Tilly Transforms From a Sick Puppy Into a Beloved Best Friend

When Project Buddy Dog Rescue took in Tilly, she had severe skin and ear issues. Now the healthy Pit Bull has a forever family.

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When Ashley Stamm got the call about an extremely sick, 6-month-old Pit Bull puppy, she knew she had to do something. At the time, her group, Project Buddy Dog Rescue, based in Kingston, Washington, wasn’t accepting any more dogs, but the little pup was suffering and going downhill fast. Ashley knew that without medical attention, she wasn’t going to make it. So she took it upon herself to foster the sick dog and do everything she could to save her life.

“She had demodex mange, secondary skin infection, severe double ear infection, and 104 degree fever,” said Ashley, who is the rescue director for Project Buddy. The puppy, named Tilly, was far from Ashley, but a transport was arranged to bring the dog to Washington. The trip took 24 hours.

Her first stop was VCA Olympic Animal Hospital. The veterinarians were taken aback. It was the worst case of mange they had ever seen. They worked quickly, starting her on a course of oral steroids and medicated baths, as well as warm and cool compresses to her face and legs to bring down the swelling. The treatment was a success, and within a month’s time the puppy’s skin healed and her hair began growing back in.

Tilly on the road to recovery.
Tilly on the road to recovery. (Photo courtesy Ashley Stamm)

Throughout her recovery, Tilly had quite the fan club going, with lots of people interested in eventually adopting her. But Ashley and her family had developed a special bond with the sweet Pit Bull, and Ashley eventually realized that Tilly was already home.

“At the time, I had every intention of healing her and finding her a home,” Ashley said. “As time went on, I felt as if Tilly was sent to us for a reason. Six months to the day prior to her arrival here, I had lost my childhood horse. While we healed her physically, she was healing me emotionally. That’s when we knew she belonged here with our family.”

Today, Tilly is living a life most dogs can only dream of. The Stamms live on a sanctuary with many rescued animals, including other dogs, cats, goats, chickens, bunnies, and horses. “She greets them all with a wagging tail and soft eyes,” Ashley said. “A true friend to everyone. She honestly doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.”

Tilly and Audrey are the best of friends. (Photos courtesy Two Red Dogs Photography/Meghan Bjornson)
Tilly and Audrey are the best of friends. (Photos courtesy Two Red Dogs Photography/Meghan Bjornson)

Tilly’s new family includes Ashley, her husband, and their three young daughters, whom Tilly loves to hang out with. “Tilly loves her girls,” Ashley said. “Tilly and Audrey (shown in the photos) have always had a special bond. Audrey was only about 16 months old when Tilly came into our lives. It was pretty amazing to see actually. A dog with raw, red, bare skin who smelled had this little girl so intrigued. It truly was love from the very first day. Wherever Audrey is, Tilly is too.”

When she’s not playing with her girls, Tilly loves to snuggle on the couch, chew on raw bones, romp in the horse pastures, and run around in mud puddles. And she’s living proof that a “throwaway dog” can truly blossom into a priceless pup.

“Tilly is one in a million,” Ashley said. “There will never be a dog quite like her. The way she loves with her entire being no matter what is inspirational. To be able to love like Tilly would be a true gift.”

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Jackie Brown

Jackie is a freelance writer specializing in the pet industry. She lives in Southern California with her husband, son, and adorable Miniature Poodle, Jäger, who is obsessed with fetch and killing all the toys. She is the former editor of Rescue Proud, Dog World, and Puppies 101. Follow her on Twitter or visit her website.

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