It’s been a difficult summer for celebrities, as a long string of familiar faces have taken their final curtain calls and headed into the Great Beyond. From Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett, to Michael Jackson and Walter Cronkite, we’ve lost many who are known to us. And now, I’m sad to report, another has left us. I refer, of course, to Gidget, the “Yo Quiero Taco Bell” Dog.
“She made so many people happy,” says Gidget’s trainer, Sue Chipperton. PEOPLE met both Gidget and Sue at a Hollywood animals photo shoot in February, where the pup was a consummate pro and delighted the crew with her playful nature.
“When she’s on a set, she comes alive,” Chipperton said at the time. But when the mostly retired canine actor wasn’t joining her trainer on shoots, the 15-year-old was happy to just kick back. “She goes on hikes with me and she loves the sun,” said Chipperton, who added that Gidget was happy to sleep “for 23 hours and 45 minutes a day. She’ll lay outside when it’s 105 degrees! I like to joke that it’s like looking after a plant.”
Gidget was 15 when she died of a stroke Tuesday. If there’s a doggie Heaven, I’m sure she’s chasing little toy cars as we speak.
Here’s an interesting side note to this story. Apparently, there was a bit of a dust-up between Taco Bell, their advertising firm, and the creative team that came up with Gidget’s dream gig. Back in January, a judge ruled in favor of the creative team – to the tune of $42 million! That’ll buy you a hell of a lot of kibble …