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LONDON (AP) _ Prince Charles' pet dog Tigga, an 18-year-old Jack Russell terrier, has died.

The elderly pet had been ill and he was put down by a vet on Monday at the prince's Highgrove country estate, royal officials said.

The prince had owned Tigga since he was a puppy.

``He is very upset, as Tigga was a companion for a very long time,'' a spokesman for St. James's Palace said with customary anonymity.

The dog featured in a number of Prince Charles' Christmas cards along with his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

One of Tigga's offspring, Freddy, is the pet of Prince Charles' companion Camilla Parker Bowles.

Another, named Pooh, mysteriously disappeared near Balmoral Castle in Scotland in April 1994 and was never seen again.

Despite the ``Pooh'' allusion, the palace made clear that the name of the prince's late pet was not spelled Tigger, like the character in A.A. Milne's books.