LANSFORD, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Tom Connors had a promise to keep to his friend Fran Brennan.
“She was going in for an operation and she asked me to help take care of her dogs. And I made her a promise that I would. Well my good friend didn’t make it through the operation,” Tom Conners, director of the Carbon County Animal Shelter, said.
Brennan’s elderly dogs, Lilly Belle, a Basset Hound, and Sugar, a Rottweiler, needed a new home. Connors tried to get them adopted together. He felt it was important because they had already lived together for eight years. But people only wanted to adopt one of the dogs.
“When I had trouble finding them a home, I decided it might be easier to buy them one,” Conners said.
Connors had known Tom Probert, who was stationed in Germany during the Vietnam War, for over 20 years. Probert’s children, who followed their father’s footsteps and served in the military, were classmates with Connor’s children. The dogs were retired veteran therapy dogs, so it was only fitting that they lived with a veteran.
“He didn’t introduce the fact that I would be with them immediately. But it soon became obvious that that’s what his intention was,” Probert said.
Tom Connors bought a house on West Front Street. If you look at the front of the house, you’ll see a sign that says ‘this is the home for Lilly Belle and Sugar’.
Probert says he’s always loved dogs. Sugar took some time to warm up to him because she can be temperamental. Lilly belle loves getting Probert’s attention. Probert tells me living with the pooches make his life better.
“It adds structure to my life. I was living and on disability. I was really suffering from depression, something that I had a very hard time to admit,” Probert said.
With the help of the community, Probert and Connors added elderly-dog friendly ramps to the house, and fixed up it up. Probert, Lilly Belle, and Sugar moved into their new home in December.
“They were therapy dogs. They gave. Now I’m giving,” Probert said.
“He’s done an excellent job and I’m proud he’s my friend. I’m proud we were able to help out a little bit. It’s a trade of deal – he helps the dogs, they help him and we all help each other. It just works out perfect,” Connors said.
Probert says now he needs a battery powered lawn mower for his new lawn so that the dogs can roam around in it in the warmer months. People can also send the dogs treats and valentines day cards to 212 West Front Street.