It was upsetting viewing for Emmerdale fans on Wednesday night, as the Dingle family were forced to say goodbye to their pet dog Alfie. The beloved animal was diagnosed with an inoperable tumour, and the family faced the difficult decision of putting him down. The scenes were praised by viewers on Twitter, with many finding them heartbreaking to watch. One wrote: "Watching Alfie's last scenes in Emmerdale has been more heartbreaking than any other scene in any soap atm." Another said: "Well done with the Alfie scenes you captured the closeness and relationships us humans have with our pets beautifully." A third added: "Tears in my eyes tonight, Emmerdale strikes again, you always get it right on the emotional side."
Emmerdale fans were left devestated watching Alfie's last scenes
In real life, the dog who plays the beloved Dingle animal is also called Alfie, is retiring from Emmerdale following a nine-year stint. The popular dog will be much missed on set, with actress Jane Cox – who plays Lisa Dingle on the show – revealing that she cried "real tears" while filming his last scenes. Talking to the Radio Times, she said: "Filming those final scenes with Alfie was heartbreaking. Anyone who’s had animals knows how hard it is when you have to make that kind of choice." She added: "Even though we knew the dog playing Alfie is perfectly fine, it was very difficult. That dog is such a brilliant actor – he’s learnt from all of us you see!"
Alfie's owners Zak and Lisa said an emotional goodbye to their family pet
Alfie has been at the centre of some of the programme’s biggest storylines. He has played scenes where he has been poisoned, had to dig up a dead body and was treated for consuming rat poison. Last year he was run over by Diddy Diner at a vegan fair and was given the kiss of life by troubled teen Lachlan.
His owner - Lynda Woodrow explained that she believed it was "kinder" to put Alfie into retirement sooner rather than later. She said: “We realised Alfie was getting older as his hearing is not what it was and we felt is was kinder to put Alfie into retirement before his job got too hard for him to do it well. But be reassured in real life Alfie is enjoying life in retirement.”