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CUTLER BAY (CBSMiami) — The sign on Greta Brasington’s door says it all. It reads, “My pet rescued me.”

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The Cutler Bay senior is encouraging others in their golden years to consider adopting a pet, after the stray dog she took-in changed her life.

“It’s somebody to care for, and to care for you. He cares if I come home. He cares about me too,” says Greta, who adds she’s found new purpose since a little dog she named Wilson came into her life.

The fluff-ball now mostly lives on her lap but it wasn’t love at first sight when she discovered him roaming around East Ridge, the senior living community where she lives.

“He’d been around for a while and I had been trying to catch him. Each time I’d try, he’d look at me and I’d give him food and he’d back away.”

After several attempts, one day Wilson simply showed up at her door “looking sad,” she says. His hair was matted and she knew he was starting to trust her.

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“Gradually we made friends and I picked him up and I said, ‘OK, I got you now.'”

After a vet check-up and some grooming, Wilson was ready for a second chance at life. Greta says Wilson now loves to be brushed and gets along just fine with her other dog, and even her neighbors.

“I promised so many of my friends that I’ll bring him over and they want to meet him,” Greta says. “He’s great to meet, he loves everything and everybody — except some men!”

Wilson’s more of a ladies’ man.

One of the more difficult parts of having a dog later in life is taking it out for walks, especially for Brasington, who’s wearing a foot brace these days. Fortunately for her, Wilson loves riding in her golf cart. Her neighbors also take turns helping her walk Wilson.

Despite being a long-time dog-lover, Greta explains it’s knowing she’s helping a dog in need that makes her relationship with Wilson extra special.

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“He’s given me so much joy,” she says. “I smile a lot more. And he smiles! Have you ever seen a dog smile? He does!”