"We miss our Lill\'s"
With deep gratitude for the life lived, we share today that Lily, the first Comfort Dog for Hansen Mortuary, peacefully crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Monday, February 28, 2022 in the loving arms of her Mom, Trish Hansen Kerr. Lily was born on October 4, 2007 in Cuba, Indiana. She joined the Hansen-Kerr family in Phoenix 8 weeks later where she lived a most remarkable life...first as the family dog and in middle-age (dog years), began her real mission, as a stellar Comfort Dog for Hansen Mortuary.
Lily got her professional start as a 'bring your dog to work' kind of thing. She just kept on coming to work with her Mom until she created a role for herself...and was she ever good at it! Some might say she was born for this job!
Lily greeted new people with her engaging presence, fluffy tail wagging and two inch eye lashes as she did tricks for treats....and she had quite a list of tricks. She was equally happy to roll on her back for belly rubs...LOTS and LOTS of belly rubs.
Lily made countless friends in her years as a Comfort Dog and it can safely be said that she never met a stranger. She had an intuitive ability to enter a room and somehow 'know' who needed her first. After attending that person, she would begin to make her rounds, going to each person for pets and love.
Lily had a most special connection to children, making their visit to the mortuary a new experience rather than a scary one. In matter of minutes, she would be snuggling, doing tricks or have the kids on the floor with her....rubbing her belly! Often their parents would join them!
Lily grew into her role with natural ease and a lightness of spirit for all she met. Some families requested her attend the visitation and funeral of their loved one. She had friends who would come to the mortuary just to visit her and bring treats. She had a monogramed vest with a place for her business cards, many Facebook followers and starred in two calendars. In addition, articles were published about her in professional journals and there is a favorite section of the cemetery named for her... Lily's Garden
Lily mastered work life balance....she loved naps, treats, playing dress up and car rides with the windows down. Most of all, she loved her adventures at Bartlett Lake where she fancied herself as a fisher girl....even though she never actually caught a fish!
Like humans, Lily also had some health challenges. A few years ago, she developed a fast-growing tumor resulting in her eye being removed. She was soon back to work with stitches and ultimately, a fashionable new comb over 'do' thanks to the creativity of her groomer.
Three years ago, Lily's family brought home a sister for her...Molly was a puppy and did all the things that puppies do! Lily helped train Molly to do the work of a Comfort Dog...sometimes a challenge with an energetic young pup! Lily was an incredible role model and shared her job with Molly, preparing to ultimately, 'pass the bone' to her. That day has come.
It is impossible the know the number of people Lily both comforted and entertained during her lifetime. She leaves behind countless friends and not a single foe - though the bunnies at Desert Hills did have a brief sigh of relief...until Molly saw them! It can be safely said that Lily inspired many people to seek out and adopt their own "doodle" in hopes of finding that same joyful spirit to add to their own family. She left a lasting pawprint on the hearts of so many people.
Lily will be missed in a million ways by many people, most of all her home and work families - her running into work, the 'give me a treat' look soon followed by a quick bark if necessary. She trained the staff very well, with multiple special treat places through-out the building. We will miss her explorations and her napping on the job...her curiosity and her contentment.
A graveside service for Lily was held on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at The Bridge Pet Cemetery at Hansen Desert Hills Memorial Park. Thirty-seven of her family and friends gathered to say goodbye to a girl all had come to love. There were tributes, shared memories, pink lilies, dog treats, smiles, tears and a colorful balloon release to the song 'Over the Rainbow'. A final tribute was dousing her grave with water from her favorite place, Bartlett Lake.
Thank you, Lily, for all the love, joy, play and comfort you gave during your long and all too short time with us. We will love you forever and miss you even longer. We imagine that you were greeted at the Rainbow Bridge by people whose loved ones you comforted through your service of comfort and unconditional love. We also know that we will see you again, at the Rainbow Bridge in the fullness of time.
"We miss our Lill\'s"
"Lily was an exceptional dog. She was present for the funerals of both of my parents. I am sure my Dad is still smiling that a dog was present for his funeral service. She was such a comfort and made a difficult time so much easier. Thank you Trish for sharing this incredible dog with so many of us as we grieved. Sweet Lily thank you for just being you."
"Will be missed!"