Britain's Got Talent star Ashleigh Butler broke down in tears as she spoke about her pet dog Pudsey, who passed away last week. Ashleigh and Pudsey famously won the sixth series of the talent show in 2012, but the much-loved dog was sadly put down a few days ago after suffering a short battle with leukaemia. During an appearance on This Morning, Ashleigh, 22, was reduced to tears as she recalled the moment she realised Pudsey – a male border collie, bichon frise, and Chinese crested powderpuff cross – was unwell.
"I was at a dog show with him last weekend," she said. "On the Monday, he wasn't himself and was sleeping a lot. I took him to the vet on Tuesday and between Tuesday and Thursday he went downhill so quickly. He had acute leukaemia. On the Thursday, it got to the point where he couldn't even lift his head. It's obviously sad. It hasn't sunk in. He was 11 – 12 in December and he was my best friend."
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Ashleigh broke down in tears as she spoke about Pudsey
Exclusive: Pudsey gets ready for Hollywood debut
Ashleigh also revealed the moment she first met Pudsey, saying: "I got him on my eleventh birthday. My parents gave me a box – I thought it was a Nintendo DS and then there he was, looking up at me." As images of Ashleigh and Pudsey attending glitzy red-carpet events, including meeting the Queen, showed up on a screen, she said: "Pudsey was very special, he could almost read my mind so for Britain's Got Talent, we had less than a week to rehearse for the final but he always knew when it was special and when it was a big event, he rose up to it and did the most perfect routines. It was incredible, after BGT he gave me an opportunity I never thought I would ever have."
The dog trainer will now perform with Sully
During Monday's TV appearance, Ashleigh was joined on the sofa by her dog Sully, who she will now perform with. She confirmed that Sully would stay as Sully, saying: "I can't change him into Pudsey. He grew up with Pudsey. Sully really looked up to him." The adorable pooch has already performed with Ashleigh before; he made his stage debut in a panto last year, where he joined Pudsey, and in March, Sully won the small dogs agility jumping round at Crufts.