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Gardeners’ World presenter Monty Don, 65, has recalled the night before his beloved pet dog Nigel died in the summer. While the gardener looked back on his last night caring for his furry friend before saying goodbye, he said he wished Nigel “would die” so he wouldn’t be in pain anymore.
I was thinking, please just die
Monty reflected on the devastating moment while speaking to Cariad Lloyd on her podcast Grief Cast.
The presenter said Nigel died “very suddenly” on a beautiful day in May this summer.
Monty had just finished writing his book My Garden World before taking Nigel for his final walk that evening.
He shared: “It was a lovely day and he’d been outside and seven o’clock in the evening, we went for a walk, he was fine, and I put him to bed at 10 o’clock and then at one in the morning, my son, because my son and daughter-in-law had been locked down with us, woke me and said, ‘Nigel is having fits.'”
The BBC host stayed up with Nigel throughout the night while he had “dramatic and shocking” seizures until his death.
Monty said to Cariad: “I don’t know if you’ve ever been with a person when they’ve had a seizure,” to which she replied: “No, not a seizure, no.”
He explained: “Oh, well I have and it’s really shocking. It’s really dramatic. It’s such a violent thing, you know, and you feel, as someone who’s trying to help, I sort of know what to do, but it feels inadequate.
“It’s so violent. People can break bones and things. Anyway, you had a large dog doing just that, all night. Again, and again, and again.”
After Cariad asked the host if Nigel had seizures before, Monty revealed: “Never before. So, by morning, I was thinking, please just die.
“Just die because this is not good. Because of lockdown, at that point it was still absolute. People with coronavirus were being told not to go to hospital, let alone dogs.”
Monty decided to call the vet, but explained to listeners he couldn’t be with Nigel when he was being seen due to coronavirus restrictions.
“Anyway, I rang the vet at six in the morning who said, ‘Bring him in.’ And he said, ‘You do realise obviously you’ll have to be in the car park and no contact.’ So we did all of that, took him in. He was fitting in the car, he was fitting in the car park.”
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While Monty was going through this traumatic time, he also had to film an episode for Gardeners’ World on the same day.
“I had to film that day. So I filmed Gardeners’ World with this going on,” he added.
“We did it and all day there would be phone calls coming in saying we’ve tried this and it’s not working, we’ve tried this drug and it’s not working.”
The gardener then discussed: “Finally, they used the drug that’s used to put dogs down but in a small dose. They said, ‘To be honest, we should just up the dose and that will end it.’
“And he had a brain tumour and obviously, at that moment the tumour had grown.
“So that was shocking.”
Nigel died just six days before what would have been his 12th birthday.
Monty has two remaining dogs, Nell and Patti, who are regularly seen on his social media pages and the BBC programme.
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