Monday, 29 June 2015

My Co-Pilot

George and Meg as puppies

For the last ten years I have always had a diminutive co pilot.
For ever since her arrival at the cottage, Meg has always insisted that she sits next to me when we are out in the car. She has never left my side since.
The other dogs and even Chris have all bowed to her superiority when it came to her passenger position, and today, even in her weakened state, she insisted that she assumed her normal driving seat as we drove up to the vet's surgery on her final journey.
I cried quietly for all seventeen miles of the trip and the receptionist kindly ignored my blotchy face when we entered and informed me that the vet was running a " good few minutes late today" She asked us to take a seat, but I couldn't bear the wait in the impersonal, aseptic surroundings,
So I told the girl that we would just " pop out for a moment" and " would be back in ten minutes or so"....I lifted Meg back into her passenger seat, where she sat in her usual position. Back straight, head gently placed to one side facing me and off we went.
Even today, as she had always done, she watched my every move through tired brown eyes and as she did so, I rested my left hand gently around her face....

And for one final time, in a knackered old Berlingo full of egg boxes and discarded scotch egg wrappers....we drove around the country roads of North Wales together.

263 comments:

  1. I want to thank everyone who has and will leave me a comment about Meg, After checking over Meg after she died, It was easier to see just how her liver problems had affected her.
    I am just about to bury her in the garden and George is lying with her on her blanket on the the kitchen floor.
    I feel ok.

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    1. Writing this at the kitchen table helps, believe me

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    2. Very brave John. Sending my love xxx

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    3. I know your pain, John. I had to do the same many years ago and it still hurts.
      *hugs* and God bless. ♥

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  2. Thinking of you ,and the love that you are bringing to our world.

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  3. My heart aches for you.

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  4. I cry as I write this John. It is always hard to cope with the loss of a dear friend - human or canine makes no difference. Love and hugs to you and to George too - he will no doubt need you in the days to come - and yet will help you to get over it.

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  5. Having lost a few wonderful dogs myself, I think they do not know their life has a beginning or end. . We are the ones that have to grieve before AND after. You made sure she would "Go Gently" doing the things familiar with her best friend.

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  6. Oh dear John , I am so sorry for the loss of your treasured co -pilot . I am writing this with tears as I am sure all of Meg's dear friends who have loved her but never had the joy of meeting her . Many of us have lost our furry co/pilots and companions in life . I am sorry for your loss and I send my heartfelt empathy to you and Chris . You lived and cared for her till the end . Her spirit will always travel with you and be by your side ..... Xxxx

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  7. Hugs and much love to you and yours.

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  8. My heartfelt sympathies to you John xxx

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  9. Oh John. You have my love and heartfelt sympathy. XOX

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  10. Dear John, I think we all feared this post would come, and I am sure I am not alone in sending out huge hugs and cups of tea across the miles to your kitchen table.

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  11. I grieve with you, John. Your dear Meg will live on in your heart. God bless.

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  12. I am so sorry you have lost your beautiful Meg xx

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  13. Bless you John, you've coped over the past few weeks with dignity. The love you had for Meg shone through and you made her last weeks as comfortable as possible.

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  14. Oh John, John, John. Tears are flowing for you and your beloved Meg. Take it easy. x

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  15. Crying for a dog I never met but somehow got to know through your obvious love for her. Much love to you John. x

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  16. It is the final kindness that we can do for those little lives we love. But it is so hard. Hugs!
    Peter

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  17. Hugs! Do take care, David

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  18. So sorry for your loss. Even the kindest of words can't change what's happened, but just know we're all thinking of you.

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  19. I am so very sorry John. There is nothing to say to make it better, but I wish I could. Massive hugs to you. xx

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  20. These little heart stealers. They are so gorgeous. And it's such a joy to have shared their lives. Big hearts on both sides of the relationship. Take care

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  21. There are people all over world shedding a tear for beautiful Meg and yourself today me included. A life well lived together you can't ask for any more. Take care xxx

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  22. So sad, one never gets used to it.

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  23. Your writings are now part of my daily routine and they never fail to move my emotions, today my heart aches for you, and all your family both 2 & 4 legged. Blessed be x

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  24. Heartfelt sorrow for you but what a life you gave her. One happy, happy dog and all your memories. Love Andie xxx

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  25. you have been a good caregiver, john. meg trusted you and loved you.

    I am so sad to read this at 7a; been there 4 times in your shoes over the years.

