“Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak is receiving a heartwarming show of support from fans after announcing on air that his beloved dog of 12 years passed away.
“We recently had to say goodbye to Stella,” announced a crestfallen Sajak, 74, ending Monday night’s broadcast on a melancholy note. “It was a very sad time for the Sajak family.”
Sajak, 74, concluded the episode by showing several photos of his deceased pooch during “happier days,” prompting an outpouring of “awwws” from the studio audience.
One of the pics depicted the game show icon playing with Stella next to a ceramic Dalmatian, while others showed Sajak playing in the snow with her — and sitting in a chair with his canine companion at his side.
“We’re gonna miss her,” Sajak said after sharing the family photos. “She was a good friend.”
The reminiscing continued into Sajak’s post-show banter with “WOF” co-host Vanna White, 64, during which he observed that they’d both decided to name their pets Stella, even though White’s fur baby is a cat.
“You and I have a lot of things in common,” Sajak told his loyal letter-turner. “We both have two kids, we both have the same unusual blood type — but the weirdest of all, we independently, without anyone knowing it, we both named our pets the same name.”
Needless to say, Sajak’s touching tribute struck a chord with viewers, who took to social media to offer their #RIPStella condolences.
“So sad to hear about the passing of Pat’s dog Stella,” said one well-wisher. “My condolences are with you, Pat!”
Another fan commented, “I don’t usually cry during Wheel of Fortune, but here we are.”
“Um woah my dog just passed away Friday & tonight Pat’s talking about his recently deceased dog too? (Recently as of whatever this episode was taped.) Freaky!” another commiserator chimed in.