Belfast Telegraph

Ashleigh Butler says putting down Pudsey was the ‘hardest decision of my life’

The TV star made a heartfelt tribute to her beloved pet after 11 years together.

Ashleigh Butler, owner of Britain’s Got Talent’s favourite dog, Pudsey, has told how putting him down was the most difficult decision of her life, as she made an emotional tribute to her beloved pet.

Pudsey died at the age of 11 following a leukaemia diagnosis, five years after the pair won the ITV talent contest.

As well as delighting audiences across the nation, Ashleigh described him as a “beautiful boy” who changed her life.

She said: “On the Thursday 20th July 2017, after Pudsey’s short battle against leukaemia, I had to make the hardest decision of my life to let my beautiful boy go to sleep at the age of 11.

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Ashleigh and Pudsey (PA)

“From the minute he was born he brought nothing but joy to me, and as a winner of BGT millions of others who adored him too.

“No words can express just how much I will miss him.

“He changed my life and I have so many wonderful memories of our time together. He will always be in my heart.”

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.

As well as amassing a raft of dog competition victories, the pair also journeyed to America following their big TV win, where they performed on America’s Got Talent and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

According to her representative, Jonathan Shalit, Ashleigh will continue to work with her other dog, Sully. He will fill in for Pudsey this Christmas as the pair perform in Jack And The Beanstalk at the High Wycombe Swan Theatre.

BGT judges paid tribute to the lovable dog. Amanda Holden tweeted a picture of Ashleigh and Pudsey with the full panel and wrote: “My thoughts go out to Ashley and this little talented ‘human with fur’ #RIPPudsey”.

David Walliams posted: “Farewell to a very special dog that the nation fell in love with. #Pudsey @BGT”.

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