    {{{{{hugs}}}}}

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  26. Lots of love John. Rachel x

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    1. Dear John, there is a message on my blog for you today (my Sunday night post) from Lesley who cannot reach you here. She is thinking of you. Rachelx

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    2. Tell her thank you x

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  27. It has never become any easier!! I hope that Meg might be with my Skip. With all sorts of love. Sheridan in Queensland..

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  28. this post sums up the way you live: all heart but no saccharine sentimentality. i like that.

    sending hugs
    xo

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  29. Dear John,
    I have no words that will comfort you as I know the pain that you are going through. All that I know is that you have many, many fond memories of Meg and that it was a privilege to have had her in your life.
    Thinking of you all and sending love. XXXX

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  30. My heart breaks for you. A similar experience last Oct. still rocks my mind and grips at my heartstrings. Take care, she is always in your heart.

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  31. Much love John. Xxxx

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  32. You won't realize how depressing Meg's situation has been, until you start to feel the depression lighten in a few days. You loved her and cared for her until the end, which is all you can do, and all anyone can ask. As someone once said, "You never lose the ones you love, so long as you love the ones you lose." Take good care.

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  33. Oh John...I can hardly see to type this through the tears. You did your very best for her and it's a sure thing she appreciated it. How sweet George is to keep her company until she can be laid to rest.

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  34. A sad day for you and the Prof. An almost equally sad day for your readers. Hugs to you all specially George.

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  35. Dear John, I am so sorry. My heart aches for you.

    Gentle hugs to you.....

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  36. As with many others I am crying as I type this. Know we are all thinking of you and you whole family human, canine and feline. Take care.

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  37. No words, much love ❤️xx

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  38. So very sorry for your loss of a great friend. All our beloved animal friends are waiting for us beyond the rainbow bridge.

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  39. A very sad day. It's hard to make these choices...especially when you don't have one. So sorry for your loss of sweet Meg.

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  40. Tears. Sorrow for your loss, joy for the years of memories and that you were granted a few extra moments to share that last ride.

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  41. Even though I knew this post would come it has made me cry. It's the last good thing we can do for our very best friends, and the dogs in our life are just that. Take comfort that Meg was loved and cared for and had everything she needed in life. Thinking of you and your family. Love from Debs

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  42. Goodbye sweet soul. You filled Johns' life with love and joy. Anyone who has loved and lost a great and loyal friend such as Meg is feeling your anguish.

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  43. Never thought I would shed tears for a little dog and owner that I had never met. Your writing is that powerful. So very very sorry. Take care.

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  44. My heart goes out to you, John.

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  45. My own experience like this is only a few months in the past.
    There will only ever be one Meg. My thoughts are with you.

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  46. So sad for you, love from Pam in Texas. xxxx

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  47. She was one of a kind. Hugs to you John at tbe loss of your sweet Meg. X

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  48. I'm sending you a big hug, John.

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  49. So very sad, but what a wonderful life she had with you John. xxx

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  50. I am so very sorry. We who know this love understand your sadness. But none of use would have it any other way. It is cliché, but how lucky you all were to have ten years - and what a grand life you gave each other.

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  51. So sorry John, they break your heart but leave us with many happy memories xx

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  52. So very sorry John. Even though it was the right thing to do, it's still feels horrible. Goodnight Meg xx

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  53. John, we are so very sorry. Bless you, and may you find comfort in the memories of the happy life Meg shared with you.

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  54. The tears are flowing....for Meg and for you. A hug and a kiss on the forehead coming your way.

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  55. A beautiful, powerful, heart-wrenching post, John. I join with so many others here in expressing our thanks to you, our sorrow, and our tears. Your blog community aches with you today.

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  56. Crying as I write this. Now I look out at the back yard to the little gravestone that my husband carved "Nelly" into just two weeks ago. I'm so sorry for your loss and sorry for that dreaded drive the two of you took. Take care, Jenn

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  57. So sorry for you loss John

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  58. Oh dear John. I'm shedding a couple of tears for her; and you. Cro x

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  59. ((((HUGS)))) You showed your love for Meg today.

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  60. Bless your heart John for I know it is breaking today. Crying for Meg here too! She will always be your co-pilot in spirit. Love to you, Chris, and the pack on this sad day. Take care and get some rest. xx

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  61. So sorry you've lost your little co-pilot, John. That's a lovely tribute to her!

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  62. Bless you little Meg x

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  63. XXXXXXX from Downunder

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  64. So sorry to read this. My thoughts are with you all.

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  65. Oh John, I've been dreading reading this. So sorry for you and your family.

