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James Middleton opens up about sadness ahead of poignant event after loss of beloved dog

Kate Middleton's younger brother James was devastated when Ella passed away earlier in the year

James Middleton looking sad
Matthew Moore
Matthew MooreOnline News Editor
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James Middleton is a dog lover, being the proud owner of six dogs, but he was devastated earlier in the year following the loss of his beloved pooch Ella, who he credits with helping him through the darkest days of his depression.

The buisnessman is currently preparing for the Goodwoof Festival, a celebration of "all things dog" that takes place from 20 to 21 May, and given his affinity with canine companions, he revealed that he had been given a discount code for tickets to the event. The 36-year-old shared a clip of highlights from a previous year's event, which featured Ella accompanying alongside a whole host of doggie treats.

WATCH: James Middleton frolics around with pets in dreamy garden

"It's one month until the the BEST doggy day out @goodwoofdogs festival," he shared. "As a friend of Goodwoof, I have been given an exclusive code for 50% off tickets using code 'ELLA50' (link is in my bio)."

He then opened up about his feelings for this year's event without his beloved Ella, adding: "It really is a very special day out, with or without a dog! It will be sad to not have Ella with me, as she had such a fantastic time last year.

READ: Princess Kate prepares for very special family celebrations

"But I will have the rest of the pack with me, and especially delighted @petsastherapy_uk are the official charity partner this year - hopefully I will see you there!"

James Middleton standing at a festival
James is a proud supporter of Goodwoof

He was supported by his followers in the comments, with one saying: "Lovely James you really appreciate the gift of animals, thank you," and a second penned: "I come from a family who loves spaniels! They are truly beautiful animals and yours are spectacular! I'm leaning this year on a Golden Retriever!"

DISCOVER: Have Charles and Camilla honoured Middleton family in the design of coronation invitation?

SEE: Princess Kate spotted in fun new photo from James Middleton's wedding

Another was transfixed on how his dogs all rode in a big basket ahead of his bike, especially with how the dogs' ears flapped in the wind.

James Middleton and a black dog
James was very close with his dog, Ella

James has been reaching plenty of sad milestones since the passing of Ella, but he also had a happy one to mark last month, as his new puppy, Mabel, had her first Mother's Day after welcoming puppies.

in August, James confirmed Mabel had welcomed eight healthy puppies. At the time, he wrote: "A few weeks ago Mabel gave birth to eight healthy puppies. She passed all of her breed health screening tests with flying colours and has been the most amazing mother.

"There are some wonderful homes waiting for the pups + some very exciting news for one which I look forward to sharing soon."

He later revealed how he and Alizee opted to keep one of the pups, Isla. "Many of you have been asking if we kept a puppy from Mabel's recent litter and…of course we did…introducing Isla," he said. "Her name is a little nod to her Scottish routes and has already found her place in the pack…"

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