An elderly woman who moved to Croxley Green on her own recently used Facebook to express her loneliness – and the community’s response has left her overwhelmed.
Tereza Harling, 78, only moved to Croxley in June from South Africa after her beloved dog, Jude, sadly had to be put down in April.
“I was staying in a very recluse farm, my family were out at work a lot and the other farm dogs didn’t take to Jude so I would spend all my days with him,” Tereza said. “The computers and phones really didn’t work there, so he was all the company I had. My husband, Graham, had passed away a few years before.
“When Jude died, I was still talking to him every day because I was lonely. I decided I really had to change things.”
Tereza, who had never visited England before, decided to take a risk and move here in the hope of finding new friends.
She said: “My sister lives in England, quite nearby, and she’s the only person I know. I was seeing her maybe once a week when I moved to Croxley but because I didn’t know anyone else, I was still lonely.
“I’d been to different local social groups with 20-odd people, church events and even dancing events, but I wasn’t having any one-on-one interaction – I wasn’t truly meeting people and I missed my dog terribly.
“All I wanted was someone to sit down and have a coffee with and perhaps a dog to stroke.”
On August 24, Tereza took to a local community Facebook group in the hope of reaching potential friends.
She wrote: “I am elderly (over 75), live alone and sometimes get lonely. Took a walk to my local vet and asked if they might have a cat I could stroke, or a dog to pet. They had none, so I came back home to look at movies on YouTube.”
The post got over 100 comments, with many residents from the likes of Croxley, Rickmansworth and Chorleywood offering to meet Tereza for a coffee with their pets.
Tereza said: “I couldn’t believe it, I was so surprised by the response. The people here are just so lovely, and I feel incredibly lucky. I’ve already met someone from Facebook for coffee and they brought their greyhound, which was amazing.”
Tereza has asked Croxley News to pass on the details of any readers who are interested in befriending her. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org