Scooter, the tiny dog wonder, has died.
At six-months-old, the Maltese pup was claimed to be the smallest dog in the world. He was going to try for the official world record when he turned one.
But he never got the chance.
He broke his leg jumping out of the hands of a minder earlier this week. His tiny leg was put in a cast but the medication he was given for it caused stomach ulcers and he did not survive.
But it was not for want of trying. The vets caring for Scooter took him home with them while he was being treated, getting up in the middle of the night to check on him.
"They were amazing, they tried so hard," said owner Cheryl McKnight.
The 8cm tall, 20cm long, pooch is now buried in his shoebox at the bottom of his owner's Gisborne garden.
Scooter slept and spent a lot of his life in the shoebox, she said.
When he died the vets offered Ms McKnight a box to bury him in, but it was too big.
"There was no box small enough for him. I said `I'm not going to bury him in that', so I thought I would put him in the shoe box he lived in. The poor little fella."
"I put him in the box with flowers and a little dove picture to take him to heaven – he looked wonderful."
Ms McKnight said she would miss him immensely.
"He was a big part of my life."
Scooter came from a litter of three and stopped growing before he reached two months.
His weight never exceeded 400 grams – and that was while fully clothed.
Ms McKnight fashioned a regular purple sock into a jersey, which Scooter wore around the house so he was easily seen.
He was originally named Pee Wee, but Ms McKnight changed it, saying she didn't want him to suffer an inferiority complex.
Scooter achieved global fame in his short life, with his picture published in Switzerland, Malaysia, America, Australia, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
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