WHEN Jenny Deakin made the decision to adopt her first dog since she was a child, she had no idea of the life-changing results that would ensue.

Brentford resident Jenny, 33, along with mother Christina, became the proud owners of Papillon-cross Lily-Rose eight years ago, working hard to train a puppy that had been passed on by her previous two owners.

But the Deakins proved – emphatically – that they were correct in their convictions, with Lily-Rose soon becoming a treasured member of the family.

It was what happened next, however, that marked the pooch out as unique, as she went above and beyond the call of duty in remarkable fashion.

“She’s saved both of our lives,” said Jenny.

“About four years ago I was choking – and I blacked out – and she jumped on my chest to dislodge whatever it was that I was choking on. I owe her my life. 

“Last year my mum had a heart attack and Lily woke me up.

“I just think she’s such an amazing dog and has done so much. It’s something that she’s done, rather than been bred and trained for; she’s just done it automatically for us and you can see it’s all because of the love that she has for us. I just think that she’s the most amazing dog.”

While Lily-Rose’s life-saving propensities would be enough to earn a lifetime of puppy pampering, it’s her day-to-day deeds that have impacted immeasurably.

That’s why Jenny and Christina nominated Lily in the child’s hero category of The Kennel Club’s Friends for Life award, celebrating a pet dog who has seen its owner through the hardest times as well as the happiest. She narrowly missed out on the final short-list though.

The Kennel Club wants to celebrate and share the amazing stories of how dogs give back to us every day of our lives. There will be one winner per category, decided through a public vote, and the overall winner will be announced in the NEC arena at Crufts 2019.

The winner will also be awarded £5,000 and the runners up will each receive – for their nominated canine charity – £1,000 from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust – helping to make a difference for dogs.

“She’s just the most amazing dog, really,” continued Jenny.

“My mum has problems with arthritis, mainly in her legs, and she was having problems bending down and picking things up.

“What was happening was that when I was at work she would have to wait until I got home.

“Lily, straight away, picked up on that and started to pick things up herself. At first it was just a bit of a trick and then the more she watched what I was doing, the more she started to do things herself.

“She’d take my mum’s socks off, put things in and out of the washing machine. Each time she started something new we tried to train it further.

“She’s helped me as well, because I was a bit of a loner; I didn’t go out at all; didn’t talk to anybody.

“When we first got her I wouldn’t have been able to talk on the phone; I just wouldn’t talk to anybody but going out with her – she was such a gorgeous little puppy that everyone was asking about her, so I had to interact! She’s really built up my confidence.”