Ashleigh Butler, owner of Britain’s Got Talent’s champion dog, Pudsey, broke down in tears as she opened up about her beloved pet’s death.
Pudsey died at the age of 11 following a leukaemia diagnosis, five years after the pair won the ITV talent contest.
Appearing on ITV’s This Morning on Monday, an emotional Butler said she had been at a dog show with Pudsey less than 10 days ago when she first became concerned for his health.
“On the Monday he wasn’t himself and he was sleeping a lot so we took him to the vet on the Tuesday and from the Tuesday to the Thursday he went down hill so quickly,” she said.
Reflecting on their success since BGT, she said: “He gave me opportunities that I never thought I would ever have.”
She also showed off her other dog Sully who she has had for four years and was training up to replace Pudsey once he retired.
“I can’t change him into Pudsey,” she said, adding: “He grew up with Pudsey … they had a relationship like brothers and Sully really looked up to him.
“They were inseparable and so he is feeling lonely at the moment but we have each other.”
Pudsey – a border collie, bichon frise and Chinese crested cross – charmed viewers with Ashleigh during their routine to the Mission Impossible theme, and he became the first dog act to win the series.
In October 2012, a book titled Pudsey: My Autobidography, was released, chronicling the talented pet’s rise to fame.
Success continued for one of the nation’s favourite pooches as he hit the big screen in 2014, taking the leading role in his own movie, Pudsey The Dog: The Movie.