Monty Don opens up on ‘hysterical’ burial for beloved dog Nigel: ‘It was genuinely funny’

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Monty Don, 70, buried his beloved golden retriever Nigel in his back garden, after the dog died back in May this year. Speaking on Griefcast with hosts Cariad Lloyd and Kate Holland, the garden expert admitted that the experience of burying his “frozen” pet was both “freaky and genuinely funny”.

He was like a hairy lolly

Monty Don

Monty had the dog frozen by vets following his death, before taking him home to bury Nigel in his own “pet cemetery”.

He explained: “He was frozen solid, so we dug this big hole in the garden… I mean we have a pet cemetery! 

“This is the fifth dog we have buried in this area. We dug a big hole, we lined it with flowers I picked from the garden, tennis balls, food, lots of biscuits. 

“Then we put frozen Nigel in there, who my son said was like a hairy lolly,” he added.

The dog, who died after having seizures aged 11 years old, appeared “peaceful” he as was laid to rest.

Monty continued: “He looked peaceful, he was frozen in the middle of a calm death, his fur was still flowing, but you touched the body and it was just a block. 

“So that was both freaky and genuinely funny. I mean it was hysterical, we were laughing and crying.”

Back in May, Monty’s golden retriever died after suffering “violent, unstoppable seizures”.

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A post shared by Monty Don (@themontydon)

The dog made regular appearances on BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World and even lent his name to Monty’s book Nigel: My Family and Other Dogs.

The star shared a photo of a terracotta pot with a sentimental engraving on Instagram.

It read: “Nigel 2008-2019,” along with a small picture of the dog.

Monty captioned the post: “This arrived today from Whichford in memory of the old boy.

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“I shall have to plant it appropriately #tennisballtree.”

The star was left devastated following Nigel’s death as he paid tribute to his “old friend” via his social media accounts.

He wrote: “I am very sorry to announce that Nigel has died.

“He filmed every moment of last Friday’s programme and right to the end was happy, healthy and his usual calm, lovely self.

“But he was suddenly taken ill with violet, unstoppable seizures and despite everything that our wonderful vets could do he slipped quietly away with no pain or suffering and is now buried in the garden with lots of tennis balls.

“Rest now old friend. See you in the sweet bye and bye.”(sic)

Last year on Twitter, Monty revealed that Nigel had undergone surgery to remove growths in his mouth.

The dog’s name is said to come from the gardening enthusiast’s humour at giving pets typically human names.

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