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  66. So sorry John xxx- Jane and Bluey

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  67. You and Meg have been blessed in each other. Sending love. xx

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  68. So sorry for you both. Hope against hope that you'll see her again someday.

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  69. Be gentle with yourself. You have truly lost a good and faithful friend of the highest order.

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  70. So sorry for your loss, Meg will be waiting at the Rainbow bridge for you, hugs being sent.

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  71. You are so brave, your dogs, and especially Meg this past couple of weeks, are so lucky to have a home with you.

    A heart full of love is just not enough to keep them with us for always, but while they are we love them with every inch of our being. I'm happy that Meg kept her seat as co-pilot right up until the end.

    Two kisses for Meg. xx

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  72. I will miss her - along with 100s of others.

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  73. Sending you hugs and hoping that your lovely memories of her will sustain you in your grief.

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  74. Meg knew she was in good hands, John, from the moment you two met.
    Lucky girl she was.

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  75. What a treasure love is.

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  76. So sorry John, I too have been dreading reading of Meg's last day but what a wonderful life she had with you and Chris and all the other family. My thoughts are with you, you are the best Dad.

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  77. So very, very sorry for your loss.

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  78. She was a good dog and true. My deepest sympathies, John.

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  79. Oh, I am so sorry for the loss of Meg. I tried reading your post to my husband and we are both crying. We had to let one of our go several years ago and it hurts so bad.

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  80. well, that's sad news.

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  81. Sending my sympathy and crying along with others. JoJo send purrs. xx

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  82. R.I.P Meg - thinking of you and the Prof. I must add that I really feel that vets' surgeries should have a "room" for such sad occasions - when I took my cat in for the last time I sat with her in the waiting room with tears streaming down my face with well meaning folk saying "they can do wonders these days - she'll be fine."

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  83. Oh John....tears here too. If she is going to be in the garden would you think about planting something lovely at or near the spot?..hugs..xxx

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  84. loving our little friends is so bittersweet...you gave her a good life and that's everything...hugs

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  85. Oh John, I'm so sorry that you've lost your little Meg.

    Grieve not,
    nor speak of me with tears,
    but laugh and talk of me
    as if I were beside you...
    I loved you so --
    'twas Heaven here with you.

    With love, X

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  86. Hugs John Gray. Such a sad day.
    Mardy (Canada)

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  87. More tears from me too, so sorry. xxxxx
    Ali.

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  88. My heart hurts for Meg and you today.

    Norma (Canada)

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  89. I shed a few tears just thinking of you and your Meg.
    Just know that she was loved, and she loved you right back.
    Peace.

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  90. I just read something very heartwarming about a little boy whose Irish wolfhound was very poorly suffering from cancer. Upon pondering about why some animals don't live as long as humans the little boy said something along the lines that people need to live longer because they have to learn how to love and care about others but dogs aleady know how to do that so they do not need to be here as long. Both yours and Shane's words moved me today.

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  91. Oh John, such a sad day :(
    Love and hugs
    xxxxx

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  92. God bless John. Two kisses for Meg xx

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  93. They leave us all too soon. Sending hugs to you. May you find some peace and smiles, eventually, in your memories of Meg.

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  94. Trying to type through my tears. I'm so sorry, John. XO

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  95. Sending you thoughts, John. I have tears for you both x

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  96. Shedding tears for sweet Meg, she had a wonderful life filled with much love and happiness.
    Now free from any pain........
    Hugs John,
    ~Jo

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  97. Meg was so fortunate having you as her lifetime companion. You did everything you possibly could to ease her last days, and made the hardest decision to release her from further pain and suffering. Your final, poignant drive together will surely remain in your heart forever, along with the myriad, happy memories you cherish of little Meg. Today, we feel such sadness and our thoughts will be with you in the days to come. Meg truly touched all our hearts...a most beautiful little soul.

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  98. Knowing it was coming doesn't hurt any less. Having her to begin with is what makes these final hours bearable. The memories, the photographs, the home movies - they will keep her in your heart forever. I know I don't make sense, but am so, so sorry for the loss of your Meg.

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  99. I opened your blog and cried.
    I've been there.....and it cuts like a knife.
    It's good there are people like us who care so much for animals.
    Much love, Marilyn xx

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  100. Oh, John. I'm reading this just before going to bed after a night shift.

    She's free from pain.

    So sorry for your loss

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  101. I am so sorry for your loss. I have lost two of my three cats in the last few years, and now Millie, too, is about ready to join Samantha and Maggie. I understand your grief.

