Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Paul O'Grady, friend to all dogs, especially rescues

Image courtesy of Battersea Dogs Home

I woke in the middle of the night and turned on the radio, as I do when I'm sleeping at home (ie not with the Fella) to hear of Paul O'Grady's death. I stirred sleepily, thinking, What? But yes, he died very suddenly, yesterday. I was listening to BBC Five Live overnight show and was struck by how the callers who rang in to pay tribute were of such different ages - an 80 year old who praised his humanity. Several young men, mostly Liverpudlians, who were so proud of him being a Liverpool Man. A young woman who said he reminded her of her nan and the precious times she spent watching him on telly with her. So many different age groups who all had something really wonderful to say about him.

I often listened to his Radio Two show on a Sunday afternoon when driving back from a walk somewhere, and feel that I've lost a personal friend. He spoke to his listeners without pretence, no ego, but snippets of his life, his dogs and his colleague Malcolm, who I'm sure will miss working with him so much.

But for all his work, he was such an ambassador (a much vaunted word, but true in this case) for rescue dogs and cats. I've had rescue cats all my life, and now, as many of you know, I have Lainy, my Romanian rescue. He apparently fell in love with all of the dogs at Battersea Dogs Home and ended up giving many of them a home over the years, to add to his menagerie. But apparently it was the work he did behind the scenes, not in front of the camera, that was so impressive. Battersea must be devastated, not just because he was such a high profile patron, but because he helped so many other people realise the importance of giving these animals a home, rather than buying a puppy or kitten.

The world has lost a truly special person and I'mn sure all the animals he has saved with hold him in their hearts forever more. I know us mere mortals will. So here's a thank you from Lainy, on behalf of all the other four legged friends.


ADDY said...

I felt very sad when I heard the news. It felt like losing a family member. He seemed a genuinely kind soul with no hidden agendas and his love for animals was commendable. If you love animals, you have to be a lovely person.

Flowerpot said...

I quite agree, Addy. I felt as if I'd lost a true friend, and he did so much for so many four legged animals.

Lulu said...

Hello Sue, what a lovely picture of your Lainy. It was sad news about Paul O'Grady. I think when you enjoy listening to someone natter away on the radio, you do really miss them when they're gone. I remember being really upset when John Peel died as I had listened to him for years. Lulu xXx

Flowerpot said...

I remember about John Peel too and missed him so much. But for all animal lovers, POG has to be extra special xxx