A miniature schnauzer credited with saving his owner's life by alerting her to emerging cancer cells eight years ago has died at the age of 13.
Oscar passed away peacefully on Tuesday after a period of illness.
His owner, former Taradale resident Fran Mills, was still coming to terms with Oscar's loss.
The pair went viral in 2013 after it was revealed Oscar had detected breast cancer in its early stages of development.
Mrs Mills told the Bendigo Advertiser at the time she went for a mammogram because Oscar had been pawing at the right side of her chest.
"I thought he was trying to tell me something," she said.
A biopsy showed Mrs Mills was at risk of developing cancer cells in her right breast.
The concerning tissue was removed, revealing two cancers.
Mrs Mills has been for mammograms and ultrasounds annually since her brush with cancer. Her most recent ones came days after Oscar's death.
She had yet to receive the results, but had been clear of cancer for about seven years.
"He's just such a special little dog," Mrs Mills said.
Oscar joined the family as a puppy and was beloved.
He developed Cushing's disease roughly two years ago and had to be medicated every day.
Despite all the love and care, there were signs his condition was deteriorating.
Oscar was then diagnosed with severe gallbladder inflammation.
Mrs Mills said the little dog had rallied, raising the family's hopes he would be able to withstand surgery.
But his condition worsened, leaving the family with little choice but to say goodbye.
"We knew it was the right thing to do for him," a devastated Mrs Mills said.
She reflected on the care the Bendigo region had shown Oscar and herself following the 2013 story.
"We were very lucky to get the support we got at the time," Mrs Mills said.
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