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Wary of petting, dog relents in company of former, current master

Patti is more like a wild dog than a pet to the families she's belonged to. The shepherd mix is a recluse — refusing to be petted, running away from humans. Until one weekend, during an exchange that would send Patti back to her original masters, she surprisingly let down her guard.


Wild dog: Patti is part Anatolian shepherd, part Great Pyrenees. Pyrenees have been used to protect sheep against wolves by farmers across the world, like here in the Swiss Alps.


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The big, elusive dog lay sedated in a ball on the floor of an Armstrong County family's basement.

Nearly a dozen people who share a love of the 8-year-old Anatolian shepherd-Great Pyrenees mix gathered around, crying and marveling how a dog so leery of humans attracted such a devoted following.


"You don't even like people, but so many love you," said Jackie Deems, an Ohio woman who once owned the herding dog and on Saturday drove eight hours to claim her after a three-year separation. "Look at all these people here, just for you."

The approximately 170-pound dog — originally Patti, but renamed Lily by the Apollo family who wound up looking after her for the past two years — has had many homes. Deems hopes this move is Patti's last.

Her story started on a farm in Appalachia, Ohio. Deems bought Patti and her sister, Sweetie, from a family there when the pups were 10 months old. Deems said the family did not know how to care for the animals and kept the roaming, herding dogs in a small metal cage with no protection from the hot August sun.


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