“[She] knows she’s capable of anything” ❤️️
Anna Marie Giannini thought Tilly was an unique Tibetan spaniel puppy the moment she met her. Giannini had responded to an internet post for a litter of puppies for adoption, but one of them was unique.
Giannini didn’t mind that Tilly wasn’t a “typical” puppy; unusual was nice to her.
“They had warned me when I came that one of the puppies was defective and that they couldn’t find her a home, which may lead to euthanasia,” Giannini told The Dodo. “Before he finished delivering that dreadful comment, I had already fallen in love with her and planned out our future year together in my thoughts.”
Tilly was born with short spine syndrome, a rare disease in which her compressed vertebrae give her an exceptionally small back and no neck.
Tilly was placed in Giannini’s arms, and she couldn’t believe no one wanted such a sweet puppy.
“She was this filthy little fluff ball when I acquired her,” Giannini recalled. “She fit perfectly in my palm, and as we drove home from where I picked her up, she rested in my lap and gazed up at me with her large brown eyes, and I knew she needed me just as much as I needed her,” says the author.
Tilly will never feel unwanted again, Giannini promised.
Tilly’s small spine became more noticeable as she grew older. But it hasn’t prevented her from following in the footsteps of her canine companions. “She was born with a condition, and her body has learnt to adapt, much as humans born with a syndrome,” Giannini added. “Because of her small spine, she has had no health difficulties or complications, and [we] anticipate her to have a long, healthy life.”
Giannini seems to forget that Tilly is different most of the time. The only time the small dog requires assistance is when she has to go on and off of furniture, which she accomplishes by using customized steps. She can’t swivel her head to scratch or chew herself because of her tight spine. So her mother makes it a point to scratch her and give her a little massage throughout the day.
Tilly makes it a point to show her mother how fortunate she is to be raised in a caring environment.
@tillythefriendlyloaf Tilly sits where Tilly fits #tillybean ♬ original sound – Andrew Stovall
“She sleeps like a small human in my bed, with her head on the pillow and her legs tucked into the blanket,” Giannini added. “She has to be around me at all times, caressing me.” She stands between my legs as I’m cooking. When I’m doing my homework, she’s there next to me, paws on my lap.”
“She’ll suddenly come up to me and give me kisses and then go back to laying down every hour or so while we’re home,” she continued. “It works like a clock.” It’s as though she can’t operate without kisses!”
Tilly doesn’t believe she’s strange, but her distinct appearance attracts a lot of attention on the street, from both humans and dogs.
“Other canines are typically fascinated by her and treat her with greater gentleness,” Giannini remarked. “Tilly, on the other hand, is unconcerned since she knows she’s capable of anything. She’s a determined young lady who loves to play with any dog of any size.”
Tilly has taught Giannini a lot, and she wouldn’t exchange her time with her for anything.
“On a daily basis, Tilly reminds me to be grateful for another day,” Giannini added. “I’m grateful I get to be the one to offer a nice life for her and that I get to spend all this time with her because of the unknown when I got her and her being so unique and loving.”
She went on to say, “She continuously tells me that being different is a great thing.”