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February 23, 2024

Paralyzed St. Tammany Deputy's Service Dog to Serve as Grand Marshall of Krewe Du Pooch

Deputy Mary Mayo’s former service dog, ๐Ÿพ๐™’๐™„๐™‡๐™‡๐˜ผ๐Ÿพ, will be serving as Krewe Du Pooch  2024 ๐†๐‘๐€๐๐ƒ ๐Œ๐€๐‘๐’๐‡๐€๐‹ which rolls Saturday on the Mandeville Lakefront at 12:00. 

She was born to serve… ๐™’๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก๐™– served her “1st mom”, ๐˜ฟ๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ฎ ๐™ˆ๐™–๐™ง๐™ฎ ๐™ˆ๐™–๐™ฎ๐™ค of the STPSO, as a dedicated and gentle service dog. Deputy Mayo’s life was changed forever on June 13, 2007 when she was participating in a funeral procession for fellow fallen Deputy Hilary Mayo, when a violent storm swept across the area. A large pine tree fell onto the cruiser, instantly killing her fiancรฉe, Sgt. Beau Raimer. The accident left Mary paralyzed from the chest down. Years following, Mary underwent years of physical therapy as her community rallied around her. 

By the grace of God, Willa came into Mary’s life and touched her world in a way she never knew she needed. Willa was a stray found in Washington Parish….๐™๐™‰๐™๐™„๐™‡ ๐™Ž๐™ƒ๐™€ ๐™’๐™€๐™‰๐™ ๐™๐™Š ๐™‹๐™๐™„๐™Ž๐™Š๐™‰๐Ÿฅด. I can explain๐Ÿคฃ. “Doggone Express” is a local non-profit that trains shelter dogs to be service dogs. Willa was found by this organization in a shelter where she entered the “prison-dog” service program. Willa was then gifted to Mary and so their journey began. Willa did her job, and she did it well. She went ๐™€๐™‘๐™€๐™๐™”๐™’๐™ƒ๐™€๐™๐™€ with Mary. She was a perfect fit for Mary. Mary passed away in September 2023 as a result of her injuries she sustained 16 years earlier in the line of duty. 

Shortly after Mary passed and seeing Willa’s pics on social media, Melissa Seal of Metairie knew she needed to be Willa’s “new mom.” Melissa has been involved in rescue for 20+ years, and she wanted to provide Willa the retirement life she deserved. 

“๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ข ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ. ๐˜ž๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ข ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ญ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ซ๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ," Melissa said. 

Willa immediately bonded with Melissa’s St. Bernard, ๐™‚๐™๐™ˆ๐˜ฝ๐™Š. Sadly… Gumbo recently crossed the rainbow bridge ๐ŸŒˆ, and Willa had to deal with another loss, but she continued to be resilient. Willa is honored to serve at the Grand Marshal and according to Mary’s mother, “๐™ˆ๐™–๐™ง๐™ฎ ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ก๐™™ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™‡๐™Š๐™‘๐™€๐˜ฟ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ." ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’›

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