Jane Lynch doesn’t mind being upstaged by her latest co-star, Olivia – after all she “has no bad side, she is always ready to pose and she sits perfectly still when you put her in your lap.”
“I’m much more temperamental,” Lynch said.
Lynch’s dog Olivia is her co-host for “Shelter Me: Let’s Go Home,” the second installment in the PBS series “Shelter Me.” The “Glee” star also has a canine companion on Broadway, where she’s filling in as Miss Hannigan in “Annie.”
Lynch got Olivia, part Lhasa Apso and part other things, from a shelter 13 years ago, the day after filming wrapped on the movie “Best in Show.”
“She is the love of my life,” the 52-year-old actress said.
She went on to save dogs Georgie and Frances and cats Frisky and Jiggles. She sponsors an annual adoption event at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
“Let’s Go Home” will air on PBS stations across the country all summer, said creator Steven Latham.
If you could talk to Olivia about her owner, she would say: “I’m restless and it’s hard to sleep with me,” Lynch said. “Olivia likes a real steady, solid sleeper so she gets upset when I move around at night.”
Despite the wiggles, the little dog loves her unconditionally, Lynch said, and the cause inspires her because there are millions more like her at shelters across the country.
“We are responsible for each other and the most vulnerable among us,” Lynch said.
In December she helped honor Mary Cortani of Operation Freedom Paws, an organization that rescues shelter dogs and trains them to help wounded veterans.
“I met this guy David, who had a severe brain injury and emotional trauma. He’s functioning well, but he was paranoid and couldn’t walk down the street without pulling his gun out to defend himself,” she said.
“This dog totally calmed him. He’s a new man. In fact, he gave me his dog tags, which were melted. The metal on them was melted from the explosion he was in.”
Cortani told Lynch that by giving her the tags, he was letting go of some of the experience.
“I have those dog tags around the neck of my Emmy,” Lynch said of her 2010 supporting actress Emmy. “I stare at my Emmy every day, of course, so I put them around the neck of my Emmy because they mean a whole heck of a lot.”