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'Wheel of Fortune' host Pat Sajak mourns beloved family dog with sweet tribute

During Monday's "Wheel of Fortune," Sajak announced that his dog of 12 years, Stella, had died.
Sajak with his late dog, Stella.
Sajak with his late dog, Stella.Wheel of Fortune
/ Source: TODAY

The Sajak family is in mourning after the death of their 12-year-old dog, Stella.

“Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak announced the sad news at the end of Monday’s episode of the long-running game show.

He noted that in a funny twist of fate, he and his co-host, Vanna White, had given their pets the same name without consulting each other.

“You and I have a lot of things in common,” he said to White. “We both have two kids, we both have the same unusual blood type, but the weirdest of all is we both independently, without either one knowing it, named our pets the same name.”

“Your cat … Stella,” he said, as White nodded. “And then we had a dog named Stella.”

Sajak explained he was speaking in the past tense since their dog had just passed away and shared a couple photos on the screen of himself with the late pooch.

“It was a very sad time for the Sajak family,” he said. “But we wanted to salute Stella by showing her happier days.”

Sajak plays with his late dog Stella in the yard as she reacts to a ceramic dalmatian.
Sajak plays with his late dog Stella in the yard as she reacts to a ceramic dalmatian. Wheel of Fortune

“We're going to miss her,” Sajak concluded. “She was a good friend.”

Fans on Twitter offered their condolences for the late dog.

“#RIPStella Sorry for your loss Pat. On my way home and will hug my furbaby extra tight,” @newyorknight2 posted. “Stay strong.”

“I don’t usually cry during Wheel of Fortune, but here we are,” @Daffodi78802031 wrote.

"Pat Sajak and Stella: we know how you feel. It's hard to say goodbye," @CcSpree posted.

The somber news comes soon after Sajak revealed another (much happier) life event on the show. Last week, the game show host “did a little parental bragging” and announced his son Patrick had graduated from medical school.

“He is now officially Dr. Sajak, and we're all thrilled,” he said, joking that it’s “troubling” that his son now “insists that I call him Dr. Sajak."

Sajak and his wife Lesly have two kids together, including Patrick. They also have a daughter named Maggie.