California natives Emmett and Gayna Dunsmore moved to Northern Virginia over 30 years ago when Emmett accepted a job opportunity in the area. After living in Herndon, Va. for 26 years, the two decided it was time to prepare for the future and look for a retirement community that fit their needs. In 2008, deciding not to return to California, the Dunsmores reserved an apartment home at Ashby Ponds retirement community in Ashburn, Va., which at that time was still under construction. The Dunsmores were one of the very first “pioneers” of the community, moving in just one day after the grand opening. While there were many reasons the Dunsmores chose Ashby Ponds over other communities in the area, one reason still sticks with them today – the ability to bring along their lovable miniature dachshund, Kassee. Today, there are nearly 100 cats and dogs who call Ashby Ponds home.
After their beloved Kassee passed away just over two years ago, the Dunsmores decided to bring home two new companions, miniature dachshunds Josee and Nikki. When they arrived at the community, the Dunsmores held a naming contest and residents dropped suggested names for the new arrivals into a dish. “We made it a community thing; they are like community babies now,” said Gayna. “Everyone asks how they are!” From the 162 suggestions received from other residents, the Dunsmores agreed on Josee and Nikki.
The Dunsmores welcomed Josee and Nikki as their fifth and sixth dachshunds and had also owned two poodles during their marriage. This time around, the couple decided to get two dachshunds so they could keep each other company. “Whenever we come home, they are curled up with each other in the same bed,” said Emmett. The Dunsmores love nothing more than a little “lap time” with their pups; Josee clearly favors Gayna’s lap and Nikki favors Emmett’s. These self-pronounced dog lovers are truly grateful that they can enjoy living a worry-free retirement with their loyal pups who bring so much joy to their lives.
P.S. Fittingly, Kassee’s middle name was Joy.
About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 16 retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia (approximately 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.). The community is home to over 600 residents and is filled with fascinating people and fantastic opportunities. Life at Ashby Ponds offers a true sense of community and is an exciting alternative to the typical retirement community. More information about Ashby Ponds can be found at: www.ericksonliving.com.