A five-year-old Bulldog from Consett that appeared on Emmerdale and became a Facebook star has died of a suspected heart attack.
Cooper – who was very fond of toast and crisps – appeared on the soap after his owner Jemma Teasdale won a competition last year organised by Gala Bingo.
Cooper became a Facebook sensation after Jemma started a page for him following an operation in which the bulldog had an eye removed. He gained more than 20,000 followers from all over the world, including from far-flung countries like Argentina and Australia.
As well as the eye operation, which Cooper underwent at the age of two after developing Glaucoma, the bulldog had to have an operation on his leg after snapping a ligament.
For Cooper’s Emmerdale appearance, Jemma, her mother and Cooper travelled to the set in a limousine and stayed in a luxury hotel.
They got to meet the soap’s cast and were given a VIP tour of the set. But Cooper – who normally slept for 14 hours a day – couldn’t resist having a nap in the back of the limo.
Of Cooper’s moment of TV stardom, Jemma recalled, “He had a scene written especially for him, which was set in a vet’s waiting room. He had a bit of a diva strop because he doesn’t like vets and he thought he was going for real. I had to go and reassure him he wasn’t going to lose another body part.”
Cooper is thought to have died from a massive heart attack. Jemma was sitting on the sofa with her four-year-old daughter Mollie when the bulldog “came over to stare at us like he always does.”
“He slipped over onto his side so I jumped up and tried to pick him up. He couldn’t get up, he was just looking at me and he took his last breath in my arms.”
“I’m in shock as he hasn’t been unwell or anything. I’m absolutely heartbroken.”
“He’s got so many people who love him across the world; everyone will be gutted.”
“He’s a massively popular little dog. Everyone will miss him.”
Bulldogs – and other flat-faced dogs like pugs – often experience health issues such as eye problems, breathing and eating difficulties, and spine abnormalities.
Jemma said that Cooper had already been cremated and that she planned to make the ashes into a necklace to give to Mollie when she gets older.