See You Later, Snoopey. Thanks for Everything

This picture is of Snoopey taking a nap on my arm some time ago.

Today Snoopey left us and went into the Hands of God. It was very sudden. She was fine this morning, ate her full breakfast, went outside as usual, and then came back in for her late morning nap. When I called her to go outside again about 12:30 p.m., she didn’t come. She looked peaceful, still napping, but when I touched her, she did not respond. She had passed in her sleep. No sign of pain or distress. Just rest.

For the first time, I did CPR on a dog. To no effect. I am in total disbelief. We believe it was a heart attack. It was so quick.

Snoopey came to us when she was almost 2 years old. We don’t know much about her first 2 years except that people always seemed to be trying to get rid of her. She was great with people, but not so much with dogs. She could tolerate other canines at a distance and that was about it.

When she came to us, I made her a promise that I would never re-home her. By the grace of Almighty God, I was able to keep my promise. On this earth, she was never again re-homed. Until today. This home going is the one that will last forever.

What can I say about Snoopey?

She loved sunbathing and hated the rain. Sadly, this entire week has been cloudy and rainy, and she was not able to sunbathe a single time. I tried to keep up with minute to minute forecasts so that she could go outside during the thin windows of time when it was not pouring rain.

She loved her collar. Some time back, I went to buy her a new one and took the old one off to measure it. She just about went nuts until I put it back on her. A neighbor told me that some dogs feel vulnerable and naked without their collars. Snoopey was one of those. I left her with the pet cremation people this afternoon. The last thing I did was to take off her collar. She won’t need it or miss it anymore. She’ll never feel naked or vulnerable again.

She and Tiger were enemies. True enemies. The ‘Don’t you come over here! I’ll tear you up!” kind of enemies. Both had difficult pasts. Today, after I was sure that Snoopey had gone, I brought each pack member to see and sniff her body. I kept Tiger back until the last. I wasn’t sure what would happen. When Tiger approached Snoopey’s body, she sniffed her face and front feet. The other bulldogs started to bark, and Tiger hunched down protectively over Snoopey’s head and barked back. She stayed there for a few minutes until she started to snip at Snoopey’s hind legs. I pulled her away at that point. I don’t know if she was trying to play with Snoopey or provoke a response from an old nemesis. Tiger is still sniffing around the room for her.

Snoopey was best friends with a cat. Odd for a bulldog. She and Moon the Cat got so close that Snoopey allowed Moon into her crate. No fighting. No hissing. No biting. No scratching. Just friendship. I don’t know what Moon’s reaction to Snoopey’s death will be. Moon was here in the house alone almost 8 years ago when my little Corgi, Susie, laid down and breathed her last in the utility room. I came home from work to find Susie’s body still warm. Moon did not enter the utility room for 6 months (which was awkward since that was where Moon’s litter box was).

Snoopey has been my bed buddy for the last 15 months. She is the first dog that I ever allowed into my bed. When we got up in the mornings, most times, she would sit up and lean against me and I would throw my left arm around her shoulders. They say that dogs don’t like to be hugged, but Snoopey never seemed to mind. I think that I may have been one of the only humans who ever showed her that kind of love and acceptance.

Snoopey and Stella were sisters. Stella knows that Snoopey is gone. She knows more precisely than any other member of the pack. She was sighing and crying quietly this afternoon when I returned from the pet cremation place. LORD God, God of all comfort! Comfort all who mourn and grieve for whatever reason. You Who Are Love, You Who Love Your Creation! Love each of us in the deepest place of our need.

Snoopey was the Pack Leader. Tiger wanted to be, but Snoopey watched over the others. She always checked on them every time she came in from outside.

I confess it. I am a Christian. These words give me hope and encouragement, even in the loss of a dog. God cares for His creatures.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat on the throne said, Behold I make all things new…” (Revelation 21:4-5 KJV)

Please hug everyone you love tonight one extra time, even if it is in your prayers and not with your arms. Tonight, when I go to bed, Snoopey won’t be there to hug. But Stella and the others will be.




Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.






Two Long Ears and a Tiny Step of Faith

Our old rabbit, Moo-Moo, died today. She came to us because her previous owner, a 5-year-old boy, had an allergic dad. That was particularly sad because it was his dad who had gotten Moo-Moo for the boy to begin with.

They named her Moo-Moo because she was black and white and reminded the boy of a Holstein cow.

My daughter called me, hoping that I would be able to take the rabbit in. The request came at a bad time. I was minimally employed. The thought of taking on another expense twisted in my stomach. These were the pre-bulldog years, but still we had Susie the Welsh Corgi, Moon the part-Siamese cat, and a yellow parakeet named Buddy.

The boy’s father had checked with all the local shelters. No one had room for even one more bunny. My daughter said that the dad had built a three-story “condominium” for Moo-Moo (that’s bunny stories, not human stories -still pretty impressive). And the rabbit was litter box trained.

I was on my way home from one of my part-time jobs when my daughter called. I told her I would think about it and get back to her quickly, one way or the other.

The boy didn’t want to give the rabbit up. His heart was probably breaking. That’s all that I could think about on the drive home. How unhappy that would have made me. How he might be tempted to be angry with his father even though it wasn’t the father’s fault. How he might worry about where Moo-Moo would end up and what would happen to her.

What was the current price of rabbit food? Could I commit the room for a 3-story rabbit hutch? Did I need to take on another pet?

I did not know the father or the boy. I had never met either of them and I never have. I had no personal obligation to take on the animal or solve their re-homing problem.

