Baby's fighting spirit was an inspiration to Menounos during their 17 years together, especially during the star's brain tumor battle

By Kelli Bender
February 06, 2018 12:23 PM
Credit: Maria Menounous/Instagram

Just like her mom, Baby Menounos is a fighter.

But sadly, Maria Menounos‘ 17-year-old dog lost her battle with pancreatitis and kidney failure on Monday.

“RIP Baby. We spent almost 18 years together. She was my first dog & a dream come true as I dreamed of having her my whole life,” Menounos wrote in an Instagram post announcing the news.

In the post, the Menounos, who recently endured a seven-hour surgery to remove a golf-ball-size meningioma brain tumor, also revealed that Baby died while she was away working for the Super Bowl, but that her husband Keven Undergaro was by the senior dog’s side the entire time.

Baby received her severe pancreatitis and kidney failure diagnosis right before her 16th birthday. At the time, the canine’s vet didn’t give her long to live, but Baby surprised everyone with a “miraculous turnaround” that lasted more than one year.

Menounos celebrated Baby’s perseverance with a big Sweet 16 birthday bash, and treated every day after that “like a gift.” Baby’s fighting spirit through this time was an inspiration to her owner as she handled her own health problems, along with her mom’s brain cancer diagnosis.

Even at the start of their relationship, Baby was an empowering force for her famous mom.

“She’s been w/us from our days in a one bedroom apt when buying razors was tough & going to Taco Bell on a fri night was a treat bc we could afford a pan pizza from Pizza Hut.she got us through the best & worst of times,” Menounos added in her goodbye post.

It’s been an up and down year for Menounos and her dogs; in November, she adopted a new dog, Maximus, but in December, she revealed that another of her senior dogs, Benjamin, likely has a brain tumor.

However, Menounos is now focused on celebrating Baby, who “fought to the last moment,” and the many years she had with the “little angel.”

“I know it’s hard for some to understand bc maybe they haven’t experienced the unconditional love from a dog, but it’s deep & special,” she ended the post. “Baby I will never forget you my little angel, thank you for the laughs, the kisses (yours were always my favorite) and for fighting to stick around long enough for me to heal from surgery & Marry your daddy.”