Keeping Families Together: Eloise & Rocco

Eighty-five year old Eloise P. and her five year old terrier mix, Rocco, have been quarantined at their north Austin home since mid-March. Eloise lives in a cottage behind her daughter’s house, but says that she and her daughter have been practicing strict physical distancing. Due to her age and health issues, Eloise is considered high-risk if she should contract COVID-19, and her doctor and her daughter have both cautioned her to be as careful as possible. They speak frequently on the phone, or talk through the door or from across the yard, but Eloise is still getting used to the isolation. She has not left the property recently and is missing the senior gatherings and services at her church.

Eloise is a client of Meals on Wheels Central Texas (MOWCTX). Prior to the pandemic, she received daily hot lunches, but recently MOWCTX has been delivering a two-week supply of shelf stable food and canned goods. In addition to her own food, Rocco is enrolled in the MOWCTX PALS (Pets Assisting the Lives of Seniors) program and receives a monthly delivery of dog food. Through the LEAP program, TVMF’s partnership with PALS, Rocco also receives annual veterinary care, including flea and heartworm preventatives*.

During this time, Eloise says that Rocco really is her companion. Eloise sometimes worries he’s not getting enough exercise being cooped up with her in the cottage and backyard. “I’ll take my rollator down the little path, and then I’ll turn suddenly and he runs off and we play that game,” she said. “And then we have a thing where he’ll stand at the door, and I’ll say, ‘Are you the jumper dog?’ And he jumps really high, like two feet.” Eloise says she tries to get outside with Rocco every day, and is passing the time as comfortably as she can until it is safe for her to get out more. TVMF is committed to ensuring that Rocco receives the care that he needs to continue to be Eloise’s companion for years to come.

Thank you to our corporate sponsor Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health who donates vaccines, Frontline Gold and Heartgard so generously to the LEAP program.