Fidel, the perpetually sleepy Labrador whose photo is probably on thousands of tourists’ cellphones, has passed away. He whiled the days away in his window in Bruges, Belgium, looking on as guides conducted river tours right below him.
According to his human, Caroline Van Langeraert, the pup was quite ill; after a visit to the vet the two received a disheartening diagnosis. With the only option being a risky surgery to prolong his life perhaps two months, she was not hopeful about his quality of life. Translated from the Dutch, she tells Dutch news site Het Nieuwsblad:
He died as we know him, with his head between his paws. […] It’s a difficult grieving process, because he felt a bit like my baby.
He would have been thirteen in May.
Caroline has received condolences from around the world, which is a bit surreal considering Fidel has never strayed far from his pillow in the window. Even after his passing, she explains, American tourists have sent emails looking to stay in her bed and breakfast—just to meet Fidel in person.
The pup made his film debut with a cameo in “In Bruges” starring Collin Farrell, and became famous on Reddit for having “a better life than us.” Since his biggest worry was likely being hit by a few raindrops, or tiring of all the puparazzi photos, we have a hard time disagreeing.
He’d even made his way into several tourist guides after being unofficially named the “most photographed dog in Bruges.” And that’s not all—among his thousands of pictures, there lies some really beautiful creations. Reddit user opnwyder made an oil painting of Fidel, seen below.
Here are just a few kind words as written by Redditers:
If only we knew just how many photos of Bruges’ most famous citizen lie out in the world… rest in peace, Fidel. Thousands will look in your window and miss seeing you there.