A word from Deb

Good Health Magazine pets feature and celebrating Billie’s life


Its just gone four weeks since I lost Billie out of my life. Part of me still can’t believe I won’t see that sweet face ever again. The feeling of intense grief has at times been overwhelming.

I am constantly reminded of her by the fact that she was with me 90% of the time and every part of my daily routine was shaped by her presence.

It was always going to be a hard to read The Good Health Magazine knowing it was coming out this month. Billie and I have been featured together in many different stories over the years, and I was always amused to see her so comfortable in front of a camera, knowing where to look on cue. I always joked that I taught her everything she knew!

The story this month was about pets and the wisdom they give us and the unexpected benefits you receive by having unconditional love in your life through these beautiful creatures. It takes my breath away to read the words I wrote just six short weeks ago.

As I sit here looking at her gorgeous image, and how happy we were together, it highlights the tremendous gift of love that we shared. I was incredibly lucky to have her in my life and I will miss her every single day. My beautiful, funny, clever, irreplaceable Billie Hutton.

Below is an extract of the article that appears in Good Health Magazine this month

When they enter our lives a pet becomes a companion, a friend, and for some, a soul mate.

But beneath their playful antics and loving gaze, a pet’s wisdom can offer something more – they can teach us about ourselves, provide new perspectives and show us how to live more selflessly and joyfully.

Here, Deborah Hutton, along with Katrina Warren, reveal the lessons their pets have taught them.

Deborah Hutton reflecting on her late Bichon Frise/Shih Tzu Billie, 9

I got Billie nine years ago during a very tough time in my life – my brother Rod had died and I was emotionally wrecked. I don’t have kids but if I’d had a daughter I would have called her Billie.

Because I’m not a mum and both my brothers have died, I’m like an only child and can become self-focused. Billie reminded me there’s more to life than ‘me’, and my love for her reminds me that I have a lot of energy and love to give to others.

Going on walks with her opened me up to conversations with strangers and I think there are friendships that start just by having a dog.When I was at work, Billie has a calming energy.

If I was on the computer for hours she would give me a passive-aggressive stare that reminded me to take a break and turn my attention to her. She taught me to stop and breathe when I needed it most.

Dr Katrina Warren with her on her Maine Coon cat Mr Fox, 7, and Golden Retriever Riley, 10

Around 2010, my dog Toby and my cat Milly passed away within four months of each other. I wasn’t ready for another puppy but I missed having a cat around the house, so I got Mr Fox and he filled that empty space. One year after Toby died I fostered Riley, but once he came home with me he never left.

Toby is still my greatest loss. I call him my ‘heart dog’ – he was my best friend and we shared so many milestones. He was also part of my career and when I lost him, I lost part of my identity. That loss showed me that grief can’t be controlled or managed.

Growing up with Riley and Mr Fox, my daughter Charlotte, 9, has learned about the responsibility of caring for another living thing. They’ve been very important in teaching her about friendship because they keep secrets, offer companionship and don’t judge. They brought the smiles back to our home.”

To find out the invaluable lessons more celebrities have learnt from their pets, pick up your copy of Good Health today.

Good Health April 2017

Deborah Hutton

Deborah Hutton is the publisher of Balance by Deborah Hutton. She is passionate about helping woman to define their own recipe for balance

1 Comment

  1. Mac

    April 17, 2017 at 4:07 am

    Reading about Billie makes me sad…. I never met her but it’s easy to relate to your love for her. There’s something really soothing about loving your pet, it’s good for the soul, they’re pure so it’s safe to love them. I don’t have children either so my Billy is (and will always be) my special little boy. Sadly enough, loving a pet goes hand in hand with pain at some point and even though we know their time is limited, having to say goodbye is such a hard thing to do.
    Stay strong,

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