Dear friends on #StarsPorch
Oh, where to begin. It has been just over 24 hours since my baby girl and I said our final farewell. I feel like I haven’t seen her for ages. The pain is quite unbearable to be honest.
I wanted to take some time to tell you all about our day on Wednesday. It was an extraordinary day. Star and I shared Popchips for breakfast and then she licked the bag out and had another meal. We then went and sat on the green for over an hour. She was bright and alert and many of her friends came by to see her. She kept looking over to me which always means she wants me closer so I went and sat on the grass with her. She crawled into my lap and buried her head in my sweatshirt. It was a real cuddle. We simply needed to be together.
When we came back in she got on the sofa and snoozed for a while and my Godmother came to see her. Star was so happy to see her. After a few more Popchips she moved to her bed in the living room and snoozed. At lunchtime we cooked her some chips, her absolute favourite and I fed them to her one by one. My mum and I were sitting in the living room watching some television while she slept and half way through the afternoon the most beautiful thing happened. Star woke up and kept staring at me. She did this a lot when she wanted to game and would often give a low growl to get my attention. I got on the floor and lay next to her facing her on her memory foam mattress. We had a brief but wonderful game and as I went to get up she stretched both her front paws out and placed them on my left arm, looked me straight in the eye asking me to stay. I did. We spent about ten minutes just looking at each other and she started to fall asleep. Exhausted from a lack of sleep I soon fell asleep with her, holding on to her. It was the deepest of sleep I have ever experienced, it was like we shared the same dream space and within that fusion we slept for over an hour, waking only once to see each other still there and when we finally woke I felt something had changed. I’m so very grateful to my mother for capturing this on camera with a photo which I share with you here.
After another meal it was time to go on the green for one last sit out . Once again Star just wanted to sit on my lap and be as physically close to me as possible. She wagged at her friends and was surrounded by love but she was tired and I could feel that. We sat until just before 8pm and then came in and Star settled on her bed in the living room. She had a long cuddle with me and with my mum and stepdad then went into a natural deep sleep, peaceful and calm, surrounded by her family. Dr Roger was with us for the evening and we all sat chatting,surrounding her with normal life, me holding her paws. She was enveloped by love and passed away in the most peaceful way I have ever witnessed, as her natural deep sleep was just quietly extended. We are both indebted to Roger for loving her as he did and giving her the best care, right until the very end.
Dearest friends, I have such peace that the timing for Star was just perfect. I have calm in my heart for her. She didn’t suffer at all, I was never going to let that happen, but she was tired and on Tuesday morning I felt the time was near and Star started to communicate with me in a different way. The #TiaraTuesday party this week was so special, to see so many avatar’s changed was wonderful and what a celebration. I can never thank Rosy and Annie enough and of course dear Bear for giving us Tiara Tuesday and for never missing one ever. What a wonderful tradition that became.
Star was an inspirational dog. I met her when she was five days old and she literally lit up her litter. She was the only golden pup amongst her 8 black brothers and sisters and her mum and dad both black,so from the start I knew she was going to be different. She sat on me that day, and never really stopped sitting on me from that moment on. Her spirit really shone from her, she had a love for life and for all people and dogs. She never snapped at any dog, not even when occasionally provoked on the beach. She was a pacifist with a serene soul who lived her life with joie de vivre. She came to work with me everyday at the studios, was on set with me all the time during photo shoots, she has sat in multiple edit suites and recording studios and together we lived the perfect life. She has a family who adore and worship her, my amazing Mum who she used to watch intently for any treats and my stepfather who she knew she could con an extra long walk from. She had her own unique relationship with them and they were her comfort when I was ever away working. Star gave us all a very special summer this year and as a family we sat on the green and each day our crowd grew and we made some wonderful new friends. Star loved a brown lab called Byron and all together at our home by the sea we simply had the best of times. From the moment she came to me she stopped traffic. People would cross the road to meet her and talk to her, commenting on her prettiness and how happy she was. What a blessing for me. What a blessing for this world.
Our life on Twitter began when Star was asked to be the Labrador to promote the DVD release in the UK of Marley and Me and she was asked to create an account. She did photo shoots with Woman magazine, OK and Best magazine and she walked several red carpets attending the dog premiere of the film in Chelsea. The bank of photographers didn’t phase her at all, she was used to her Mum!
So from that came all of you, the twitterati and our dearest friends. I’m not a social media fan particularly but through Star this world opened up to us, a world of wonderful like minded souls and gorgeous animals from around the world and so our hearts were stolen so many times over. We have met so many of you in person, through our beloved Keely, our first heartbreak and then Winnie, we finally got to meet Lorraine when Chloe arrived. Chloe and Star became bestie’s and Lorraine became one of mine. Our bestie trips to the Cotswolds at Christmas were something that we looked forward to so much, a most favourite time of the year meeting with Isla and Hugo and Hector and Moss and Asha and Ben and Fin. Just glorious chaos of dogs in pubs and Lorraine and I shopping with our girls Chloe and Star. Then we had our tweet ups at our home in Devon, the besties again, running on the beach and paddling in the water. Star was so full of joy on her beach and meeting with Kathy and Strider and Alfie and Billie always produced so much laughter in the sand. Some we already knew, our beloved Aunty Christine and Uncle E and the joy we had at the cottage. So many special times with them and Jess and Bear and Marty.
