How Lily the Cancer-Free Dog is Spreading Hope For Pet Owners

PetMD Editorial
Updated: January 31, 2018
Published: August 21, 2015
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Good news tends to travel fast, especially on the internet. But sometimes it can take the good news a little bit longer to reach an audience—making the wait even more worth it. Case in point: Lily the Golden Retriever, whose joyous reaction to the news that she was cancer-free has become a viral sensation, nearly six months after the video was uploaded by her human.

Pet360 caught up with Lily’s pet parent, Daniela Stolfi-Tow, to talk about how the happy and healthy dog is doing.

First things first, Lily is “fantastic.” As Stolfi-Tow put it, “She’s like a new dog!” Lily was thought to have hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer found in dogs. There was only a 10 percent chance that the six-pound tumor removed from Lily’s spleen by the vets at Feather and Fur Hospital wasn’t going to be cancerous. But, miraculously, it wasn't. Even more stunning, doctors informed them that in 25 years they hadn’t had the results come back negative. Lily’s once-in-a-lifetime good news and her perfectly adorable and appropriate reaction made for the perfect story.

Stolfi-Tow—who resides in Oahu, Hawaii, with her husband and Lily, along with her other rescue pets—said the family is “over the moon” about the positive response to the clip. “The whole intention was [to bring] awareness to this type of cancer, and it is doing that,” she says.

The heartwarming video—which gained traction when it appeared on the front page of Reddit (“It was crazy how fast it took off,” Lily’s human said)—has had more than 2 million hits to date. So what does Lily think of being an internet star? “She pretty much had the same reaction as when I told her she didn’t have cancer,” says Stolfi-Tow.

The video has touched the lives of many people, particularly animal lovers who have also gone through the traumatic experience of having a sick pet. “So many people have been sharing their stories, not just on YouTube, but every site it has been on,” says Stolfi-Tow. “I have spent days reading comments and was in tears.”

Stolfi-Tow (who is active in animal rescue efforts and uses the funds from her viral videos to donate to no-kill shelters, among other organizations), urges those going through something similar to “do your research and don’t give up hope.”

“Our pets are like supernovas; they shine so bright and fade out so fast. Anything we can do to keep them with us as long as possible we try and do,” says Stolfi-Tow. “Thankfully, we were lucky.”

Watch the heartwarming clip below:


Image: Screen capture of Lily getting the good news from her human mom / Mrs Makai