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Before Kate Middleton and Prince William welcomed their first child, George, they had their first fur baby together, a black cocker spaniel called Lupo. On their Instagram account on Sunday, the Cambridges shared that Lupo died last weekend.

“Very sadly last weekend our dear dog, Lupo, passed away,” they wrote. “He has been at the heart of our family for the past nine years and we will miss him so much. – W & C”

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As People reported in early 2012, about nine months after their wedding in April of 2011, the couple welcomed Lupo. He was reportedly a comfort to Kate while William was away on a six-week deployment to the Falkland Islands. When they adopted him, Lupo was reportedly a few months old and came from a litter “with a close family connection.”

That connection, it turns out, is Kate’s brother James, who is a proud “dog dad.” Lupo was the son of James’s dog, Ella, and the brother of his other dogs, Zulu, Inka, and Luna.

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“It is with great sadness that Lupo, the beloved dog of my sister Catherine and her family has passed away,” he wrote, in part on his Instagram. “Lupo was the son of Ella, brother to Zulu, Inka & Luna. He was 9 years old. Nothing can ever prepare you for the loss of a dog. For those who have never had a dog, it might be hard to understand the loss. However for those who have loved a dog know the truth: a dog is not just a pet; it is a member of the family, a best friend, a loyal companion, a teacher and a therapist…There isn’t much of a rule book on how to grieve for a dog, but I’ve said a prayer, lit a candle and taken Ella (Mum) for a long walk to spend time remembering Lupo. Rest in peace Lupo. Tilly & Mini will be waiting for you. You will always be remembered and your legacy will live on forever. Good Boy 🐾.”

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