Geoff Meeker comes from somewhat of a celebrity family.
His uncle, Howie Meeker, played in the NHL and became a TV sports announcer, while his late father, Ken Meeker, was a Mount Pearl councillor, journalist and TV personality.
But for almost 14 years, Geoff Meeker lived with a famous pooch.
Carm, an adorable and cuddly Pomeranian-Shih Tzu mix, became a social media sensation, with Meeker sharing photos and stories about her over the years.
But tragedy struck Tuesday night, when Meeker’s furry friend suddenly died after suffering what her veterinarian believed was an acute case of pancreatitis.
“It’s hard to put into words … but my heart is broken,” Meeker told The Telegram Wednesday, barely able to speak, he was so emotional. “She was our little doll.”
The news also came as quite a shock to many people in the community who had followed Carm on Meeker’s Facebook page and sometimes commented on how often she brought them smiles.
Immediately after Meeker posted the announcement, his page was flooded with condolences and well-wishes.
“I’ve been reading the more than 300 messages. … I’m startled by how many people followed her and even loved her in their own way,” Meeker said.
“It’s just incredible and we are grateful for all their kind thoughts. I honestly had no idea that she was adored by so many. It’s really just a testament to what a wonderful little dog she was.”
Meeker got Carm in 2004 from a breeder in Kilbride, having heard from a friend about the adorable litter. Her big eyes and stand-up ears immediately drew him to her.
It didn’t take long for Carm to become part of the family and be at the centre of family activities.
“When the boys were younger, getting up for school every morning was always a challenge, but Carm made it easy,” Meeker said. “You’d just say, ‘Go wake Scott,’ and she’d run into his room, jump on the bed and lick his face until he was thoroughly awake. Then we’d say, ‘Go wake Kenny,” and she would run to his room to do the same. Is there really a better way to be awakened in the morning than puppy kisses?”
Long walks were her favourite, he said. They took their last walk the day before she died.
But Meeker — a well-known journalist and owner of Jelly Bean Row Shop and Gallery on Duckworth Street — said Carm garnered plenty of attention and became quite recognizable wherever they’d go.
People often stopped into his shop, asking if she was there, and she drew quite a crowd each year at Meeker’s booth at the Christmas at the Glacier show.
“Not too long ago, I was pumping gas at a service station in C.B.S. I left her in the locked car when I went in to pay. She stood up and started barking after me,” Meeker said.
“All you could see was the little face in the window. When I came out, this guy who was pumping gas said, ‘Is that Carm?’ and I said, ‘Yes, how do I know you?’ He just laughed and said, ‘I’m on Facebook, b’y.’”
Meeker summed up his post by saying, “When people met her, the most common reaction was, ‘She’s a lot smaller than I expected,’ but her personality was enormous.
“It’s impossible to overstate the impact she has had in this chapter of our lives. Thank you, Carm, for 14 wonderful years.”