Farm dog 'a hero and a honey'

Lilly with her padded paws (Thomas Mead)
Lilly with her padded paws (Thomas Mead)

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, including ones with four paws -- like Lilly the farm dog who got burnt in a fire.

Lilly suffered burns to all four paws and parts of her body after a fire got out of control at Sharedale farm near Timaru.

Farm manager Darcy Tong says a four-week-old fire reignited in a block of trees last week.

"I was at home and went back up to check on it and [the fire] was out of control," he says.

Mr Tong called 111 immediately.

He and his boss went out to check on the fire and noticed some sheep heading straight towards the flames.

He sent Lilly out to herd them back safely and she managed to cut about half-a-dozen off before Mr Tong thought she was getting dangerously close.

"She got real close to the fire and that's when I pulled her back," he says. 

Mr Tong says all of the sheep would have "cooked" if Lilly didn't manage to get them out.

Afterwards, he noticed her skin got stuck on the deck of the truck and quickly put her in a water trough to cool down.

Lilly gets to go home today (Thomas Mead)

Bryan Gregor from Aorangi Veterinary Services says a call came in that a dog had been caught in a fire.

He says Lilly was "severely" burnt on all four paws and had suffered heat exhaustion.

"The owner did exactly the right thing, he picked her up and put her in the water trough to cool her down," he says.

Lilly has been patched up and is healing well, Mr Gregor says. She won't have any long term issues and her whiskers and eyebrows burnt off in the fire will grow back.

She gets to go home today but Mr Gregor will be missing her.

"Lilly's one of the loveliest dogs I've dealt with," he says.

"She's a hero and she's a honey."