Gemma Atkinson issues heartbreaking family update and says 'hardest decision of my life'

Gemma Atkinson
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

TV star Gemma Atkinson has shared a sad update with her fans on Instagram. The mum-of-two posted a video montage of her beloved dog, Norman.

In the caption, the 39-year-old explained that the pooch had sadly died. Gemma said that she had promised him that she would never allow him to suffer.

The 12-year-old pet lived with Gemma and her partner, Strictly Come Dancing star Gorka Marquez, and their two children, Mia and Thiago. The family have a second dog, Ollie.

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Gemma wrote on Instagram: "My beautiful boy Norman has passed away. My heart is broken. 12 years ago I made a promise to him that i would always take care of him and never allow him be in pain or to suffer. Had I put off making the hardest decision of my life any longer I would have broken that promise.

"It’s hard to put into words how much Norman changed my life and made it so much better Simply by just being there. Throughout the good & bad experiences the last 12 years he’s been there with Ollie making everything ok. My most favourite weekends were spent having long walks exploring together, then home lay in bed cosy with them both watching a film while they snored away peacefully.

"I think I’ll miss that the most…That and the fact Norm was always the only one in the whole house to get up and come downstairs with me in the mornings no matter how early it was. My 5am club won’t be the same without his company."

She continued: "He was my first experience of being a mum and having someone other than myself to care for. He’s taught me a lot. Mainly to always live in the moment, remain positive and to keep trying. He never stopped trying to just get up and please me. Even at the end. He was the most gentle and caring soul combined with fierce love and loyalty to his family, his pack.

"I believe he was always meant to be my dog. I feel so sad for Ollie who’s now wondering where Norman is. Smelling him but not being able to see or play with him will be confusing. I’ve read that dogs too notice the absence of other dogs, and i know he’s just as sad as I am. And of course I’m beyond sad for Mia.

"Normans woken her up by going into her room and pinching her Snuggie almost everyday of her life. She’s never known him or Ollie to not be here. Her first best friend. And so close to her 5th Birthday.

"They say the sadness we feel when we lose a loved one is the price we pay for loving them so much, and boy did i love you Norman. In all these years the only time you’ve broken my heart is today, when yours stopped beating. I’m going to love you, miss you and remember you forever. Until we meet again Norman… Go and run again and have some fun up there with my dad. You’re such a good boy."

Fans were quick to comment on the post. One person said: "So sorry. We all know how much you loved him. Maybe he knew as well. He was looking at you on your last video, as if he almost knew himself."

Another wrote: "So sorry to hear about Norman, I loved seeing him on your stories and this has made me cry, you all must be so devastated sending love."