Lily came into my life in 2006, after I moved home to Southern California. The neighbors I’d grown up with had adopted her, told she was a 4-month-old Great Dane cross. Whoa, was that wrong! Their vet declared her an 8-month-old pit bull, and the school kids identified her as their former puppy! She had extreme separation anxiety, and my neighbors had done everything they could: hired trainers, took her to classes, even put her on anxiety medication. Nothing worked., and she was destroying their furniture, escaping the yard, and breaking free of her crate. They were trying to re-home her when I took her in.
After thirty days and a lot of jogging, I told them I thought I could get her stable and off Prozac. After sixty days I’d succeeded, but my dog at the time, Sam, had fallen in love with her! Sam was going crippled, and Lily brought him toys to play with, nudged his food bowl closer, and took over patrolling the house at night so he could relax. I broke down and asked my neighbors if I could keep her; they happily agreed!
A year into working with Lily (and insisting she never show dog aggression; a minor problem Lily had), Lily was attacked by a loose dog with aggression issues. Lily, upon command, dropped. That act of submission and trust stopped the dog fight. Lily remained on her back, and consequently the other dog didn’t bite down, until I could get there and pull the other dog off. Shortly thereafter, Lily began working with me, acting as provocation for dog-aggressive dogs and trusting me to keep her safe.
As of 2017 Lily is 13 years old and mostly retired from working with aggression cases. Now she uses her calm stability to provide comfort and a good role model for young dogs and dogs with anxiety.