THE world's oldest dog died today after developing stomach cancer, his owners said.
Lynn Jones, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, said 20-year-old dachshund cross terrier Otto was put down by a vet this morning.
Otto, who was officially crowned the oldest dog in the world by the Guinness Book of Records in October last year, had been ill for some weeks.
Mrs Jones, 54, said she had hoped it was just an ulcer, but a vet delivered the news yesterday that a large tumour had developed in Otto's stomach.
Mrs Jones and her husband Peter, 68, took their beloved pet – who they have had since he was just six weeks old – to be put down this morning.
Mrs Jones said: "I have cried all morning, I am devastated.
"We found out yesterday that he had a very large tumour in his stomach and last night I felt that he was trying to tell us something.
"He couldn't sit or lie down comfortably and he was trying to tell us that he'd had enough, so we made the decision to end his suffering and took him to the vet this morning.
"He died at 10.10am and I feel like I've lost my right arm.
"I know I sound like a wuss, but he was like the son I never had, my baby boy. I am glad he is not suffering any longer but I wanted him with me forever."
Tributes to Otto, who would have been 21 on February 14, began to pour in online as the news of his death reached fans.
The dog had his own page on social networking website Facebook – attracting 669 'friends'. More than 50 messages of condolence were added to the page today.
Otto will be cremated tomorrow.