Celebrity veterinary surgeon Noel Fitzpatrick has run the London Marathon – and paid a touching tribute to his late dog.
The Supervet carried a photo of border terrier, Keira, in his pocket, for the 26.2 mile race, and told fans it “got him through” the challenge.
The 53-year-old vet announced that his “best friend” and “mutual guardian” had passed away last month, nearly a year after she was hit by a van outside the Fitzpatrick Referrals Surrey practice.
And her “eternal spirit” was right there with him as the Irish-born animal lover took on the popular marathon and crossed the finish line.
In an Instagram post sharing a photo of him wearing the marathon medal, he said: “Today I am paying tribute to my best friend who continues to be by my side as I take on new challenges.
“Yesterday [October 3] I took part in the London Marathon – I put a picture of Keira inside my pocket and ran with her spirit by my side.
“As Keira became older and she couldn’t run with me any more – especially after her accident a year ago – I would come back and tell her all about what I had seen –the puddle she could have got herself wet in, the flower she could have sniffed.”
Noel said Keira was always “by my side” and that she’d got him through many challenges in her nearly 14 years of companionship.
He added: “Now that she is no longer here in physical form, the picture I carried reminded me that she was by my side.
“When the going got tough, thinking of her little hairy adventurous smiley face, got me through – much like she has done for the last 14 years during the tough bits of life – she spurred me on and inspired me to be the best I could be.
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“So thank you my darling girl Keira for getting me through the marathon – your eternal spirit was with me all the way.”
He went on to thank the organisers, stewards and supporters who cheered on runners as he took on the race.
Noel added: “People of all backgrounds brought together in oneness – it was absolutely amazing – I felt truly blessed to be able to take part. I love you Keira – thank you for being by my side – always.”