It is with both sadness and regret that we have to report that Hilda, who was rescued by journalist Liz Jones, has died.
Liz rescued Hilda when she joined the K-9 Angels on a rescue mission to Romania 3 years ago. We found Hilda in the most terrible ‘shelter’ and in a terrible condition. So much so none of us thought she had much of a chance of life, but Liz wanted to adopt her. Hilda went on to spend 3 years being pampered and loved by Liz, she had the best life but unfortunately Hilda died.
The full story features in You magazine, and here’s a link to a video of Hilda happily running around just days before she died.
Thank you to Liz for showing Hilda so much love.
Full story below written by Liz Jones (The Mail journalist)
May Bank Holiday Monday. By 7.30pm, Hilda still hadn’t eaten her dinner.
I had given her a buffet: M&S chicken, scrambled egg and a bowl of milky porridge.
She hadn’t touched a thing. She’d had a tooth out – her last remaining one – a couple of weeks ago, so I figured she was still sore.
I sat down at about half eight, and caught up on TV. Hilda clambered on to my lap, and ate a few Tyrrell’s crisps.
At half past ten, I thought I would go to bed. I closed my laptop and noticed there were bright red spots on the floorboards. Oh my God! ‘Who is bleeding?’ I put on the overhead light and saw Hilda, staggering. She had what looked like raw liver coming out of her mouth and nostrils. Her eyes were shocked. There was blood everywhere. I called the vet at 10.22pm. I was put through to the emergency service.
‘Hilda is bleeding from her mouth. I will drive to Richmond, get someone to meet me there!’
I left, grabbing Gracie, leaving my sitting room looking as though a murder had been committed, and put Hilda in my borrowed car. The emergency service phoned back.
‘The vet is at a difficult calving.’ ‘Then get another vet!’
I passed Nic on the road, and flagged her down. She jumped in. She was soon covered in Hilda’s blood.
‘Call the vet again!’ It seemed the longest journey I had ever taken.
Finally, we got to the surgery. I hammered on the glass. Nic called the service again. It was now 11.10pm. I took the phone off her.
‘Send a vet now, or I will destroy you.’
They sent a vet. Hilda was weighed, given painkiller, something to protect her gut and placed on a drip. It was just an hour since she had started bleeding. As we placed her in a cage, she fell asleep. I finally got to bed at 3am.
This morning, I rang the vet at 9am. Hilda had had a comfortable night, but they wanted to refer her to a specialist. I could wait no longer, so I set off again for the surgery.
It’s 9pm. I’ve just got home. Hilda was waiting for me, with a blue bandage around one leg, like a tiny legwarmer.
Nic met me in the carpark, and we set off for the specialist, somewhere north of Newcastle. Hilda seemed dozy, but calm.
We were shown into a consulting room. The vet examined her, and said he would perform an endoscopy to look inside her stomach. I carried her to the ward, kissed her narrow grey nose, and told her I would see her very soon. I would be right outside.
The vet said the procedure would take an hour, but after barely 35 minutes, we were summoned.
Everyone at the clinic thought Nic and I were lesbians, not helped by the fact I told them, ‘Hilda has two mummies.’
‘It’s not good news.’
Nic had to translate what he was saying, as I went completely deaf.
‘Hilda has a tumour in her stomach. The head has come away, which is why she was bringing up so much blood. I performed a scan, which shows it has spread to her liver.’
‘How do we manage this?’
‘We can bring her round, but the most we can hope for is two weeks.’
‘Two weeks! Would she have been in pain?’
‘I think so. The tumour could erupt again.’
Poor Perfect. Thirteen years on a rubbish tip in Romania, and now cancer.
Only last night, she’d been flirting with Sam: she was always wagging her paddle tail, batting her blonde eyelashes.
On our walk the day before, she had galloped so fast I couldn’t keep up with her. Every morning, she would bounce, waving her front paws in the air.
She was so happy to be alive. She would groan with pleasure as she clambered on to me. She refused anything that wasn’t from M&S.
She had no concept she was called Hilda, or was supposed to be a pet – she was entirely her own person – but she was the most loving animal I have ever met.
I think she always remembered I had picked her up out of that puddle in the state pound when she was so depressed and starved that she resembled a broken umbrella.
Nic and I crept into the operating room. Hilda had a tube in her mouth, and was under a blanket. I kissed her pointy nose. Her gums were like an old lady’s.
The vet gave her an injection, and pronounced her dead. We brought her home, wrapped in a blanket. She is upstairs now, in my office. I will bury her tomorrow in the garden.
I always told Hilda that she had won the lottery: that day, three years ago, she had no idea I would turn up, smuggle her out in my jumper, and bring her back to England.
But the truth is, I was the one who won the lottery. She was a magic dog. She was never bitter that her life had been so harsh: only love shone in her cloudy eyes.
I wish I had had her as a puppy. I wish I could have spared her such a harsh, terrifying life.
I wish I could have given her one last summer.