has Dolly helped John, but she has given Katie comfort as well as she deals with the realities of being a caregiver. Prior to the pandemic, John had been living with a partner who had to return to her own country after the pandemic hit. “Having Dolly has helped enormously,” she told Newsweek. “It means I feel more relaxed that he’s okay and not lonely when I’m not there. I think looking after Dolly also gives him a sense of purpose, which is important for anyone. My dad is a very strong person mentally, but the last few years have been hard on him. Many of his close friends and siblings have died or moved away in recent years, so Dolly helps to fill that gap and enriches his life.”

Katie began taking videos of the pair originally as a way to document memories of her father. Twenty years ago, her mother died of ALS, and she doesn’t have videos to reminisce about. “While I’ve got this time with my dad, I want to record it [and] keep it,” she said. The two have become a recognizable team where Katie and her father live, with people recognizing them from the videos and daily walks. “It’s nice because I know other people are looking out for him and recognize him because he’s got the dogs. They keep an eye on him when he is out and about,” Katie said. She said she hopes the TikToks will remind people of the value of the elderly. “The world to me today, especially looking after my dad, feels kind of exclusive for older people, as in they are not included a lot. It’s fun to see someone my dad’s age on [social media]. I hope it’s part of a movement where older people will get more respect and consideration.”

Close Ad