    I don't know you at all, and this is my first post to your wonderful blog, but my eyes tear up just reading about your Meg and writing to you about my cats. Our animals are part of our family and their loss can be devastating.

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  102. Good-night sweet Meg...
    John, your sadness today is exceeded only by the joy she brought you..xx

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  103. oh John, sending hugs to you and you all............

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  104. I did this with my cat Addy a few weeks ago. The decision of when to do it is sooo difficult, butonce done I find myself more able to remember all the camaraderie and snuggles and happy times.
    Thinking of you in your grief.

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  105. sending you a big hug and a big kiss for Meg X

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  106. Sorry she has gone John. Lots of love to you and the rest of your little clan, she will be missed by all of you of course.

    Jean
    xx

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  107. My deepest sympathy. The loss of a fur child is ne er easy.

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  108. Dear John, profoundly sorry to hear this news, on a day which we knew would come sooner or later, yet somehow we hoped it wouldn't. When you get through the understandable grief I know you will treasure the precious memories of dearest Meg, and I hope they'll give you some measure of comfort.
    Bless you, darling Meg - and thank you.
    Go well, J.G.

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  109. I'm so sorry to hear your news John. That old girl had a super life with you both. Best wishes.

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  110. So, so sorry about your dear sweet Meg.I'm mostly a lurker here but your Meg has been my favorite.I will be making the same journey I fear soon with my small cat, it's so very hard. But the full measure of how much we love them.

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  111. Crying with everyone else……It will feel different now……not necessarily better, but different. Let the other dogs comfort you. XX

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  112. John, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts are with you, Chris and all your lovely family.

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  113. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I love you and Meg.

    Love,
    Janie

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  114. Meg had a loving happy home which I hope will give you some comfort as you begin to cope with her loss. xx

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  115. So sorry to hear about Meg.Very sad news.take care of yourself.xx

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  116. A sad day for you John, but you did the brave and humane thing for your sweet old lady. x

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  117. Sleep tight beautiful Meg.
    So sorry John-x-

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  118. Oh no oh no I am so sorry. Bless you Meg and the goodness and light you brought to this family. I'll be thinking of you all the day and all the night John.
    Rebecca

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  119. Kisses for Meg and hugs for you. You gave her such a wonderful, happy life. She couldn't have asked for a better dad x

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  120. My heart breaks for you, John. She had a good life and a dignified death.

    I have buried many animals in my gardens. It never gets easier.

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  121. We cry with you, John, and it's for all the helpless ones we've cared for all their lives.

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  122. So sorry to read this John, my heart goes out to you, but you have done right by Meg as you have always done throught her life that she was fortunate to share which such a caring person as you. Hard though it is right now hang on to the most wonderful memories of your time together and take comfort from them in the coming days and years to come. Thinking of you. x

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  123. Bless you and Meg.

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  124. Goodbye Sweet Meg - hope it's great for you over the Rainbow Bridge.xxx

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  125. {John} Meg led the good life...

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  126. Sending you love John. Rest well, Meg.

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  127. Grace and dignity for you both to the end, all we can ask for. Hugs!

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  128. If Love could Have Saved Her, She Would Have Lived Forever. Bless Meg, and you also, John Gray.♥️

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  129. Massive love to you both and the furries. She will be with you in your heart forever. x

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  130. No words. So sorry doesn't cover it.
    Gud Dug George for being a always quiet friend.
    Hugs to you all.

    cheers, parsnip

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  131. What a great life that little dog enjoyed! She had oodles of love and her big, varied pack of buddies. What more could is there to a well-lived life?

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  132. It sounds like you and Meg were there for each other for a lifetime. Blessings to you both.

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  133. So, so sorry xx

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  134. On such a sad day, I hope it is of some comfort to you that so many strangers around the world have come to treasure Meg through your writing, and will share in missing her greatly. I am so sorry for your loss x

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  135. I have no words that will help.

    What a wonderful lady, Meg, she will always be with you.

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  136. Oh, John. I am so very sorry for your loss.

    You did the kindest thing for her by preventing further suffering, but it's so hard to lose them.

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  137. John, my heart is breaking for you. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Meg...

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  138. It's so so hard. I have a huge lump in my throat and the screen is blurring as I write this. Like so many of your readers we have been there too many times. Hugs to you, Chris and the rest of the furry gang.

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  139. John, I'm so sorry that it's time. This is undoubtedly the hardest moment of pet ownership, as any pet owner knows. I'm thinking of you and Meg and the rest of your family.

