Ryan Gosling has confirmed his beloved dog George died in December.
The 36-year-old actor sparked rumours about the canine's wellbeing by wearing the pooch's dog tag as a necklace for every event he has attended in recent months. And during a pre-taped appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, airing on Friday, Ryan spoke touchingly about his dog, who he adopted from an animal shelter in 2000.
"He passed away in December and he was a good friend to me," Ryan mused, revealing his pet was 17 at the time of his death.
Ryan and partner Eva Mendes had been photographed carrying George into an animal hospital in Los Angeles in December, with both looking upset as they left the centre without the pooch.
The Blade Runner 2049 actor also told Ellen that he feels the word "dog" isn't an accurate description of George.
"It's funny to say 'dog' because I feel like, there was something about George where I think he felt like being a dog was beneath him," Ryan laughed. "He would not do tricks. If you wanted him to sit down you had to sort of convince him it was in his best interests."
After recalling one incident where George had been sitting on the pavement at an outdoor restaurant looking "forlorn" before stealing somebody's chair at the table when they went to the restroom, Ryan revealed he aged like a "rock star".
"He was sort of skinny fat, he had big hair and no teeth, open sores, but still sexy," he joked.
When Ellen commented that Ryan should get another dog, the actor shrugged and said, "We'll see".
Ryan had never made a secret of his affection for his dog, telling Britain's The Independent newspaper in 2013 that George was "the great love of my life".
"I wanted George here today, you know, doing interviews with me," he said. "Normally, I take him everywhere, I have special paperwork so he can travel with me wherever I go."