'I've lost my best friend': Bar owner's Dillon the dog dies
- Credit: Archant
The boss of a Norwich bar has paid tribute to his furry friend and 'co-worker', a massive Irish wolfhound called Dillon.
Gregory Williams, who runs Arboretum in St Benedict's Street, said Dillon - who was always in the bar greeting customers - had died in his arms at the weekend.
Mr Williams said the bar would remain open despite it not being the same without Dillon.
Mr Williams said: "Dillon, bless him, had been fighting a rare genetic condition for a while now. We spent thousands to try to fix it, but eventually it took its toll - and it wasn't fair to allow that kind of pain to continue.
"He went peacefully, yesterday afternoon, in my arms. I've lost my best friend, but I know that he's also touched all of you. People say that all dogs are good dogs, and people say that all dogs are special, but he really was something truly beautiful.
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"The most gentle of boys, who made Norwich a better place, and gave me the best times of my life. To everyone who met him, messaged us, or commented, I really appreciate it.
"To Willow Vets, thank you, you were great. To the staff who kept the bar open last night, when I was in no condition to work, thank you.
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"I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself now, but the shop will stay open. Even right after surgeries, he would demand to be on shift, so I'm sure he'd want me to keep the shop going.
Let's celebrate his life.
"He loved every person he met, and especially those who gave him big fusses."
After the news was broken on social media, hundreds of well-wishers posted their messages of sadness.
Owners of the nearby Little Shop of Vegans, 49, St Benedict's Street, posted: "He was indeed the best boy. We'll miss him padding past the doorway."
Another business owner of the Wolf Pack hair salon, 54a, St Benedict's, said: "St Benedict's won't be the same without the gentlest of giants."
Back in March, Mr Williams, who runs the bar as a curiosity shop, was given the green light to hold street celebrations.
He successfully obtained a 'pavement licence' meaning the outdoor offering with hay bales, bunting and cider could go ahead - teaming up with the nearby Tipsy Vegan restaurant.