Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Community News Network

July 25, 2013

Hikers mourn passing of Tillie, beloved mountain guide dog

BEREA, Ky. — For more than a decade, hikers of Kentucky’s Indian Fort Mountain were greeted by a very special guide. She would meet folks at the trailhead and accompany them throughout their hike, often making as many as 10 trips up and down the mountain each day.

"My name is Tillie. I am not a stray. I live next door. Let's go for a hike," the tag on her collar said.

Tillie, a 13-year-old border collie mix, died this week after a short illness, and the hundreds of hikers she guided took to social media to mourn her passing.

"Tillie of Indian Fort has left her tired, pain-filled old body behind," Tillie's human friends posted on her Facebook page Wednesday. "She was lying on cool green grass, surrounded by loving family and friends. Her passing was quiet and peaceful."

Ten years ago, Tillie found a home with Ron and Bhana Deaver, who live on the edge of the Berea College forest next to Indian Fort Theater, about 35 miles south of Lexington, Ky. That's when Tillie's career began as an unofficial guide dog.

Crystal Wylie, a reporter for the Richmond, Ky., Register, recalled a time when Tillie joined her and a friend on a hike to the top of the mountain's East Pinnacle. Wylie said it got dark and they lost track of the trail, so they decided to sleep on the mountain.

"When we awoke the next morning, Tillie was still there," Wylie wrote last month after word spread that Tillie was sick. "And from that moment, I knew Tillie was a very special dog."

In June, the Deavers announced Tillie had an invasive growth in the lining of her bladder. News of Tillie's condition spread fast, and hikers began hitting the trails to catch a glimpse of the famous dog. In the weeks following the announcement, Tillie continued to hike the trails with the help of a little pain medication.

People donated money to offset the dog's vet bills, and some fans are hoping to donate a statue or plaque to honor Tillie's legacy.

"Maybe we can hike again in another world, one day," one fan wrote on Tillie's Facebook page.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
Featured Ads
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug page

Front page
Weather Underground Radar
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Must Read
Seasonal Content
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide