What a difference a year can make in a dog’s life. Last May, Lauri Alberti adopted a scared, neglected American Bullie who she happened to run across online. It happened just in the nick of time.
“She was going to be euthanized that day,” Alberti said.
Alberti and her husband drove all the way from Montana to California to pick up the dog, whom they named Lady Di. The two-year-old animal had spent much of its young life tied to a tree.
“She was a mess. She was almost catatonic. She just was recovering from severe infection on her skin from laying in feces and urine. And she was terrified. She was terrified of everything and everybody,” Alberti says.
But Alberti found a way to connect with the canine by introducing her to dock diving, where dogs take to the air jumping for distance into the pool.
“The first time she was very afraid. We didn’t know how it was going to go, but she took to it pretty darn quick,” Alberti says.
It didn’t take long for the two to form a deeper bond.
“She is a completely different dog,” said Sienna Bell, a dock diving instructor at Montana K-9 Aquatics in Billings and a dog trainer. “I told her on one of the very first days I met her that someday we would be best friends. And it took months and months and months of doing fun things and introducing them to new sports and we are finally best friends.”
Alberti wanted to do something to raise funds and awareness, so she’s put together a coloring book—with the help of a local artist Lindsey Munson— to tell Lady Di’s incredible tale.
It’s a story that has a happy ending. Lady Di continues to reach new distances when it comes to dock diving, and most importantly, she’s a changed dog who is now enjoying a good life.
“You know I think every dog deserves a chance. You know they look bad from their first glance—it looks bad and it looks rough, but with consistency with training, with patience you can end up with an amazing animal,” Alberti says.
Montana K-9 Aquatics is located on 48th Street West in Billings. They’ll be holding a grand opening this weekend all day Saturday and Sunday. If you are interested in getting your dog involved in the sport, you can send them a message on the Montana K9 Aquatics Facebook page.