Andrea McNally, 48, from Kent, created a festive decoration from a huge stick her Staffordshire bull terrier Boycie brought back on his last walk before he passed away
Image: Andrea McNally)
When a mum-of-three discovered her elderly Staffy didn’t have long left to live, she began collecting every stick he brought home from his walks.
A month after the 12-year-old dog passed away, Andrea McNally has now created a beautiful festive tribute for her beloved Staffordshire bull terrier, Boycie.
The 48-year-old saved the stick from Boycie’s final walk before he fell ill, and has adorned it with fairy lights, baubles and decorations, now proudly hanging in her home in Maidstone, Kent.
She said: “Boycie was a good boy and a really lovely dog. Whenever we went out we would bring him a stick back, and when we found out he wasn’t very well, we started saving a couple because I’d seen an idea on Pinterest that I wanted to do – and I knew just the right dog to find me one.”
Boycie was known to keep the family’s garden fire-pit well stocked with wood, but there was one stick he brought home on his final walk that Andrea knew would be perfect for her tribute.
The mum-of-three added: “I got some lights and decorations that I liked and decided to get crafty with it, because I like to do stuff like that.
“It’s not been a great year, so I wanted to get the Christmas decorations up to feel a bit festive, and this is definitely one I’ll be getting out every year now.”
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Boycie had to be put to sleep four weeks ago after vets discovered a tumour on his heart that would be difficult to operate on.
Andrea said: “Over the last year he started having infections, sore paws and then his breathing was getting a bit laboured. We took him to the vets and they said he had a tumour on his heart, but because of his age it wasn’t worth putting him through the surgery, so we had to say goodbye to him about four weeks ago.”
But now Andrea, who is married with three children, has five-year-old Staffy, Boe, and new French bulldog puppy, Bobby, to keep her busy over the festive season.
The 48-year-old shared her Christmas decoration on a Facebook group dedicated to Staffordshire bull terriers, and wrote: “Lost my best boy recently and he loved to collect big sticks out on walks. He would often bring them home.
“He picked up a stick on his last walk and I decided to make a Xmas decoration from it. Thought I would share it because they turned out well. Great way to remember a great friend.”
Other dog owners fell in love with the idea, with one writing: “Oh my this made me cry losing your dog is so heartbreaking this is a really lovely reminder.”
Another added: “What a great tribute to a great friend. It looks absolutely beautiful. And makes him part of your Christmas celebrations.”