STROUD TOWNSHIP, Pa. — They say dogs are a man’s best friend. That saying couldn’t be truer for 96-year-old Frank Lanterman, or “Mr. Lanterman,” as he’s known at AWSOM Animal Shelter near Stroudsburg.
Every day for the last five years, Mr. Lanterman drives from his home in East Stroudsburg to the animal shelter in Stroud Township.
“If the dogs are outside in those cages over there, they know this car, and they go, ‘Yo, yo yo, here comes that food truck,'” said Mr. Lanterman.
Mr. Lanterman hand delivers treats from his plastic toolbox to every dog.
“I bake that chicken and then I cut the hot dogs up into pieces and then we come over here,” said Mr. Lanterman.
All of the dogs know when Mr. Lanterman walks through the door, and he even knows all them, too.
“Hi, Ashley! Hi, Ashley! There is Ashley,” said Mr. Lanterman.
Mr. Lanterman says the reason he makes daily visits is that he can no longer take care of a dog on his own at home.
“I love dogs, and I would love to have one, but at 95 or 96, I have to be careful that I don’t fall,” said Mr. Lanterman.
So, he comes here to fill that void.
“I devote probably half of my day to getting stuff for the dogs and coming here and giving it to them. It takes that much time,” said Mr. Lanterman.
“Every day he comes and feeds every dog and talks to them, makes sure they are OK, and he goes, ‘Oh, they are my kids now,'” said Sandra Fellin, AWSOM.
And this visit was also extra special for Mr. Lanterman because the folks at AWSOM knew it was his 96th birthday and they had a surprise for him.
“It’s just a great relationship, and we couldn’t be happier with him here. He is such a great man,” said Fellin.
Mr. Lanterman says he has no plans to stop making his daily visits.
“(I’m going to do this) as long as I can and that’s about it,” said Mr. Lanterman.
It’s a treat not just for the dogs, but volunteers, too.