As well as helping with household tasks, Lily knows when Tina is in pain, and helps to ease the discomfort.
Tina said: “She knows when my hip is playing me up particularly badly. She’ll come and sit next to me and put her chin on my leg. She helps with the pain, but her just being there just takes your mind off of it a bit and it doesn’t seem quite so bad.”
Jenny continued: “We have no idea how Lily can tell when the pain is reaching burning point but we are so grateful that she does. Once we discovered this we started to get my mum up before the pain reached burning point and Lily would bring her a toy. This always makes my mum smile and stops the tears of pain coming through.”
But it is not just Lily’s everyday assistance that makes her a hero; her owners also say they owe their lives to her.
Four years ago Jenny was eating a biscuit with her tea when she began to choke. Before she knew it she was collapsed on the floor, and said that Lily jumped onto her chest to dislodge what was stuck.
Jenny said: “Lily was on the sofa looking at me and she just leapt and landed on my chest. I had a big bruise for days but where she hit dislodged the obstruction. I think she just knew she needed to do something so jumped.”
Life-saving Lily was again put to the test earlier this year when Tina suffered a heart attack as Jenny slept upstairs.
Jenny said: “Late into the night Lily started barking, which is very unusual. She woke me up and kept pawing at me. As I woke I could hear my mum screaming out for help. I got downstairs to find my mum on the floor.
“Not even a minute after starting to call out she heard Lily barking upstairs. Without Lily waking me I may not have heard my mum calling out. She would have been left on the floor until the morning and no one knows what complications that could have caused her. Lily is even more attentive to her now.”
The panel of judges deciding on this year’s medal winner were in awe of Lily-Rose’s story which shone above all the shortlisted pets.
Sally de la Bedoyere, Blue Cross Chief Executive, said: “With the Blue Cross Medal we want to celebrate the amazing things pets do for us and how they change our lives. Lily-Rose is a perfect example of this and we’re honoured to award her with this medal, we also hope her story encourages more people to see the potential of rescue pets.”
Jenny added: “Without her I certainly wouldn’t be here and I believe she saved my mum as well. Lily is such a big part of our family and has enriched our lives massively. She has saved us and loved us. We owe her so much but all she wants is love. She is truly man's best friend."