"I'm a Vietnam Veteran and I have had a lot of problems with depression," he said. "This dog has taken me to a new level. I wake up in the morning not as grumpy. I don't think of myself as often, I think of her."
The Fayetteville Animal Services staff hopes to soon hear many more love stories like Les and Lilly's. The group received a grant aimed at bettering the lives of senior citizens - and will use that money to pay the rental home and apartment pet deposits for seniors who want a pet - but don't have a lot of cash on hand.
"I'm hoping we can make connections for people who may not have the family support - we want to match them up with a pet that will make them have their own little family," said Justine Middleton, of Fayetteville Animal Services.
"I think they'll benefit not only because they are taking care of an animal but because that animal will give back the love," Les said. "They need it, they need it desperately."
For more information, call: (479)444-3456.
The number of senior animals coming into the shelter is on the rise - so the cost to adopt an animal five years or older has been cut in half - and people can even apply to receive sponsorships to cover adoption fees. The hope is senior citizens will realize affording a pet is not out of reach, and it is something that could greatly improve their - and a homeless animals life.
Les said that when they met, he and Lilly had a lot in common - they were both often lonely - and sad. Since they have been together they have more in common - happiness - companionship - and a newfound family.