Man's 100th Birthday Wish Was to Pet Dogs. He Was Stunned When Hundreds Showed Up.
“He just love, love, loves dogs."
Robert Moore had one wish for his 100th birthday: He wanted to pet dogs. "He just love, love, loves dogs," Alison Moore, 60, said of her Californian dad. "Every dog he sees, he wants to pet. He has been like that his whole life." So Alison decided to invite as many dogs as possible to Robert's party on June 17, which also included a big family dinner. After putting out feelers on social media, the family was shocked at the sheer number of dogs and humans that showed up.
Six days before the celebratory gathering, Alison Moore posted on Nextdoor and Facebook, explaining her idea and asking for dogs in San Jose to stop by her house for a pet parade on June 17, the Washington Post reported this week. The post went viral, with people sharing the request in other groups across social media. "We live in a nice little community, and I thought I could get some of my neighbors and friends to come," said Alison. She envisioned that her father would sit outside her house with a banner and be met by a small line of dogs for him to greet.
Alison expected about 30 dogs. She said she was "shocked" when at 11 a.m., the party's start time, 200 dogs and their owners had patiently lined up, waiting to say hello to the guest of honor. Robert is also a classic car fan, and several owners brought theirs by, with dogs in tow. Some people drove more than 10 miles to attend the parade. Robert "was so overwhelmed" by the turnout, his daughter told the Post. "He was just so sweet and talking to the kids and petting all the dogs and saying their names. It was so much fun." He said the chance to pet dozens of dogs in one day was a dream come true. "It was a special, special birthday parade because of the numbers and all the different breeds of dogs," he said.
The party was meaningful to the attendees, too, including Rodger O'Brien, 88, who has Alzheimer's disease. His daughter, Denise, brought him and his dog, Lucky, to the parade, the Post reported. "It was the most beautiful thing," said Denise O'Brien, who had chanced upon Alison Moore's Nextdoor post. "It's been a long time since I saw my dad smile for 90 minutes straight."
Alison Moore's neighbor Debby Yackonelli was awed by the turnout, which included dogs of all breeds and sizes, and some with disabilities. She and her husband dressed up Ryder, a 4-year-old Australian German shepherd mix, and brought him to the festivities. "He wore a little tux neckerchief, and we made a little happy birthday sign and put it on him," Yackonelli said. "I think he thought the party was for him."
"Everyone just couldn't stop smiling," said Robert Moore's granddaughter Caroline, 24, who created a TikTok documenting the parade. "We were all in disbelief." "It's not easy being 100," Alison Moore told the Post. Her father is often lonely. "He misses his wife, he misses his siblings, getting around is hard." She cried as people she didn't know showed up with cards, flowers, and treats. "Strangers did this for my dad. It was just so sweet."