As I have written so many times before, through the horrible pain of estrangement I have met some wonderful people, people who I am so grateful to be able to call them friends.

Two very special friends also introduced me to a very special form of healing, and her name was Tilly.

Tilly was their dog, but she was so much more than that.

Whenever we visited, she would bound up to us and sit on my feet, stroking her beautiful silky coat was the best therapy ever. She knew, just knew that I needed that opportunity to have her close, to feel that warmth from her, those eyes that cared.

Now, if you have never had a dog, you will not understand, but those of you who do will absolutely get it.

Many, many grandparents who are going through estrangement and alienation from their grandchildren, have dogs and through these difficult times they bring such comfort.

Tilly, sadly died this week, and she has left a huge gapping hole in the lives of those who have cared  and loved her and who have known her.

She was looked after by two amazing people who did everything they could to give Tilly a wonderful life. She was beside them during the toughest of times, times when life was hard a time when there seemed there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

She loved them unconditionally, she went everywhere with them and walked along side them, with that tail wagging and ears pricked, always a joy to behold, in what was such a sad time, when they were apart from their grandchildren.

Over the last 15 months Tilly had to endure all sorts of illnesses and complications with her health, whatever was required was done for her.

Marc and I visited last week, and it was wonderful to see her and to have her cuddle up beside me on the chair, she was bright and bubbly, enjoying her holiday in the Cotswolds.

Within the next few days, she went downhill.

The time had come for the suffering to stop, and she went to sleep amongst the flowers in a garden.

The bereavement of such a special companion is hard to bare.

Tilly will never be forgotten she is in our hearts forever, that extraordinary dog who just knew when you needed a true friend. She knew when to pop her head on your lap and to just be still with you.

Thank you, Tilly for your healing ways.

How I wish that human relationships could be as unconditional.

Jane.