Lilly was being kept tied up outside all day. Given her age and the dates, she was probably a Christmas present for the kids that they got bored with. Our friends Jo and Mark were told about her plight by some local children and Mark went and asked the family if they wanted her about her and asked the family if they wanted her gone; they did. Mark and Jo weren't in a position to keep her, so despite my better judgement about having a puppy, she came to live at Beast Barracks aged about 5 months.

Lilly is very pretty but she is not a delicate flower and certainly not backwards in coming forwards; whatever is going on she will be part of it and if there is nothing going on she will start it. But she can also be very affectionate and very tender.

Lilly began visiting St Andrew's very soon after arriving here. We were asked to visit a young lady - we'll call her Katie (not her real name) who was "in a bad place" emotionally. It is an indisputable fact that a puppy in your face is good therapy, so breaking all the rules, Lilly started visiting Katie; when Lilly was old enough (9 months) she did her Pets As Therapy assessment, and passed. Katie and Lilly formed a very special bond and Lilly became known as Katie's dog by staff and other girls on the ward. Lilly would be pleased to see everyone else, then launch herself at Katie and give her a very noisy greeting. To start with staff would look aghast and ask if Lilly was supposed to do this (strictly speaking, she wasn't); after they got comfortable with the fact that while it sounded like Lilly was killing Katie, it was only the noise of an enthusiastic greeting, people started appearing to watch. If Katie was on a home visit Lilly would greet everyone, but clearly be disappointed that Katie wasn't there, such was the depth of their friendship. It was a friendship that lasted almost 5 years; Katie left St Andrew's to a hospital nearer her family. We did get to visit Katie in her new place. She was suppose to leave just after Christmas, so as a combined Christmas/leaving present we got her a big print of Lilly. But as is the way sometimes, a bed became available early, so she left just before Christmas. On our visit there Lilly was her perfectly behaved self, then Katie appeared. Because it was out of context, it took Lilly a couple of moments, the dog biscuit dropped – "Oh my Dog ‐ it's Katie!!!!" followed by the most enthusiastic Lilly greeting ever; and there were a few tears when Katie opened her present.

When Katie left the other girls asked if we and Lilly in particular would still visit them; of course we did and while Lilly doesn't greet anyone else the same way, she is loved by all the other girls. Having started her visits so young, St Andrew's is just part of Lilly's life and she wanders around the place like she owns it.

Lilly is also a Blue Cross Education dog and brilliant with the children.

ColourBrindle and white
RescueThe Beastly Beasts
Date Of Birth5 Nov 2011 (est)
Date Arrived15 Apr 2012
StatusBeastly Beast
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