On June 6, Berkeley Patch posted the touching story of Lilly, a rescued Pit Bull-mix who was walking in the State Park with her owner Dona Timoney of Beachwood, NJ, when the 51-year-old woman collapsed and lost consciousness.
Lilly's devotion to the woman who had rescued her from a North Carolina "drug house" a year ago caused her to run back down the sugar sand path near the cranberry bogs in Double Trouble State Park with her leash dragging behind her, searching for help for Dona.
Lilly fortunately encountered Frank Delarosa was also walking in the park. Delarosa picked Lilly up, intending to take her to the park office for safety. But Lilly squirmed out of his arms and led him insistently to the location where Timoney was still lying unconscious, but breathing, reported Patch.com.
DelaRosa called rescuers, who quickly arrived and transported Dona to Community Medical Center, where she was airlifted to Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston. Lilly went safely home with Timoney’s daughter.
Berkeley Detective Will Cullen spoke of Dona and told the Patch, “The back of her car was filled with treats and bones. “She’s obviously an avid animal lover.”
Sadly, Berkeley Patch reporter Patricia A. Miller wrote on June 17 that Dona's friend Debbie McConnell posted the following announcement in the comments section:
"It is with great sadness that I inform you Lilly's owner Dona has passed away last night. She will be greatly missed. Lilly will be staying in her own home with Dona's daughter."
Dona’s deep love for Lilly is obvious in the on-line record of The Pampered Pet Resort in Toms River, NJ, where it shows Lilly has been a member for 1 year, 2 weeks.
Dona’s obituary reveals that she also had over 25 years of service as a U.S. Postal carrier in Pine Beach and that she is survived by a loving family, including “her best companions, Lilly her dog, Cooper and Lola her cats, and grand kitty, Dobby.”