The band isn’t quite broken yet. Duchess Meghan mourns the loss of a member of the British animal rescue organization “Mayhew”, whose patron she was until early 2022. In a touching statement, she pays tribute to her “dear friend”.
The patronage of Duchess Meghan, 40, for “Mayhew” ended just a few weeks ago. But her heart still belongs to the animal rescue organization – and the person who introduced her to her. The dog trainer Oli Juste, †45, recommended the work of the project to her. In 2019 she became a patron for private reasons. Her engagement ended three years later and almost at the same time she lost a friend who had stood by her in great need in the early days in Great Britain.
Duchess Meghan loses an animal welfare comrade-in-arms and a friend
“I was introduced to ‘Mayhew’ by my dear friend, animal behaviorist Oli Juste. We shared a commitment to animal welfare and a deep love for companion dogs, among other things. In fact, it was Oli and his fiancé Rob, who helped take care of my adopted Dog Guy when I had just moved to the UK and he was recovering from a debilitating accident. They loved him like he was their own,” Meghan wrote in an emotional statement on Mayhew’s website.
A declaration of love to a friend and companion who was obviously both a confidant and support for the royal animal lover, especially in the first few months as a newcomer to the royal family.
Oli Juste created ‘broad network of love and support.
Oli Juste passed away on January 15, 2022. “Oli has been and continues to be an inspiration and a mind-shifter in the world of dogs and humans alike, and his special connection to animals was evident,” his fiancé Rob said four days after the loved one’s apparently surprising death people on Instagram.
“I know many of you have stories to share about your time with Oli and I would love to hear them and see photos. Working around the world and throughout his varied career he has forged a wide network of love and support .”
Duchess Meghan is also part of this network: “It has left me and so many others heartbroken and thoughtful – to know that the legacy he leaves to our furry friends is wonderfully simple: just love them. Especially those who are left behind or forgotten”, she enthuses about the philosophy of the lost friend.
To honor him, the royal now supports a particularly touching gesture: “In his memory, we will build the Oli Juste Wing in ‘Mayhew’ to house the animals that may have a harder time finding their permanent homes.”
So Meghan will continue to follow the work of the animal rescue organization from a distance. “While my time as Patron of ‘Mayhew’ has ended, my unwavering support has not. I encourage each and every one of you to support me in any way you can. The emotional support given to a rescued animal is unparalleled – as you will soon discover: Not you it is they who save it, it is they who save you,” she concludes the touching tribute. Oli Juste has evidently left a clear mark on people and animals alike. Now it is up to Duchess Meghan and her comrades-in-arms to memorialize the dearly missed friend in the place for which his heart has beaten with passion for many years.