Sad news this Easter

We are very, very sad to have to tell everyone who knew her that our lovely Labrador and great companion, Holly, died suddenly yesterday, Easter Saturday.

We took some friends to Bergerac airport at 14:00, leaving Holly fit and well in the garden. When we arrived back home at 16:00 we found her collapsed on the lawn unable to move and having breathing difficulties. Our retired French veterinary friend, Georges, came over straight away to examine her and confirmed that she was almost completely paralysed. We took her immediately to the vets in le Mas d’Agenais where, thankfully, they had someone working an Easter rota.

However, after examining her, the vet told us that Holly had suffered a massive brain haemorrhage, and that she was already, by that time, almost dead and could not be saved. To prevent any further suffering we agreed that the vet should put her to sleep and we stayed with her through that process. The vet is arranging for her to be cremated and we intend burying her ashes here in the garden she considered to be hers as much as ours.

As all our guests discovered, Holly had a quirky, individual, but loveable, character and, even at just over 11 years old, she was still a remarkably fit and active dog. She has been with us through every single one of our Painting & Photography seasons and every guest will recall how she was always there in the car park, waiting for us, tail wagging furiously wanting food and a fuss (usually in that order), when we all returned from our days out.

We know that many of you who came back to us for repeated visits got to know Holly particularly well, some of you often taking her for early morning or late afternoon walks along the canal, so we know that you’ll miss her too.

you lookin' at me

Pete and Jill
Lagruere, 5th April 2015

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23 thoughts on “Sad news this Easter

  1. Hi Pete, Jill

    I’m so sorry to hear this. She was a lovely companion. She took Pat and I for a walk along the canal when we were first there in 2009.

    Bill

  2. So sorry to hear your sad news.
    Holly was indeed a character and a dear friend to you both, she will be sadly missed by everyone I am sure.
    My thoughts are with you both.
    Janice

  3. So sorry to hear this sad news. She took Bill and I for many walks and and chats. It was the first walk with her when our friendship began. Happy times.
    Pat

  4. Oh, Pete and Jill, I feel for you both and have been through this once with a black lab called Jake. Dogs become so much part of the family and Holly was so special in her friendliness , great temperament and coping with all the new folk in her home. We enjoyed her company when we stayed with you and enjoyed the canal walk with her, especially as we had left our current lab retriever at home and missed the canine company. Our Ozz is 14 now and I dread your scenario, what a shock to leave what appeared to be happy Holly and return to her so poorly.
    Mick and I are thinking of you over these next few days adjusting to the lack of Holly in your lives.

    Great photos of her!

    • Thank you, Norah and Mick. The house feels really empty. Because we had her as soon as the renovations got to a stage where it was possible to have a dog, some six months after we arrived here in France, she’d become an integral part of the fabric of our new life here.

  5. What a sad time for you Jill and Pete. Holly was a beautiful dog. I often think of her when looking at photos of the canal or when I see dogs running next to their master’s bike. She will be part of your memories forever though …..
    Jan

    • Thanks Jan. Yes, it’s the routine things that hit hardest, like getting up and going downstairs in the mornings. And I think it’s going to be a few days before we can face bike riding along the canal.

  6. We share with your sadness, Holly was a loveable character who adopted everyone as much they adopted her.
    We will miss seeing her again when we see you later this year

  7. Dear Jill and Pete, I’m so sorry to hear about Holly. She was a lovely dog and we were so glad to have known her. We treasure the walks we made with her by our side the last years. We shall miss her terribly.
    Hugs and kisses Piet and Patricia

    • Thanks, veronica. I’ve actually just come back from collecting her ashes. We’ll be burying them tomorrow near her favourite plum tree (the fruit of which she used to feast on every spring).

    • Thanks, Ron and Lynda. I was out today remembering how she used to run alongside me on my bike. Still haven’t got used to it. Jill’s parents are here so we’re going to bury Holly’s ashes in the garden tomorrow 😦

  8. Hi Pete and Jill. Just looked in on the blog for the first time in a while – we’re truly shocked and saddened to see this sad news. Holly had become quite a pal to us on our visits down to Lagruere – indeed as also shown by the other comments she had to so many other guests too. Hope life is slowly returning to normal for you both. Best wishes, Shaun & Janet

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