Chris Packham wants his ashes to be mixed with that of his two beloved dogs after he dies

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Growing up with an animal can influence your choice of pet in the future, and for Chris Packham, 60, it was dogs – all of which were poodles. The nature presenter has had seven four legged friends over the years, to which he formed unique bonds with.

When I die, I’ll be cremated and my ashes will be mixed with Itchy and Scratchy, and scattered by a particular tree

Chris Packham

And in a new interview, the Springwatch host admitted when he dies, he wants his ashes mixed with that of two of his poodles, Itchy and Scratchy, who saved him while he was in an extremely dark point in his life.

Speaking of his love for the animals, he revealed his first dog Max died in 1995 and he didn’t get another until 2001, due to work commitments and general life changes.

“My partner at the time [stepdaughter Megan McCubbin’s mother] was so bored with listening to stories about Max that she got me another dog, Fish, for my 40th birthday,” he said.

But tragedy struck after the pooch was sadly hit by a car when he was a year old and died in his arms.

“The suddenness and the shock was really damaging, and because of that six-year gap, I’d fallen in love with Fish more quickly,” Chris admitted.

“I fell into a deep and intense depression, into a dark place where everything seemed to fall apart.”

Seven years later, Itchy and Scratchy joined the family, but Chris admitted they weren’t an “instant fix”, instead they were something for him to “connect to”.

“Itchy and Scratchy were there in my darkest moments — if they hadn’t been, I wouldn’t be here to write this,” he confessed the harrowing truth.

And because of Fish’s awful fate, Chris’ growing concern for Itchy and Scratchy’s safety became his priority.

“It got to a point where everyone could see we were three organisms umbilically linked,” he explained.

“The triumvirate of our personalities became one, each of us incomplete on our own.”

When they got ill, the presenter decided to avoid any intolerable suffering and euthanise them.

“It seemed obvious to me,” he shrugged.

“When I die, I’ll be cremated and my ashes will be mixed with Itchy and Scratchy, and scattered by a particular tree.

“My ashes will become part of the soil. I’ll become part of the fabric of my dogs, and of the woods that we loved so much,” he told Radio Times fondly.

He now has two new poodles called Sid and Nancy, which he got in 2020.

Chris noted that while Scratchy was being put to sleep, the new litter was born.

But while the pair of bouncing pooches have found a place in his heart, he admits there’s still a huge hole.

“The hole left by Itchy and Scratchy is still there,” Chris said.

“It’s quite hard to talk about.”

Chris’ full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.

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