The sportswoman took to Instagram to share photos of 16-year-old Jackie as she paid tribute to her "special" furry friend, who had been by her side since she was 17.

"She was 16 years young and up until a few days ago was still sprinting," the 34 year old writes. "Her poor body gave out this morning and she had a way of telling me it was time for me to be brave and let her go. With my dad by my side, we were able to say a loving goodbye.

"She was with me from 1999 until today and I miss her so much. I got out of the shower this afternoon and she was not there to lick my leg as she always did every day to remind me how much she loved me. I feel so lucky to have such a special friend. #breakingheart... Jackie Balla Pete Williams I will miss you and your memory will live forever."