And then I saw myself as the small, stingy, doubt-filled person I had become. If I couldn’t commit to take in a rabbit, a litter-trained rabbit with a 3-story condominium no less, what could I do? Before I even got home, I called my daughter back and told her Moo-Moo could come live with us. But, I added, be sure and bring the condo.

Being a rabbit, Moo-Moo was quiet though, early on, we almost renamed her “Thumper”. She expressed definite opinions about my volume level in the house. If I laughed too loudly at a comedy show or sang aloud, she thumped the floor of her condo violently. It was her rabbit version of an old-fashioned librarian putting her finger to her lips and shushing an unruly patron.

Among the bulldogs, Miss Sweetie had the closest rapport with Moo-Moo. They touched noses and carried on silent conversations. Miss Sweetie circled the rabbit condo with Moo-Moo keeping pace inside of it, a bulldog-rabbit race that went on until one or the other of them tired out.

Eventually Miss Sweetie would collapse with her back against the outside of the condo and Moo-Moo would skip up to the third floor of her rabbit home to take a rest.

It was Miss Sweetie who let me know that something was amiss this morning.  I had given Moo-Moo’s water and food a cursory look as I went about morning chores. Moo-Moo was stretched out as she usually was in the morning, right next to her nesting box on her condo’s third floor. About an hour later, Miss Sweetie had placed her paws on the condo and lifted herself up to sniff at Moo-Moo who had not shifted her position at all.

Miss Sweetie never reached up to the third floor because Moo-Moo always came down to her level to play. It was as though the bulldog was asking why her friend had not started their playtime.

And that’s when I knew.

I carefully picked up Moo-Moo’s body with Miss Sweetie watching. “She’s left. That’s all.” It was the only thing that I could think to say. Miss Sweetie looked at Moo-Moo and then walked away.

No one who lives on this earth avoids facing the fact of death.

Animals are sensitive to it. When my Corgi, Susie, died in our utility room while everyone was out of the house, our cat, Moon, would not walk into the room for the next 6 months. When one of our chickens died suddenly last spring, Snoopey, who always stays right beside me in the yard, would not approach the chicken run with me. She stayed far back, just watching.

That’s why I made sure that Miss Sweetie saw Moo-Moo as I took the body away. Moo-Moo was gone, but she didn’t just disappear. She left.

If I could, if I knew where the father and son who had to give up Moo-Moo were, I would let them know these things:

She lived a good, long time.

I think, I hope she enjoyed herself.

That 3-story rabbit condominium was genius and it held up well. She got lots of exercise jumping up and down the levels. It helped her stay healthy.

She had friends and at least one of them was a bulldog.

She laid down one night and peacefully went to sleep. She showed no pain. She felt no fear.

She will be remembered and she will be missed.

She helped me take a tiny step of faith which helped me take others.

And someday, we won’t experience death anymore.

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:5 KJV




Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.

Conversations with Stella – My Beautiful Bed, Goodbye!

Me:        Stella, the Olde English Bulldogge, is frustrated and sad. She is going through a mini crisis.

Stella:   Mini? You mean like those little dachshunds. No, not mini! Biggy! A biggy sad!

Me:        Okay, a biggy sad. Why don’t you explain?

Stella:   My bed! My wonderful, perfect bed! The one Tall Man gave me the first night I came here to my new home. It’s ….gone! Destroyed! Life will never be the same!

Me:        And how did it come to be destroyed so suddenly?

Stella:   Mmmmm, not sure.

Me:        Mmmmm, think about it.

Stella:   Well, my fancy Nylabone was stuck under my bed and it refused to come out when I called it so I could chew on it and I got more and more frustrated and I started pawing at the pad and I kept on and on…and before I knew it, a big hole…just appeared…and stuffing came out…and….AAAAWWWWGHH! The floor to my beautiful bed was GONE!


Me:        Do you understand how the big hole happened?

Stella:   AAAAWWWWGHH! No!

Me:        The beds are not meant to be pawed and pawed like that. You have to be gentle with them.

Stella:   AAAAWWWWGHH! But I’m a bulldog!

Me:        At least I got your Nylabone untangled.

Stella:   Yes…thank you. Chewing on it made me feel better.

Me:        Hey, I gave you another bed.

Stella:   It’s not the same.

Me:        It’s the same size by the same company.

Stella:   Not the same. Doesn’t smell like me.

Me:        It will. Honestly, it probably already does.

Stella:   Not the same. My beautiful bed had dog memories. I had some great dreams in that bed. Running, barking, chasing the cat. Gone. All gone.

Me:        You will enjoy new dreams.

Stella:   How would you feel if your bed was destroyed?

Me:        I would have to get another and break it in, get used to it, but it would be all right.

Stella:   Your bed must not be as special as mine was.

Me:        Special? I don’t know. It’s comfortable.

Stella:   AAAAWWWWGHH! You don’t understand!

Me:        Well, I am going to try to fix your old bed. I am going to sew a new floor into it so you will still have the same bolster all the way around it on which to rest your head.

Stella:   You can do that? Really?

Me:        I can try. I have some fabric that might work. Even for a bulldog.

Stella:   When? When? When?

Me:        Give me a few days. I’m going to have to stitch it by hand.

Stella:   Lady Human, if there is anything good that I can ever do for you, just let me know.

Me:        You can keep from clawing up the floor of your bed in the future. As for anything else, well, Stella, I think you’ve already done it.


Copyright 2016 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.