'I had you killed' - Great British Bake Off host Sue Perkins' heartbreaking tribute to beloved dog Pickle
Sue Perkins has penned an open letter to her late dog Pickle, bravely admitting ''I had you killed''.
The Great British Bake Off host made the agonising decision to put her dog to sleep earlier this year after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Now she has looked back on their 11 years together in a letter which has gone viral on Facebook, highlighting her ‘unbearable pain’ and the guilt she felt of ''having you killed."
"I know you had no idea, because I had been practicing for weeks how to keep it from you, and how – when the time came – I could stop my chest from bursting with the fear and horror and unbearable, unbearable pain."
The comedienne recalled how she turned to Pickle for support for her when she found out she couldn’t have children, writing: ‘You let me use your neck as a hankie.
"You were the peg on which I hung all the baggage that couldn't be named."
The letter also offers some lighthearted and happy memories through the early days of puppy training.
"As a pup you crunched every CD cover in the house for fun," she writes. "You chewed through electrical cable and telephone wires. You ripped shoes and gobbled plastic. You dove into bins, rolled in s**t and licked p**s off of pavements. You ate my bedposts.
"As an adult you graduated to raiding fridges and picnics, you stole ice cream from the mouths of infants, you jumped into Christmas tables laden with pudding and cake and blithely walked through them all, inhaling everything in your wake."
Miss Perkins wrote the letter last year, but it has now been shared widely across social media, just weeks after the start of Bake Off’s sixth series on BBC 1.
It's a grief that most pet owners can identify with. A 2002 article in the journal Society and Animals that reviewed multiple studies found that the death of a companion animal can be “just as devastating as the loss of a human significant other."
Miss Perkins' quick wit and repartee with co-presenter Mel Giedroyc on the Great British Bake Off has earned her an army of fans but the letter shows a more sensitive side to the presenter.
"You were the pure, innocent joy of grass and sky and wind and sun. It was a love beyond the limits of patience and sense and commensuration.
"It was as nonsensical as it was boundless."
Pickle's death has not put Miss Perkins off having another dog and plans to seek a rescue dog for her next pet. Speaking at Pup Aid 2014, a charity raising awareness of the horrors of puppy farming, she said: “There are so many older dogs out there who need love."