THE HANDLER of a much loved search dog says she is "heartbroken" to lose her.

Meg, a 13-and-a-half-year-old collie, died in October

Part of the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs organisation, Meg was for eight years out with the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team, in all weathers helping people in need - in all 84 call-outs before developing arthritis and retiring in March 2019.

Owner and handler, Elly Whiteford,got Meg, Cumbrian born and bred, when she was 11-months-old, her training in November 2008.

Meg even appeared in a short film for Children in Need, in 2015, and a Japanese programme about how search dogs are trained.

Elly said: "Meg was a pretty tri-colour collie girl with foxy pricked ears and spotty nose and legs, expressive amber eyes and a beautiful banner tail.

"Many of the callouts I remember were in the dark, wet, raining, windy, poor visibility searching for lost walkers, runners or vulnerable people.

"Training and working a dog in conditions like these build a bond and understanding that cannot be explained.

"She attended avalanche training and callouts in Scotland, flew in helicopters, went in boats and also starred in Cumbria Life Magazine and the mountain rescue film 2015 where she sits gracefully at the end.

"Meg was also the cover girl for our friends supporters leaflets for many years and loved to have her tummy ticked by children at our open days and collections outside the Fiat Garage in Keswick.

"She was such a character, she was loving, fun, playful and cheeky and also stubborn, awkward and analysing-a real thinker and pushed my patience to its limit at times, she made me laugh and I adored her.

"She taught me so much as a search team partner and as a friend and companion and life is so much emptier without her.

"I am heartbroken to lose her and miss her enormously, she was always there, and life is very quiet.

"Time will heal and I have many good memories of all the good places we went and the things we did together, and she will always be with me."

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