Lincoln couple enjoy the day with their furry companion

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    This year was the sixth annual I Love My Dog Expo put on by Domesti-PUPS at the Lancaster Event Center. The event featured dozens of vendors and various forms of entertainment from agility demonstrations to canine freestyle dancing. Domesti-PUPS is headquartered in Lincoln and provides service dogs for disabled persons, as well as therapy and educational programs.
  • Lincolnatplay2
    Rick and Phyllis Tillman met at work more than 30 years ago. They have two children between them as well as four grandchildren. They adopted their dog, Sadie, in 2006.
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    Sadie is eight or nine years old and is a mix of Labrador retriever, rottweiler and Belgian Tervuren. She loves swimming, playing in snow and singing with Rick when they are at home.
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    Sadie is a very well-behaved dog and has never had an accident in the house. She is a great watchdog and provides the Tillmans with a sense of security by alerting them to people on the property.
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    The Tillmans try not to go anywhere that they can't bring Sadie along. "She's like a child to us," Rick said.

Story, audio and photos by Kathleen Anderson, NewsNetNebraska

It’s easy to make Rick and Phyllis Tillmans’ faces light up.  Just ask them about their dog, Sadie.

“She’s the best thing that ever happened to us,” Phyllis said.

The Tillmans are always looking for dog-friendly places to take Sadie.  So on a recent Saturday, the annual I Love My Dogs Expo seemed like the perfect opportunity for the three of them to do something fun together.  The event is a fundraiser for Domesti-PUPS, an organization that provides service dogs.  Rick and Phyllis look forward to the expo every year.

The Tillmans weren’t always dog lovers.  Rick hadn’t owned a dog since he was young, but when he and Phyllis were asked to watch their neighbor’s dog, they fell in love.

“We had a big fenced-in yard and thought it was time,” Rick said.

In 2006, the couple went to the Humane Society, but the dog they wanted to adopt was already gone.  When they went into the kennel area, all the dogs were barking like crazy;  every dog except Sadie.  She sat there calmly, and the couple immediately knew she was the one.

The canine has found her way into their hearts with her unconditional love.

“It’s like that saying,” Rick said, grinning at Phyllis.  “You put your wife and your dog in the trunk and when you open it, your dog is happy to see you.”

Rick talks about what makes dogs special:

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