Living Her Best Life: Lola’s Story

By Judy Layne

Each of the precious souls who cross the Nova Scotia SPCA’s doorstep has a story to tell.  Often that story has a sad beginning; just as often there’s a happy ending.  Take sweet Lola.

A beautiful Bullmastiff, the first seven years of Lola’s life were unfortunately not filled with the medical care that she needed.  Recognizing that he could not care adequately for her, Lola’s owner made the decision to surrender her to the SPCA.  We are grateful that he made this decision because it changed Lola’s life; we only wish he made it sooner so the SPCA could help.  The Nova Scotia SPCA accepts animals into its care regardless of their age or health.  You simply have to call and arrange an appointment so the shelter can learn about what is the most suitable type of home for your pet.  The appointment also allows the shelter to prepare a cozy space for your pet to make the transition as smooth as possible.  Unexpected life situations happen and the SPCA strives to be approachable, non-judgemental and understanding.
Lola was in poor shape when she arrived at the Cape Breton Shelter.  She desperately needed dental work and was quite arthritic.  She had extreme fur loss, her skin was inflamed, and she was very thin.  After special baths at the shelter, staff would dress Lola in cozy pajamas to keep her warm.  She received needed medical care at the shelter’s Animal Hospital – teeth were extracted, a lip growth was removed, and she was put on arthritis medication that she must take once a day for life.  She was placed in the Nova Scotia SPCA’s Palliative Care Program.  Then Lola’s life changed.

Debbie and her partner Dwayne were looking to adopt a dog.  Debbie says “I saw Lola’s sweet face on the SPCA website, and I just knew she was mine.  It was definitely love at first sight.  Her eyes truly touched me.  We went to the shelter, met with her and took her to her forever home the next day.”

Debbie and Dwayne had never fostered an animal before, but they were ready and willing to open their hearts and home to a palliative pet in need.  Lola adjusted quickly to her new home.  Debbie relates “In less than a week, it was like she was destined to be with us.”   Lola has blossomed so much with her new family.  “Dwayne is definitely the apple of Lola’s eye” says Debbie.  “Talk about a father-daughter bond.  It’s amazing to see how close the two have become in such a short time.  And when dad’s not around, mom is a good second best!”


Lola’s favorite activities include playing fetch, tug-of-war and laying on the couch between mom and dad.  “Timmy’s runs are also popular – drive-through staff always give Lola a Timbit and are amazed at how gentle she is taking it,” says Debbie.  “Lola has brought such laughter to our lives. When dad leaves for work, she runs to the window and looks at him as if to say ‘Hey, are you leaving without me?  I didn’t authorize that!’”

“We understand that Lola may not be with us for a long time, but we don’t think like that.  She’s so full of life now; we live in the moment. Eventually, she will let us know when it’s her time to go, but for now, we appreciate the unconditional love, laughs and goofiness she shares with us.  We are humbled to give her a second chance at happiness in a loving home,” says the couple.

Lola’s story underscores some important things.

  • Animal surrender should never be judged. Lola now has a wonderful life and her medical needs are well taken care of.  Please contact the SPCA if you find you have to surrender your pet.
  • The Nova Scotia SPCA proudly follows no-kill principles.  Even though it is expensive to continue to care for Lola, she has so much zest for life and the SPCA never euthanizes for space or cost.  On average, healthy and friendly pets are adopted in less than two weeks!
  • The Nova Scotia SPCA does not receive any government funding for its shelters.  Your generous support gives deserving animals like Lola a chance to live their best life.  Donate today!
Judy Layne

Judy is a dedicated volunteer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-mama to Gracie. She is committed to speaking for animals who cannot speak for themselves.