Woman devastated by brother’s death is comforted in unexpected way by dog


A woman, left in “agony” by the death of her brother, has shared the unexpected way her dog has helped her cope with the “blanket of darkness.”

Ceri Gould sadly lost her big brother five years ago and she says she has found it difficult being without him.

But she said her pet dog had been ‘an enormous help’ in getting her through the pain of her loss and shared five images which represent what her dog means to her to TeamDogs, the Liverpool Echo reports.

She said: “Picture four symbolises everything that having a dog means to me. These letters, spelling LOVE, were hung by my family on Christmas Eve this year on the tree that I run to (as often as I can) and that we’ve dubbed Leigho’s Tree.

She now can’t imagine not having her dog

“Leigh is my brother and he died five years ago this March.

“I’ve found it very tough being without my older brother and having Tommy, our cockapoo, has been an enormous help getting through that blanket of darkness.

“The huge irony is that Leigh was petrified of dogs and really wouldn’t have enjoyed Tommy’s exuberance. But I like to think they would have found a peaceful place of co-existence.

“We got Tom in the September and we lost Leigh the following March. I run, with Tommy wrapped around my waist to this tree. I give the tree a cwtch.

A man holds a dog
Ceri’s father-in-law with Tommy

“I connect with my brother but it is the sheer example of what joy it is to run in the fresh air that Tommy displays that helped me through the agony of losing Leigh.”

Ceri was initially cautious about buying a dog for her family due to her children still being quite young.

She said: “When we decided to get a dog it was a question of cold-blooded mathematics. Our daughter had started the murmuring that reignited my childhood longing for a dog.

“Our daughter was six. I did the age-old thing of deferring it until she was older and could help looking after it. Husband and I agreed that we’d talk about it when she was eight.

Sharing five images of what her dog means to her, she showed this picture of the word 'love' hanging in a tree
Sharing five images of what her dog means to her, she showed this picture of the word ‘love’ hanging in a tree

The dog walking with people in a wooded area
Tommy loves his lockdown walks

“Then I started doing Janet and John maths. Surely, if a dog had a lifespan of x and our children would likely leave home at y and by then we’d want to be gallivanting across the globe, wouldn’t it make sense to get a dog, kind of, like, um, now?

“Husband was unconvinced. I made him believe I was being pragmatic but really, once I’d got hold of the idea, there was no stopping me.”

She said working full time and looking after the little ones, aged six and seven, was tough but now they can’t imagine life without their dog.

She said: “He’s enmeshed with our lives and with our children’s childhood in exactly the way I wanted him to be.”

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