Wednesday, 19 December 2012 09:36
Koko, the canine star of the film Red Dog, has died in Perth after a battle with congestive heart disease that was diagnosed earlier this year.
The seven-year-old red cloud kelpie became Australia's best-known and beloved dog when he starred in the film about a dog who united a Pilbara mining community in the 1970s.
Red Dog producer and Koko owner, Nelson Woss, said he was devastated to have lost his "best mate".
"Through the making of Red Dog, Koko became Australia's favourite dog," he said.
"He certainly changed my life forever.
"I will miss his companionship, his remarkable outgoing, friendly nature and the many long walks that we enjoyed together in Perth and around the country."
Red Dog, which co-starred Josh Lucas and Rachael Taylor, was based on a Louis de Bernieres novel about a real-life dog in Western Australia.
The film was a huge hit at the box office, taking more than $21 million and becoming the eighth highest-grossing Australian film of all time.
Red Dog won best film at the first Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts awards this year.
Koko also won best dog in a foreign film at the Golden Collar Awards in Los Angeles.
In a statement on the Red Dog movie website Mr Woss said anyone who would like to remember or honour Koko can do so by making a donation or pledge in Koko’s name to the Shenton Park Dogs' Refuge near Perth.
Red Dog website
Shenton Park Dogs' Refuge
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