Oakmont Senior Communities is proud to announce that Oakie, a Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog trained to assist veterans of the United States Military with the daily tasks of living, has been donated by Oakmont and recently paired with a mid-Michigan Marine named Randy.
Residents, staff, and families from Oakmont’s five area independent and enhanced senior communities raised $25,000 through small fundraisers over the past 15 months to help facilitate Oakie’s no-cost adoption and the relationship between dog and owner couldn’t be going better.
“He’s just been with me a few days, but he’s already helped me a lot,” said Randy, a veteran who was honorably discharged in 1997 and went on to serve as a firefighter. “He’s young but he’s my type of guy,” Randy said, “He’s a great guy.”
Oakie, a German Shepard that was one of the quickest dogs in Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs history to graduate into service, was given his unique name via an Oakmont-wide naming contest held by residents and staff in late 2019. Among many great suggestions, Oakie was the clear winner and it’s a perfect fit for the Shepard’s upbeat personality.
“This is such a worthwhile cause,” said Sharon, a resident of Oakmont Parkway and a dog lover who helped fundraise for Oakmont Cares in her community. “These men need these dogs and these dogs are trained especially for them. I think it’s just wonderful what these dogs do.”
“The credit goes to our residents, community staff members, and our exceptionally generous ownership who have worked hard to makes sure we met our fundraising goals – even in these most trying of times,” said Michele Walny, Oakmont’s Regional Manager. “Through small fundraisers like raffles, themed meals, bake sales, book sales, and more, our Oakmont family was able to raise an incredible amount of money to help a Michigan veteran which is something we all feel so positive about – especially Oakie, who is as happy as can be with his new best friend.”
Oakie is the second Guardian Angels Medical Service Dog sponsored by Oakmont residents and staff via the Oakmont Cares program. In 2017, Oakmont raised money to sponsor the adoption of Whiskey – a medical service dog that was paired with Steve, a veteran of the United States Army during the Gulf War. Since their pairing at a ceremony in late 2017, Steve and Whiskey have thrived – building a bond that brings them both comfort and joy.
Each year, all Oakmont Communities participate in a charitable Oakmont Cares effort. In 2018, $12,000 was raised to support the recovery of Oakland Country Sheriff’s Deputy David Hack. In 2017, $22,000 was raised to train and adopt a medical service dog for a Michigan veteran.