The Mystery of Hilde

Hilde is a beautiful blonde with a big, goofy smile, and eyes as gold as her heart. She was always a favorite among FOTAS volunteers and the Aiken County Animal Shelter staff – everyone wanted to spend a little “me” time with Hilde. She is one of the sweetest, people-craving, kid-loving dogs we’ve ever known, and we’ve known a lot of dogs.

By January of 2017, Hilde held the unfortunate distinction of being the longest canine resident at the Shelter. We were baffled she’d not found a home, and shelter life was beginning to wear on her. She lost the pep in her step and her sweet, gold eyes were sad.

Hilde and her friendly tongue.
Hilde and her friendly tongue.

FOTAS sprang into action. We took her for car rides, organized “Doggie Day Outs,” paraded her up and down Laurens Street. We took photos, wrote articles, put our favorite social media star, Martha Anne Tudor, on the case.

Eventually the extra effort paid off. One Saturday morning in February of 2017, a young couple with two young children drove to the shelter to meet Hilde. It was love at first sight … for everyone.

We cried with joy when Hilde found her forever home. For some time afterwards, the family shared photos of Hilde sleeping on the couch with the baby, or Hilde sleeping on the bed between the two kids, happy and relaxed. We applauded her good fortune and thanked God for hearing our prayers.

Three weeks ago, Hilde was picked up as a stray by animal control in a neighboring county. She was painfully thin and covered with fleas. The officers read Hilde’s microchip and made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to contact her owners. She was close to being euthanized by the time they contacted the Aiken County Shelter. As soon as Randy, one of the shelter’s super staff, learned they were holding our beloved Hilde, he promptly hopped into the van to pick her up and bring her home.

How did this happen? The last we knew, Hilde was sprawled out with her peeps on a soft, warm bed, so why was she wandering the streets, hungry and scared, in a different county?

We don’t know. We may never know.

What we do know, however, is that our gal Hilde is the same adorable, people-craving, kid-loving, beauty she always was—a little thinner, more mature, in need of some extra TLC. She remembers her many friends at the shelter, plays with her favorite toys, wags her tail a lot—happy to be loved and back in a safe place.

Okay, maybe her head’s a little square and her tongue’s a little long, and maybe she’s picky about her dog friends—but still … we don’t get it.

I'm seriously adorable. Just ask anyone.
I’m seriously adorable. Just ask anyone.

What we do get is that Hilde needs a new home. She needs humans to love, kids to protect. She’ll lounge by your side while you binge-watch every single episode of Breaking Bad. She’ll love you through bad-hair days; she’ll love you when you’re on top of your game. She’ll give back so much more than she gets—that’s just who she is.

All she needs is a chance. Please don’t wait, call the shelter the first thing tomorrow morning — (803) 642-1537—and tell the front desk you’d like to meet Hilde.

Her life is in our hands.

PS: Look, we get it. Sometimes life goes sideways, and good people are forced to make hard decisions about their canine family members. If that happens, please know this: we can help. Our animals can always come home to the Shelter—no judgments, no shame. We’ll find them another home. That’s what we do.

Joanna D. Samson, FOTAS Vice President