Woman who lived to 108 said the secret to a long life was having dogs instead of children

A 108-year-old woman attributed her remarkable longevity to opting for canine companionship instead of raising children throughout her lifetime.

While many aspire to enjoy extended, joyful, and healthy lives, only a few manage to reach the impressive milestone of 100 years or more.

Ada Daniel, a resident of Codnor Park Care Home in Derbyshire, England, was among these centenarians, and she shared insights into the lifestyle choices that contributed to her extraordinary age.
She revealed to the BBC that she'd had "a lot of greyhounds" when she was younger, and joked that it was choosing dogs over having kids that was the secret to her long life.

Ada's additional secret to surpassing the age of 100 was simply to "keep going," and she also had a fondness for board games, with dominoes being her preferred leisure activity.

However, the drawback of reaching 108 without any children or grandchildren was that Ada found herself with "not a lot of family left." In response, Kelly Goucher, the activity coordinator at Ashmere, the organization running the care home where Ada had resided since 2015, posted an appeal on a local Facebook page. The goal was to ensure Ada received numerous well-wishing cards ahead of her June birthday.

The care home aimed to gather as many birthday cards as possible for Ada, with Kelly emphasizing Ada's enjoyment of being recognized for her age. The initial target was "108 cards for 108 years," but to everyone's surprise, Ada woke up the next morning to discover 135 messages from people eager to send cards.

The number continued to climb as more individuals learned about Ada's impending birthday celebration, ultimately resulting in Ada commemorating this incredible milestone with over 300 cards.

The birthday appeal for Ada at the care home resulted in numerous donations, including "banners featuring her picture and balloons with her name" to ensure that Ada's special day was absolutely perfect.

Ada also received a card from King Charles III, expressing, "My wife and I are delighted to learn of your one hundred and eighth birthday celebration. Please accept our warmest congratulations and sincere good wishes on this special occasion."

In the United Kingdom, individuals turning 100 receive a birthday card from the reigning monarch, and they continue to receive one for each subsequent year they live past their 100th birthday.

Ada expressed that the attention and the multitude of cards and gifts she received for her 108th birthday made her incredibly "happy."

She was asked: "To soldier on for 108 years, you’ve got to be smiling, haven’t you?", to which she responded: "Yes. Course you have!"

According to the website Oldest in Britain, there are currently 123 people over the age of 107 in the UK, with the oldest being Ethel May Caterham, who turned 114 in August.

Sadly, Ada's 108th birthday was her last as her care home was contacted to further comment to the story in November 2023 and revealed she had passed away, via the Express.

What a wonderful way to celebrate her last birthday at the end of an incredible life.

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