Noodle the pug, the beloved dog behind the viral “bones or no bones?” day predictions on TikTok, died on Friday, Dec. 2 at age 14.
“I’m so sorry to have to share this, but Noodle passed yesterday,” Graziano, who adopted Noodle when the dog was 7, said. “He was at home, he was in my arms. This is incredibly sad. It’s incredibly difficult. It’s a day that I always knew was coming but never thought would arrive.”
Graziano added, “Although this is very sad, I wanted to let you know, and I wanted to encourage you to celebrate him while we’re navigating this sadness.”
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“He lived 14 and a half years which is about as long as you can hope a dog can,” he continued. “And he made millions of people happy. What a run.”
Graziano thanked fans for loving Noodle and for “embracing" the duo, concluding his emotional statement with some levity, making a joke about Noodle's infamous "cheese ball full of meds."
“Give your dog a cheese ball tonight, but it has to be the fake stuff.”
Noodle the pug and Graziano rose to popularity on TikTok in 2021 during the pandemic for their “bones or no bones?” video series.
In videos shared nearly daily on Graziano’s TikTok, he held Noodle up in a dog bed to see if the pug would stand up or proceed to lie back down. If Noodle flopped over, that made it a “no bones” day, whereas if Noodle remained standing up, it would be declared a “bones” day.
As Graziano explained in his first appearance on TODAY in Oct. 2021, “A bones day is a day where you just have to go after your ambition or a task you were outing off. A no bones day is a day when you just permission to wear soft clothes, self-care, take a bath.”
On TikTok alone, Graziano and Noodle amassed 4.5 million followers — with 271,000 more on Instagram — earning nearly 100 million likes across their collection of videos.
By January 2022, it was announced that Noodle would become the star of his own children’s book, “Noodle and the No Bones Day,” written by Graziano. The book featured both Noodle and his owner as they went through the ebbs and flows of life, including both the “bones” and “no bones” days.
After the book was published on June 7, the dynamic duo stopped by TODAY again on a “bones” day to talk about the book. Graziano explained that the book followed Noodle’s first “no bones” day experience.
“The book is all about me figuring out that not only is it important for me to listen to Noodle when he does or does not want to do something, but that it’s OK to let people know when you need to have either a personal day or you’re ready to go out in the world,” Graziano said, later adding, “I’m still kind of new to this self-care idea, so the idea that we can introduce it in a children’s book and frame it in this way, it’s just wonderful to see that this has really made an impact.”
During his first visit to Studio 1A, Graziano reflected on how his senior pug had not only become a viral sensation, but also a source of happiness for many viewers.
“Noodle has brought joy to so many people online. I can’t believe it,” Graziano said. “This ‘no bones’ video is something that I would just do as a silly little ritual for us in the morning to check in and see how he was doing. And then it took off. People starting using it as a forecast for how their day was going to go and I leaned into it. We all need a little positivity right now."
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: