A Limavady woman has paid heartfelt thanks to well wishers who joined her in a poignant country walk to celebrate the life of her beloved dog, Trudy.
Karen Heaney’s 19-year-old Border Collie inspired dozens of dog owners to turn out on Sunday at the Roe Valley Country Park where they also helped raise hundreds of pounds for a charity close to Karen’s heart, Macmillan.
Karen’s mother, Phyllis Loughery, has survived cancer twice. Karen has also lost loved ones to the disease.
“Macmillan have been so helpful to my family. They’re always there when you need them, so I thought I would do what I could to raise money,” said Karen.
Karen said Trudy means “everything to me” but she knows she doesn’t have long left. At 19-years-old and completely blind, Trudy isn’t as mobile as she used to be.
Inspired by Mark Woods from England who last year appealed for fellow dog lovers to join him on the last walk with his dog, Walnut, Karen decided to do the same and also raise funds for charity.
She’s a legend. I call her ‘my baby’.Karen Heaney
Trudy has been with Karen and her husband, Alan since they moved into their home 19 years ago. Other than a couple of health scares, Trudy has had few trips to the vet.
“She’s completely blind now and she keeps bumping into things and getting her head stuck,” said Karen. “She knows everything that’s going on, though. She’s a legend. I call her ‘my baby’. Alan always walked her in the Country Park so this will probably be her last walk here. It’s a way of thanking God that she was given to me and she had a good life. She brought so much joy. My prayer is that God says ‘Karen, Trudy’s had a good life and you’ve done a good job’. I don’t want to have to make a decision. My prayer is that when the time comes she goes in her sleep.”
Karen thanked outgoing MLA Gerry Mullan for helping arrange the event.