Through the magic of a Labrador called Timber who captured our hearts and then broke them when he left us, we made life time friends with his Ma and Pa, Barb and John and have shared so many wonderful times together in England. And because of a fellow Golden girl named Chloe from Vancouver we met Pat Pancoust, our “Canadian sister”. This summer we were all united in the UK and made the most special memories. Pat named Star and Star’s brother Mel Honourary Canadians and got them Canadian collars and tags and Barb and John bought Canadian pillows on their first trip which became Star’s goto pillow for comfort. She loved her pillow.
Then a dog called Tracey came into our life and we fell in love with her. She was so similar to Star and when we lost her we were devastated. The gifts that Tracey’s mum Lorraine has showered upon Star and Mel have been so amazing. The perfect crystal name tag in the shape of a heart and the massive bag of gifts more recently for her 13th birthday, all so precious, thank you.
A few weeks back we were lucky to meet with Dougal and Chico and the legendary Wiggle and Olive and handsome Oban and ‘Lucy the lab’ Mom and what a photo that impromptu meeting produced. Lily the Labrador who is a dear original friend and the amazing Simon who fought the battle against cancer so bravely and was an inspiration to us all. Simon helped us with our fight and they were tweethearts from across the miles. He left such a void but what a legacy. Doris we loved and lost and Blue and Ruger and Lucy the lab and Rudi. Bear who changed the world. So many many more loved and lost. Always remembered.
I was torn as to mention names or not for fear of leaving someone out which I will do because I am exhausted and bereft. But please know you are all loved and you have all made our time on Twitter so special. Fred the dog who held paws with Star most recently and the ever wonderful Sir Alf our mainstay on her porch. Alf you were our security. The wonderpaws gang, the Vizzler gang, Sadie, George, Beautiful Bliss and Annie and Zeke and Sidney, Jess, Lynn, Anniegolden, Bea, Megs and Ori, Max, Kingsley, Cinammon, Lucy YellowLab, JessieJaney, Doofer, Bunnybell, Ginger, Wennie, Whiskie and Flynn, Moose, Hamish, Briar, GeorgeW, Annie W, Molly and Judy, Daisy, Henry, Sir T, Lilli and Archie, Albert, Merlin, Rita,Cassie, Rosy and Betsy with their takeaways and to all of our pals I can never thank you all enough for loving my girl the way you do and for all the amazing times we all shared. When Star became a Dame, I could not have been more proud and I can’t tell you how much that meant. Thank you Bliss and to everyone who put her forward.
A special mention as well to Thomas, the backbone of Twitter for so many of us. Thank you for your unconditional support and love and to all your family as well. And Gracie Kitten, Star’s first feline friend. You and Foz and your mummy have brightened our world daily. Our human friends as well, Harriet, Lori, Lilac, Aunty Fi, Jim, Aunty Suzanne, Carla, Sue, Julie, Jane and Val, Rick and of course Dana. Dana your daily tweets not just for Star but for all those poorly is just so very special. What a comfort that has been and I thank you as Star’s mum for all that dedication and love.
Thank you to each and everyone one of you for loving her. Thank you for the fun. Thank you for the Tiaras and the tribute name tags you are using and for the flowers that are being planted in her name. She loved pink and Wednesday morning our white rose bush grew a single pink bloom.
We had a very special service yesterday for Star at a crematorium in Newbury. I drove her there in the morning having kept her with us overnight. I didn’t want any form of generic end for her, collections and morgues were just never going to suit my girl. So with Mel and the family on board and with our Labrador taxi sticker from Gracie showing proudly on the back of the car, we drove her. We had an hour service and we said our goodbyes and read out many of your comments in the chapel. She was sent OTRB with a printout of her Damehood being announced and a tweet from every single one of her anipals. And so my friends she takes the love you all shared with her . She was wrapped in her best pink blanket from Chloe and Lorraine, her head resting on her Canadian pillow with her collar from Aunty Pat by her side. Her toys from Gracie and Lorraine B were with her as was a photo album of pictures of all her loved ones. She had the gold tiara she wore on Tuesday from my Goddaughter with her, letters from her family and my favourite T shirt. She left this world with all our love with her.
And now my friends, just time for me to say a few words to my girl.
Precious Star, what a gift from God you are and will always be. I have always lived life for the moment, trying to put in more than I take out, but you taught me how to love and live and laugh on a whole new level this summer. Your serene beauty which came from inside your soul blessed us daily. Your bombastic ways as a youngster carried on till your teens and you will always be an eternal puppy to me. Your utter love for life manifested in so many daily gaming sessions, a thing to experience of just utter joy as your happiness spilled out of you. The way you ran to greet; the way you sat for years on the pillows on my bed, oh the days of #PrincessPillows; the chaos you caused at Christmas and birthdays with your love of shredding and ripping the envelopes from our hands even before we had read the card inside; the way you danced across the sand, smacked Byron in the face to get his attention; always wanted to sit where I was sitting, the days you sat watching me decorate Star’s Cove, oh baby girl just so many many beautiful memories. You gave your family the world, you taught a new level of kindness and love to share in your name, you made our family complete. I could not love you more. We could not love you more. My heart is shattered, my chest feels tight, my arms so empty and I am lost without you. How will I ever move forward without you, my baby girl? The world feels vacant. I did not hear a single bird song yesterday , the world went quiet. Thank you for the love, thank you for the friendship, for the fun and the laughter and the quiet times contemplating this world together as we sat on the beach, on the green, on the sofa. Yesterday I reached down to touch your head, but you weren’t there so I reached into my broken heart my precious girl and found our love.
Thank you Star for all that you are and all that you gave us. Life simply can never be the same but I will make sure that your life legacy lives on. My girl, my friend, my precious Bubba Star. You were my everything and I’m yours forever. Love you. Mummy xxx
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