After working a double shift, nineteen-year-old Jimmy Farrell intended to use the morning of February 9, 2000 to catch up on his sleep. Little did he know when he fell into bed that he would soon be awakened by his recently acquired eight-month-old English Bull Terrier.
That morning, Jimmy’s mother, Joan, woke up feeling unwell and decided to take the day off work. With Lilly close at her heels, she headed downstairs to put a load of laundry in the wash before returning to bed. Upon entering the laundry room, Joan collapsed with a heart attack.
Distressed that Joan had fallen, Lilly went to Jimmy’s bedroom and began barking and repeatedly banging her head against his closed door. The exhausted Jimmy was reluctant to respond, but Lilly’s persistence forced Jimmy out of bed to open the door. Believing that Lilly was interested in getting into bed with him, as was her usual habit, Jimmy crawled back under the covers expecting Lilly to follow; but instead, she pulled at the blankets and tugged on his arm. Sensing that Lilly was trying to tell him something, Jimmy followed Lilly to the laundry room where she began barking again.
Jimmy found his mother unconscious on the floor. He immediately called 911 and an ambulance arrived at the house within minutes. After spending two days in critical condition, Joan began to recover and was released a week later.
The runt of the litter, who was purchased as a guard dog shortly after the Farrell home was robbed, clearly protects more than their possessions — she protects their lives.