Last May, a golden retriever named Lily went viral on TikTok for her adorable role as a delivery dog at the Original Dog Treat Company in Austin. The video, which shows Lily carrying a brown paper shopping bag in her mouth, bringing a customer their order, and shaking paws with them for good measure (no risk of COVID with this member of the service industry!), has now garnered 3.3 million views.
Lily is eight years old and eager to please her employers — AKA owners — Michael and Tanya Ludden, the founders of the company. Her official title is “resident Treat Delivery Specialist,” and she loves belly rubs and attention from customers, which she’s had lots of since becoming a social media sensation.
“She doesn’t know she’s famous, but she’s loving all the attention,” Michael says. “The more people who come to see her, the happier she is. She’s in heaven.”
Delivery Dog Lily Will Bring You Treats
The Original Dog Treat Company has three trucks in locations across Austin: Barton Springs Road, South 1st Street and Arbor Food Park, all serving up the healthiest vegan dog treats in the game. If you’re looking to meet Lily in person, Michael says they typically bring her along with them to one of the locations two or three times a week, announcing her appearance on social media beforehand.
“When she’s there, she’ll nudge me on the left side of my leg to indicate she wants to deliver and if there’s not another dog around, I’ll let her and reward her with a healthy treat from our selection,” Michael says. “Occasionally, she’ll be tired and if someone comes to the window she’ll just curl up and look at me, but most of the time she’s game.”
Treat Delivery is a Breeze for This Smart Dog
Michael explains that Lily was eight years old when she learned the trick, but she had already been trained to “take it,” “bring it” and “drop it” with various objects, so learning to deliver the treat bags was a breeze for this prodigious pup.
“It turns out you actually can teach an old dog new tricks,” Michael says.
In addition to her role as a delivery dog, Lily will soon be stepping into a new role as a big sister. Along with her twin brother Charlie, she recently posed in a photo announcing Tanya’s pregnancy.
Company’s Dog Treats are All Made From Scratch
As well as being vegan, all treats from the Original Dog Treat Company are organic, gluten-free, all-natural, free of preservatives and added sugar, and made completely from scratch. The company offers three different products: Woof Waffles, made with coconut flour, coconut oil and flaxseed; the Nutripooch Pouch with organic sweet potato and beetroot, and Breath Bones, which are made of berries, honey, mint, chia seeds and agar-agar and will help your pooch beat bad breath.
For added convenience, the Original Dog Treat Company now offers delivery services across Austin — humans usually take care of any orders involving the operation of a motor vehicle, but there’s really no telling what Lily will learn to do next. Visit one of their three in-person locations for your chance to witness Lily the delivery dog in action.
Looking for more things to do in Austin?
Fun Things To Do in Austin
2. Book lovers, rejoice! The Texas Book Festival is back this fall with a hybrid event in 2021.
3. Visit these 5 local businesses helping to Keep Austin Weird.
4. Check out the Black is Beautiful exhibit at the Blanton Museum of Art, which features the work of activist and photographer Kwame Brathwaite who popularized the phrase.
5. Catch some fresh tunes at the drop-in summer concert series, which features local artists and runs until September 9th.
Lead image courtesy Michael and Tanya Ludden