SALEM, Ind. (WDRB) -- A local celeb in southern Indiana is gaining attention all over the country with her Facebook page. She and her family are taking some time out of the normal daily hustle and bustle to spread a little joy.
Strutting through the square in downtown Salem, Indiana, is roughly 35 pounds of personality: Lemmy, the "sassy" basset hound.
"When you see her, you just just want to smile," said Kelly Nesmith, a Facebook fan of Lemmy's. "Actually, you just want to hug her and rub her belly."
"As soon as you bring a camera out, she's normally ready to pose and ready to take a picture," said Christopher Gross, who adopted the dog with Paula Gross in 2018. "We decided to come home and take some pictures and share them with friends on Facebook, and they told us, 'You need to share them with everybody."
That sparked a Facebook page, which includes daily messages to inspire and spread positivity.
"We just wanted to spread a little love," Paula Gross said. "That's all it was, honestly."
Responses began to pour in from all over.
"It's just like, 'You know what, I needed that. I needed that today,'" Nesmith said. "I can't wait to get on Facebook and see if she's on there, and I'm like, 'There she is. Oh, Mom, please look.' And I'll be sharing it."
Lemmy has represented Blue Buffalo pet food and Kong toys. She also plans on visiting schools, nursing homes and hospitals.
"We need something to help give us hope and to cheer our day," said Nancy Nesmith, a Facebook follower. "It's a way to start your day and, throughout the day, to get a smile. If you're having a rough day, you can just look to see what Lemmy's been up to, and she's out there trying to help everybody, and it means a lot."
The Salem pooch has turned into a "public figure."
"On a normal share, it will hit about 70,000," Christopher Gross said.
Lemmy and her owners are busy. The Gross family is in the process of writing a children's book with Lemmy's life lessons. Ten to 15% of the proceeds from the book and money from T-shirts will go to the Salem Animal Shelter and Humane Society of Washington County. The no-kill shelter takes in around 1,400 animals annually. It's at max capacity and needs to build a new building, which is expected to cost about $315,000. The Humane Society has raised about $90,000 so far.
"Lemmy has been great for us. So many people are on Lemmy's Facebook page, and she talks about the fact how she's helping," said Laurie Jackson, of Salem Animal Shelter and Humane Society of Washington County.
More than anything, Lemmy is bringing people together.
"It's been amazing how much attention that just a little dog and positivity quotes to people can bring a community, can bring the world together and bond us instead of pushing us apart," Christopher Gross said. "Everybody has a say in this world, and if I can put my little dog up there, and she spreads her love and makes somebody else happy, that's what we're there for."
The Gross family hopes to release its first book in November or December. They also hope to do animated stories in the future.
To donate to The Adventures of Lemmy the Sassy Basset Hound's GoFundMe account, click here. To purchase a T-shirt, click here. To donate to Salem Animal Shelter and Humane Society of Washington County, mail a check to 204 Joseph Street in Salem, Indiana, 47167 or stop by the shelter. Donations can also be made to Mid-Southern Savings Bank.
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