People and Places
Jim’s got a heart big enough for two

For Jim Mavrogiannis, Lilly the American staffy came into his life purely by accident. “Lucky for me, when I met my fiancé, Rhiannon, it was a package deal and I not only got my soon-to-be-wife but also Lilly and our cat Willow along with her,” said Jim. 

This black beauty, who is turning five this year, is full of personality and clearly loves the camera. Jim describes her as behaving like a little human, including the time she chucked a classic ‘staffy tantrum’ because she didn’t like the idea of Jim going on an overseas holiday. So the little lass took the situation into her own paws and proceeded to chew up his passport. How can you get mad at that face, though?

Lilly’s a smarty pants and wants everyone to know it. Once in Sydney she escaped from a friend’s yard and ran away – straight to the pet café. Those doggy cappuccino cravings are real! Rhiannon and Jim got a call from the café saying she was there receiving all of the pats and being fed by everyone. 

Now Lilly’s scored her own café because her new dad owns Laneway Espresso Dromana. So it’s no surprise that Lilly gets special treatment. She’s always excited to stop by for pats from her paparazzi, and her personal chef serves up a bowl of ham or bacon. The people most susceptible to her puppy dog eyes are without a doubt Jim’s parents. They’re serial offenders at feeding her too many treats when she stops by for a visit. Being very well fed doesn’t stop this cheeky chick from sneaking everything – she’s a little pig in a dog’s body. 

“One time we had friends over and she ate an entire wheel of camembert cheese. We only noticed when she had finished and got to the crackers and we could hear her crunching them!”

We at Mornington Peninsula Magazine first fell in love with Lilly when she stole the show in Laneway Espresso Dromana’s editorial in Eat.Drink Mornington Peninsula 2020 – complete with the pair in matching denim jackets. “She gets recognised sometimes from that picture. She’s a little bit famous in the pet world now and I swear she knows it. Her face is now on some of the Laneway Espresso shirts we sell.” 

The denim jacket is her favourite look but she’s not the biggest fan of dressing up. It’s all about the accessories, like a cute scarf on her collar when she goes out on the town. It’s her go-to look to make her appear more approachable because some people are apprehensive about staffies as a breed – plus she gets more pats when she’s fashionable. 

This princess spends most nights on her human parents’ bed, often sleeping horizontally across it with her legs in the air while Jim and Rhiannon are almost falling off the sides. When it’s time for a date night, Lilly will sit near the door and look at the couple with a sad expression to make them feel guilty about going out without her. 

She’s an actor in training too. If you pretend to shoot at her and say “Bang! Bang!” she plays dead – but only if you have food. Yep, typical staffy!


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