'Wheel of Fortune' fans offer condolences on social media after Pat Sajak announces death of dog

Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak ended Monday's show on a sad note, with the announcement that his beloved dog of 12 years, Stella, had recently died.

“We recently had to say goodbye to Stella,” Sajak said. “It was a very sad time for the Sajak family.”

The longtime host wanted to honor his former furry friend the best way he knew how, by showing a couple of photos of Stella during happier times. They included a shot of her frolicking in the snow with Sajak and a ceramic dalmatian statue, and a photo of Stella sitting with Sajak — both prompting plenty of “awww” reactions from the show’s studio audience, along with his co-host, Vanna White. And speaking of White, Sajak pointed out that she also has a pet named Stella, although hers is a cat.

Sajak’s Stella salute definitely struck a chord with viewers who took to Twitter with kind words and well wishes, including comments like: “So sad to hear about the passing of Pat’s dog Stella. My condolences are with you, Pat!” And: “I don’t usually cry during Wheel of Fortune, but here we are.” And one viewer, who also lost a dog recently, found the coincidence with Pat’s dog passing to be a little freaky.

The announcement about Stella comes just a few days after Sajak revealed another personal bit information on the show, announcing that his son Patrick Sajak recently graduated from medical school. So, much like Wheel of Fortune itself, life is full ups and downs. RIP, Stella.

“We're gonna miss her. She was a good friend,” Sajak said, before waving goodbye.

Wheel of Fortune airs weeknights, check your local listings.

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