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70-year-old gets best surprise after living in a car with her dogs for 2 years

Woman enters home with her two dogs on lead dog-happy
© WBUR - Youtube

We never know what life has in store for us, but the best we can hope for is health and safety. Unfortunately for Lynn Shutzman, this was not to be.

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the 07/12/2019, 20:00, Updated on the 19/12/2019, 15:22

Lynn never thought she would one day become homeless, let alone at 70 years old! After working as a pharmacist for over 43 years, she had saved enough money to retire comfortably. Yet, a series of unfortunate illnesses completely emptied her wallet.

A stroke of bad luck

In the last 10 years, Lynn has survived several heart attacks, breast cancer, thyroid problems, and the removal of a kidney. As healthcare is very expensive in the US, Lynn was left depleted of her resources. She no longer had enough money to rent an apartment, and had only one option left: move into her car.

She could've gone to stay in a homeless shelter, but that simply wasn't an option she could consider. Indeed, she wasn't alone. Chaucer and Chase, a Beagle and Collie-mix, were part of the picture. Lynn loved her dogs so much, and just couldn't see herself separating from them. So, all three of them started living in her car.

Every now and then, she would pay for a dog-friendly hotel room so she and her pups could wash up and sleep somewhere warm. No matter the circumstances, she always made sure that her dogs were well fed and comfortable.

Help came from where it was least expected

In April 2019, Melissa Akacha, also a pharmacist, started noticing Lynn’s presence around the neighbourhood. She discussed the matter with her friend Jennifer Husband-Elsier, and the two started investigating. They soon discovering Lynn's past as a pharmacist, and what can only be described as her terrible luck in the events that followed.

The two women started raising money in the community to help Lynn pay for her hotel rooms. The local community was in awe of Lynn’s bravery at refusing to abandon her dogs, no matter how hard the situation. The response was much bigger than Jennifer and Melissa ever expected.

Within just a few weeks, they had raised enough money to pay two months of rent in a small, dog-friendly apartment for Lynn and her pooches.

After two years of living in her car, Lynn and her dogs discovered their new home together.

“Thank all of you so much,” cried Lynn, when she first laid eyes on her amazing gift.


A beautiful story of human compassion, and of the close bond between man and dog.

We hope Lynn, Chaucer, and Chase are very happy in their new home.