Neapolitan Mastiffs are one of the world’s oldest breeds, tracing their heritage to Alexander the Great, who brought them into Rome around 300 B.C. They are large – make that huge – measuring up to 29 inches and weighing up to 154 pounds.
Although they have been used as military and watch dogs, Neapolitan Mastiffs are gentle giants that command a lot of attention wherever they go. And Dilly does just that when he visits to schools, hospitals and nursing homes as a representative of St. Huberts’ PAWS – pet therapy team.
One of the things that PAWS requires of its members is that they are tested and recertified every three years. And, recently, it was time for Dilly to re-take the test.
This meant that he had to demonstrate that he could sit, stay, and come when called. He had to make friends with strangers and not become upset when around medical equipment.
Dilly is able to do all of that. Usually.
But while waiting to be tested, Dilly found a squeak toy that someone had dropped in the hall.
When it was time for the test, Dilly’s owner tossed the newly-found toy aside and took Dilly into the testing room.
His owner tried to get Dilly to focus. The tester even offered him a dog cookie. But Dilly wouldn’t move. He just sat at the door and cried and cried.
Finally, everyone agreed to postpone Dilly’s test and let him have the toy.
A month went by and Dilly returned for his recertification test. Everyone checked the hallway. No toys. Dilly went inside and passed.
Once again he visits schools, hospitals and nursing home. When he makes new friends his tail wags and wags. The people he visits are happy to see him. And Dilly does not cry.