Lolly's L.E.A.S.H. - LA/SPCA Transport Program
(Leading Every Animal Safely Home)
Lolly's L.E.A.S.H. is our LA/SPCA transport program. For more information about transports and frequently asked questions please visit our transport page. The program was named on behalf of Jo Gwin Shelby and her companion Lolly. This is their incredible story.
Jo Gwin Shelby was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2004, and received her service dog, Lolly, through Canine Partners for Life in 2007. By then, she could no longer drive, but Lolly became her permanent sidekick, helping her walk and lead as normal a life as possible. An unbreakable bond that would last the remainder of Jo Gwin’s life was quickly formed, providing her with both companionship and enhanced independence for over four years. In August, 2011, Jo Gwin lost her battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease, after having lived well beyond the normal longevity of those afflicted with this fatal disease.
The bond that developed between Jo Gwin and Lolly was truly amazing to witness. Lolly’s complete attention was focused on Jo Gwin; if she sneezed Lolly would bolt to attention and study Jo Gwin to ensure she was alright. On command, Lolly could identify and retrieve articles, or go to another room to alert other people if Jo Gwin required help. On just as importantly, Lolly became an invaluable friend and companion for Jo Gwin, bringing her immense happiness through the devastating physical impact of her disease.
As her daughter, Shelby Saer, says, “ I truly believe Mom would never have lived as long without Lolly.” A honey-colored Labrador retriever with eyes that speak to you and a face you just want to kiss, Lolly has happily retired as a service dog, continuing to bring joy to Shelby and her family.
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