Death And Friends- Hilli Has Flown Away

My intention was to write blog posts for each of my dogs. All three of them have a story. We all have stories, but I think that dogs that have come from the shelter situations and have passed through many hands, have greater ones to tell.

This past week I had written about my eldest dog, Hilli, in a post titled “Sweet Souls Of An Old Dog-Hilli”. Hilli was a senior Australian Cattle Dog that I had adopted this past October. Hilli had been dumped at a shelter in Oklahoma for being “too old”. I took her despite the issues that came with her and she proved to make up for all of that with love.

It is with regret that a week later, Hilli has passed away.

I was home for the day after spending my morning at the market and was in pretty high spirits because I had finally located some curtains with patterns that I could live with for the upper level windows of my house.  I was happily doing house work, including laundry.

Hilli liked to lay on her bed in the basement. Just adjacent to where she liked to take her naps is the laundry room. When you run the dryer, it gets comfortably warm and creates the ideal environment for napping. I think that’s why she liked to lay down there so much.

I was making my way down the steps to change the laundry out and as I came to the bottom of the stairs I noticed that Hilli didn’t look quite right and on closer inspection, I realized that she was gone. It had only been a matter of minutes since she had flown away.

I called my friend Diana, the friend I hike with a lot, and told her the news. Diana and her husband own a lot of property so I wanted to see if I could bury her there. I’ve also never had anyone pass away at home or in the middle of winter before, so that posed a problem.

We decided that the best thing to do was to place Hilli in the freezer until the ground thawed and we could give her a proper burial.  After some discussion and debating on whether or not we would get in trouble or if we cared that we would get in trouble, we decided that we were going to place her on the grounds in one of the parks where we liked to hike.

It might seem gross to some people to place her in a freezer for a couple of months but I think it’s the best thing to honor her life. She deserves it. She lived all of those years and in the end, was dumped by the people who were supposed to love her.

I don’t know that Hilli was ever mistreated. If she had been, she didn’t show it. Hilli was a very loving dog and never knew a stranger.  She was always very sweet and receptive to everyone that she met.

But.. In the end, she was dumped and left with an unknown future. Her former owner probably has no idea that a breed specific rescue had taken her out of the shelter and transported her to Illinois to be adopted out to someone in north central Indiana.

Whomever had her probably assumed that she was just put to sleep and never gave it a second thought. If they even cared enough to give it a second though. Probably not though. Any decent person with a conscience would never have left their senior partner behind like that.

The last five months of her life were spent hiking, napping, eating and playing with my ten year old son. I know that she really enjoyed the time that she spent out on the trail and even though she was older, she had no trouble keeping up.

It only makes sense to lay her to rest in one of the places that she came to know and really enjoyed spending time at. I think I have the perfect spot in mind. The hard part is going to be sneaking on to the property with a shovel. I’m sure it will be fine.

I have just a little anxiety over knowing that I have a frozen dog in my best friends freezer. It’s also kind of comical and it’s like Diana told me “Everyone needs a friend that will let you keep a body in their freezer,”

How true is that?

I enjoyed my time with sweet little Hilli. I wish I could have had more time with her. I just hope that her last few months on Earth were happy and comfortable and that she never felt any sadness and if she did, it was only for a moment.

She will be missed.


Hilli getting a drink during one of our hikes

11 thoughts on “Death And Friends- Hilli Has Flown Away

  1. kellyanneolga says:

    Aw, what a sweet/sad story. What a way to go though, peaceful really, no agonizing over her health or having to decide to put her down. Sweet Hilli, lucky girl indeed to have you guys! And it makes me wish I had a friend like yours! Keeping a body in the freezer, special friend for sure! I have one thought on the burial…we lost our old dog Scout last spring and intended to bury him on some recreational property we have in the hills. But the soil there is SO rocky and tough to dig in (it was hard enough to bury our cats) that we probably would have needed to hire a backhoe to dig a big enough hole. So, maybe when the ground is thawed out ,go do some prelims with a shovel at the spot you choose to make sure it’s not too bad 😦
    Hugs all around~ K

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jennlives says:

    Thanks, I appreciate that.. While I shouldn’t be shocked that she has passed I’m still kind of surprised and a bit disappointed. We were just talking about the weather getting warmer and getting beds to put out on the patio for everyone. My mother makes some pretty nice dog beds, I need to post a photo of the ones she made everyone for Christmas last year… Hilli would’ve loved the backyard in the spring day summer. It’s mostly shaded.. I’m glad that I got to be the one to take her and keep her.. I won’t hesitate to take another senior dog if the opportunity presented itself..

    Liked by 2 people

  3. jennlives says:

    I’m glad that she made the decision for me. While I’m not completely shocked that she passed away, I’m still a bit surprised. She hadn’t been acting strange at all. She just took a nap and didn’t wake up. Lucky way to go, having sweet dreams.

    Di is awesome. We’ve both been through some crazy bs together and we just get each other completely. She didn’t even hesitate. Which reminds me, I need to send her a Starbucks gift card to her e-mail. We pay each other back in coffee lol.

    I am thinking about constructing something to place her body in. I’m concerned about critters getting ahold of her more than anything. If I can make like a medium sized wooden box to put her in and nail it shut, hopefully that can at least keep animals out of it. That should also degrade overtime too.. I have at least two months to work that out.

    We are in north central Indiana so around here the ground is regular old soil and or sand. It shouldn’t be too hard to dig after it warms up. Where she’s going is just typical dirt. Nice view of the lake near by. She liked it out there. Be nice to go by and visit now and then too..

    Sorry to hear about your pup too. That stinks 😕


  4. PSimons says:

    I’m really sorry for your loss. I have assisted in many euthanasias but have never actually lost one of my own dogs. I don’t think I want to imagine what feelings occur in that moment. Passing at home is rare, as you know, but it sounds as though she did so peacefully. Sounds like her last moments were as ideal as they could be for a happy pup. Thank you for the quality of life you gave her and for rescuing her. Thank you more so for rescuing a senior pup. Every dog deserves to live and die surrounded by a loving family.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. HikingGirlWithDog says:

    This is a lovely post. I must admit it got me teary. I don’t understand how someone can get rid of a dog just because she got old… Hilli was meant to spend the last stage of her life with you happily and then go peacefully at home. Happy for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ReadBetweentheLyme says:

    Sorry your pal is off to run the fields free. We had an old guy, Jeb, who pulled up into the driveway a year ago New Year’s Eve. We weren’t sure he would make it through the night. My mom took him in and lavished him with treats and love. At least his last 9 months were awesome. He passed in September and we all miss him dearly. Thinking of you. Your love changed a life!

    Liked by 1 person

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