Almost exactly two years ago, we brought you the heartwarming story of the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary, the Tennessee dog shelter that’s built a following of more than 1.8 million people online by just posting really good pics of their old dogs. While the rest of the world — and much of Facebook, it seems — has succumbed to extreme polarization and animosity, the Old Friends page remains a beacon of hope.
While everyone has their own favorite Old Friend (mine is currently Tigger), everyone who followed the page was well-acquainted with Leo, the burly boy who essentially served as the Old Friends mascot. Unfortunately, Leo passed away on Saturday night. He had been with Old Friends for more than six years.
At Old Friends, dogs do not die. They simply pass over the “Rainbow Bridge.” Leo’s myriad fans are understandably distraught.
“Leo’s our rock star. Everybody knows Leo,” Zina Goodin, who co-founded the sanctuary, told me when we spoke in 2016. Everybody had something to say about Leo, and the only time comment sections got heated, she explained, was when Leo got his annual summer haircut.
As a tribute, Old Friends has changed its Facebook profile picture to one of Leo, marking the first time the page has changed its photo in nearly six years.