Jean, Keith’s wife, told Shooting Times: “It may be too early to say, but I doubt if we will ever get another dog. Brock was one in a million and the inspiration behind the creation of the Dog cartoon.”

“Not that he was naughty or wilful like Dog — quite the contrary, in fact.”

“But nonetheless he really did inspire that first cartoon 15 years ago. Keith had diligently trained Brock to respond to his commands and the noise of the gun when he was a young puppy.”

“We spent many happy hours in the garden, hiding the dummy and blowing the whistle, until eventually he was considered ready to go on his first shoot.”

“The rest is history. Where have all those halcyon years gone? — misty mornings on the shoot, Keith and Brock side by side at the peg, Brock in the river retrieving, the look of the loyal servant rewarding his master.”

“Though Brock was a wonderfully obedient and loving dog, I am sure he provided Keith with much cartoon fodder over the years. But more than that, Brock left behind memories that made last Tuesday so unbearably sad, yet they are memories we would never want to be without.”

“Keith will miss him hugely. He was the quiet presence at all times of day or night, and he has left a vacuum we are both finding very difficult to fill.”

The inspiration behind Shooting Times ‘Dog’ cartoon dies