Service dog helps LRHS TV production teacher’s health

Savannah Adams – Special to Mustangs Ahead

Lily helps LRHS teacher Jessica Pellicone monitor her health

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – If you stop by LRHS TV production teacher Jessica Pellicone’s classroom, you might be greeted by her service dog, Lily.

Lily is a Chocolate Labrador Retriever and a medical alert dog. Pellicone has brain stem migraines with aura, which can greatly impact her daily life.

People with this condition experience visual, sensory, and speech impairments when a migraine arises.

Lily helps by detecting when Pellicone is about to have a migraine up to 48 hours before the event. Pellicone stated, “She can smell the chemical change in the body before I realize a migraine is imminent and alerts me to take medicine that will lessen the effects.”

Pellicone adopted Lily as an eight-week-old from Nate’s Honor Animal Rescue in 2019.  She used multiple different services, research, and took one full year to train Lily. Now, Lily will alert Pellicone to take her medicines and lean up against her if she becomes faint or dizzy.

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While Lily only has three legs Pellicone said, “It has never affected her work and I am pretty sure she thinks that dogs with four legs are the odd ones.”

Despite her serious duties, Lily is a fun and playful dog.

Pellicone stated, “Just like anyone who has a job, it is important to have down time.” Lily enjoys playing with chew toys and her canine friends at home. Of course, if Lily detects something is wrong, she will stop everything to alert her Pellicone.

Recently for 2021 homecoming spirit week Pellicone dressed Lily up to fit Tuesday’s theme, “tacky tourist”.

Although Pellicone and Lily live a unique life, this does not restrict them from participating in regular activities.