1. Headline
  1. Headline
Betty White, Kristen Stewart, Lucky Diamond
AP
In this undated photo provided by Lucky Diamond Productions, Inc., actresses Betty White, left and Wendy Diamond hold Lucky Diamond.
By
updated 6/6/2012 12:36:27 PM ET 2012-06-06T16:36:27

A little dog with a big mission and a pack of celebrity sidekicks has lost her battle with cancer.

Lucky Diamond died Tuesday, in her dog bed at her New York City home. The rescued Maltese was about 15 years old, according to her owner, Wendy Diamond.

Diamond dedicated her life to animal welfare after adopting Lucky in 1999.

The sweet-but-spunky canine patiently starred in photo ops with celebrities ranging from Kristen Stewart of "Twilight" fame to hip-hop star Snoop Dogg and actress Betty White, who is herself an animal-welfare advocate.

Story: Wanted: A groom for dying celebrity pooch

In November, the Guinness Book of World Records announced that Lucky was "the animal photographed with the most famous people." Her total at the time was 363, including Kim Kardashian, Richard Branson "and many more," Guinness confirmed Tuesday.

  1. More on pets
    1. Festive felines: 11 cats in Christmas trees
    2. Boy, beaver wave to each other at zoo
    3. From blocks to stationery, 11 gift ideas for pets
    4. Most popular kitten names: Bella, Max and ... Kitty
    5. 24 fantastic animal photos

Lucky also was involved in widespread charity work. Among other things, her fuzzy, doe-eyed lovability resulted in funds and awareness for the Humane Society of New York. Her last public appearance was as "chair dog" of the American Cancer Society's "Bark for Life" on May 6 in Manhattan's Riverside Park.

Diamond and Lucky visited Russia, Greece and Mexico while advocating for animals. Fans worldwide followed their adventures and posted supportive Facebook messages after Lucky's February diagnosis of spleen cancer.

Video: Elvis the pooch rescued from pipe

"She made me realize how lucky I am, no matter what transpired in my life," said Diamond. "I'm beyond grateful for the outpouring of generosity and support from friends and strangers who know exactly how much Lucky meant to me."

  1. Stories from
    1. What We're Reading This Weekend: Celebrity Nonfiction
    2. Rachel Bilson's Boho-Chic Bump Style
    3. Aubrey Plaza to Voice Grumpy Cat in Lifetime's Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever
    4. Man Arrested for the Murder of Jill Halliburton Su
    5. America's Got Talent Winner Mat Franco: I'm No Longer Embarrassed to Say I'm a Magician

With inspiration from Lucky, Diamond wrote the forward to the book "Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Dog."

On July 12, the always-game Lucky was to be dressed as a bride for an over-the-top, luxury "wedding" extravaganza benefiting the Humane Society. Diamond, who did not shy away from references to Lucky's dwindling time on earth, has decided to adopt another lucky dog so that the show — and the cause — can go on. The winner of a contest to choose the canine "groom" will be named on June 28.

"Lucky's life and her legacy of saving the underdog will be celebrated and her mission continued," Diamond said.

Follow us on Pinterest and on Twitter @TODAYPets.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Grabby greyhound! Dog jumps on desk, steals stuff

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

More on TODAY.com

  1. Getty Images file

    Secret life of teens: The dangerous drug parents aren't talking about with kids

    9/19/2014 10:58:23 AM +00:00 2014-09-19T10:58:23
  1. Fowl play? Scientists investigate wildlife crime in secret Oregon lab

    Imagine a high-tech crime lab where investigators use forensics to solve cases — in which the victims are animals. It’s not a TV spinoff, but a real-life scenario in rural Oregon, where an elite team of scientists convene in a secretive, one-of-a-kind facility.

    9/19/2014 11:29:18 AM +00:00 2014-09-19T11:29:18
  1. Leon Neal / AFP - Getty Images

    Still united! Scotland rejects independence with historic vote

    9/19/2014 10:51:18 AM +00:00 2014-09-19T10:51:18
  1. America shrugs off NFL scandals, NBC poll reveals

    So much for all that outrage. Nearly 90 percent of Americans say the recent outcry about domestic violence in the NFL hasn’t changed how much professional football they watch — and less than a third of the nation believes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should resign.

    9/19/2014 10:53:34 AM +00:00 2014-09-19T10:53:34
  1. Sandra Di Carlo Darsa / Photoalto via AP

    Spank debate: Parents say punishment make them better

    9/19/2014 11:54:20 AM +00:00 2014-09-19T11:54:20