A popular black Labrador from Chesham who went by the name of Banana Dog has died

The 14/15-year-old pooch, whose real name was Shadow, was a regular face in Chesham over the last 13 years after he would walk around parts of the town with a banana in his mouth.

The curve shaped fruit was one of Shadow’s favourite pieces of food, with passers by often stopping whatever they were doing to acknowledge and play with the dog.

However, after a number of years of ill health, Shadow was put to sleep on Wednesday, July 17.

Shadow’s owner, Chris Caplen, told the Bucks Free Press: “Shadow was a sweet and loveable dog who had a huge heart.

“We would go for a walk from Waitrose to Sainsbury’s before going to Lowndes Park by Park Road where we’d talk to others and enjoy the day.

“When we went to the park, we would have a banana each where people will always stop to talk and eventually play with him.

“Shadow loved all of that.

“The people of Chesham loved him and they, along with myself, will miss him so much.”

The 76-year-old from Somerset, who moved to Slough in 1959, took in Shadow when the mutt was 14 months old back in 2006.

At the peak of his health, Shadow would go out for walks four to five times a day.

But diseases started to affect the twilight of Shadow’s life and after suffering from arthritis and a malignant tumour which saw the removal of one of his eyes in 2017, it looked like the popular pooch wasn’t going to make it.

However, he battled on and enjoyed the final two years of his life.

Chris added: “It got to the point where he was struggling to go for walks.

“He was panting heavily, his hearing was gone, he wasn’t moving as freely and you could tell he just didn’t have the energy, even though he wanted to go out for walks.

“I didn’t want to make the decision to put him down but I knew it was the right thing to do.

"He was suffering and it wasn't fair on him.

“Yet, at the same time, it was the hardest decision I have ever had to make.”

The retired chemical scientist then added: “I just thought it was fair to the people of Chesham who knew Shadow and played with him that he was no longer with us.

“Shadow loved being in the company of people.

“So, I thought it’d be right for the people who knew him to let them know that this wonderful, sweet, dog, who was my companion is no longer with us.”

“I feel very empty”.