Boo the pomeranian, who captured hearts on the Internet after he was named the world's cutest dog, has died of "heartbreak", his owners said on Facebook yesterday.
The owners of the 12-year-old dog, who call themselves Boo's humans, said the dog was affected by the loss of his best friend and fellow pomeranian Buddy, which died about a year ago.
They wrote: "We think his heart literally broke when Buddy left us. He hung on and gave us over a year. But it looks like it was his time, and I'm sure it was a most joyous moment for them when they saw each other in heaven."
Announcing that Boo had died in his sleep yesterday morning, his owners added that they were heartbroken, but found comfort in knowing that their dog was no longer in any pain or discomfort.
Boo's friendship with Buddy blossomed in 2006 when he joined the family, who are based in San Francisco. In 2010, Boo shot to fame on the Internet after singer Kesha and reality TV star Khloe Kardashian tweeted about the pint-sized pup.
American media dubbed him the world's cutest dog and his following on social media grew over the past decade to more than 16 million.
He even had three picture books to his name - Boo: The Life Of The World's Cutest Dog (2011); Boo: Little Dog In The Big City (2012); and Boo ABC: A To Z With The World's Cutest Dog (2013).
Thousands of Boo's fans from across the world have left comments in yesterday's post, expressing sadness over his death. Within five hours after it was posted, the post received at least 145,000 likes and around 23,000 comments.