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  140. I am sending you warm thoughts through tear-filled eyes. To be loved by you is clearly something amazing.

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  141. So sorry that her time had come. I guess everyone is choked reading today's post. Words fail, but my thoughts are with you tonight.

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  142. Oh, my! What a difficult day it was. I am glad that you were with her (and she with you).

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  143. Bless you John, a lovely last day.

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  144. Oh bless you John, beaming you all love to your cottage.

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  145. Sometimes there just aren't the words, sending love and big hug.
    Lisa x

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  146. I cry for you. Big hugs.

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  147. So very sorry. Tears. And hugs.

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  148. So sorry, big hug for a inspirational man

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  149. Oh, man. Sending you a virtual hug. xx

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  150. I'm sorry I don't have any comforting words, your heart must be so heavy. Sleep tight Meg, sweet dreams pet x

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  151. It is such a hard thing to do. Much sympathy.

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  152. John my heart aches for you so much, the post I have been dreading for you. My tears are you Meg you lovely lovely dog xxx

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  153. Sending a big hug John xxx

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  154. Thank you everyone.......your good wishes DOES make things easier.
    The Prof is very upset tonight.......in some ways me taking meg to the vets and burying her made it easier for me

    I found it odd that when i lay meg down on the floor when i got her home william ( he best mate) just sniffed at her and walked off.....as did winnie. Albert seemedfreaked out and walked slowly around her with big eyes...only george cuddled up close to her......
    How odd....

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  155. So sorry John, poor Meg, God bless her, hugs from me xxx

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  156. Dear John, your little Meg is well and young again. Her seat in the front of the Berlingo will always be warm with her gently spirit. How wonderful that you two adored each other so. Sending you a big soft hug and please hug the Prof for me too. Sharing your heartache in New Jersey.

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  157. So very sorry. Sending you love X

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  158. Sending massive hugs from across the Big Pond !!

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  159. Sending massive hugs from across the Big Pond !!

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  160. so much love to you....so much. xoxo

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  161. My thoughts are with you all.

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  162. Sending much love from us both xx

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  163. Oh Bless you. It is such a hard thing to do but she is no longer suffering in any way. But you are, my thoughts are with you and I send you a great big telepathic hug. xxx

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  164. Much love to you, dear John. Rest easy little Meg, free from pain. You were so loved, xxxxxxxxxx

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  165. So sorry. Thinking of you and your family. Lots of love xxx

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  166. Dogs and cats don't die; they sleep safely in our hearts! So sad for you John and Chris....

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  167. Oh goodness how sad. Like others have been there and have some understanding of how you feel, but your feelings are still unique to you and sweet Meg
    Gillx

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  168. Words are useless.
    Hugs to you & Chris & all the furry family.
    Xoxoxoxoxox

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  169. Oh no, so sorry to hear about Meg, I'm in tears now before bedtime. It's such a difficult decision to make - the best for her but the worst for you and Chris. I bet the rest of the pack will miss her too. Hugs all round x

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  170. My thoughts are with you John.

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  171. My thoughts are with you John.

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  172. Oh John, so sorry. Take care xx

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  173. Nearly 200 comments......!

    Thank you alll s

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  174. Your final car trip has made me cry this morning.......the empty seat in the berlingo is a huge place to fill. You bravely bare your soul on line John and take everyone on the journey with you. RIP beautiful Meg.

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  175. I'm so sorry, John. I had hoped that the steroids would've given you more time together. This was your final gift to Meg. Would that there be someone who could give this gift to us when it's time. Hugs to you.

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  176. Meg's spirit will be with you always. I still catch glimpses of my beloved pug, his little ghost seen from the corner of my eye.


    To Those I Love

    (By Isla Paschal Richardson )


    If I should ever leave you whom I love
    To go along the Silent Way,
    Grieve not,
    Nor speak of me with tears,
    But laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there.

    ( I'd come - I'd come, could I but find a way!
    But would not tears and grief be barriers? )
    And when you hear a song
    Or see a bird I loved,
    Please do not let the thought of me be sad...
    For I am loving you just as I always have...
    You were so good to me!

    There are so many things I wanted still to do -
    So many things to say to you...
    Remember that I did not fear...
    It was Just leaving you that was so hard to face...
    We cannot see Beyond...
    But this I know:
    I love you so -
    'twas heaven here with you!

    (By "Isla Paschal Richardson")

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  177. Lovely.... To liz and all of you
    Thank you

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  178. Your sweet post made me cry. Sweet dreams lovely Meg.

    julieq

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