Why Chrissy Teigen's heartbreak over her dog's death is real

Elise Solé

Chrissy Teigen announced of the death of her bulldog Puddy, saying, “My heart aches.”

In a Wednesday Instagram post, Teigen broke the news to fans that her beloved dog of 10 years had passed away after suffering from heart failure.

Chrissy Teigen’s dog Puddy passed away, and the star says her “heart aches.” (Photo: Instagram/Chrissy Teigen)

“Today our baby, Puddy, has gone on to the pup heavens,” Teigen, 32, wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of her and Puddy snuggling. “John and I got Puddy in our first year of dating, when I convinced him half-birthday presents were a real thing. 10 years ago, on May 30th, I found the dog that would be there for us through every up, down, new house, new city, new tour, new travel. He welcomed new pups and loved on new babies and new bellies. He was there for everything.”

She added, “Every time I needed a taste tester, someone to kiss or needed to sob into his stinky rolls, he was there. It’s true what they say. We are their entire lives and it is the greatest shame that they can only bless us with a short spark of time in ours. I always knew I would lose a piece of me when he left us. I feel the hole now. I will love you forever, my boy. My heart aches. Thank you so much for everything, everything.”

Puddy also starred on Teigen’s social media channels, in photos that depicted him playing with her and husband John Legend’s 22-month-old daughter Luna or accompanying the family on a trip to the mountains. In November, the pup made an emergency trip to the hospital to be treated for heart problems and doctors discovered he had a heart tumor.

“He’s basically a 70-year-old-man-beast….” Teigen tweeted later.

Along with Puddy, Teigen and Legend — who are expecting their second child in June — have a bulldog puppy named Pepper and two French bulldogs named Pippa and Penny, according to “Today.”

The loss of an animal can be an extremely traumatic experience. According to the Washington Post, a 2002 study published in the journal Society & Animals found that the death of a pet can be “just as devastating as the loss of a human significant other.”

According to Nicholas H. Dodman, professor emeritus at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and author of The Dog Who Loved Too Much, there’s a physiological reason for the intense emotion. “Studies have shown that when pets and owners gaze at each other, they both experience a burst of oxytocin, the bonding hormone, much like when a mother looks at her child,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Photo: Instagram/Chrissy Teigen

“It used to be that pets, primarily dogs, filled a utilitarian purpose — they were fed scraps, kept outside, and protected the family home,” he says. “Over time, dogs were increasingly brought to live in the home and were considered near-family members.”

Much of the bond between pet and owner is based on the fact that, unlike relationships with people, which include the gamut of emotions and experiences, the tie between human and animal is beautifully uncomplicated. “Animals don’t care what you look like and don’t judge you for your choices,” says Dodman. “There’s unconditional trust and attachment. Pets also have a Peter Pan-like quality — they never ‘grow up’ and their needs are equivalent to a 3-year-old child.”

Fortunately, Teigen is honoring her late pup with her characteristic sense of humor, sharing photos of Puddy’s “wife” Pippa with photos from their nuptials. “Not many people know this,” she wrote, “but Puddy is survived by his wife, Pippa. Yes, they were married.”

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