07/22/2009 at 11:00 AM EDT
She charmed millions without ever saying a word, and managed to make fast food tacos adorable. Gidget, the Chihuahua best known for her Taco Bell ad campaign, died from a stroke on Tuesday night at age 15.
"She made so many people happy," says Gidget's trainer, Sue Chipperton. PEOPLE met both Gidget and Sue at a Hollywood animals photo shoot in February, where the pup was a consummate pro and delighted the crew with her playful nature.
The mostly retired actor lived out her days lying in the sun – "I like to joke that it's like looking after a plant," says Chipperton – and entertaining at shoots when her trainer brought her along. "Gidget," says Chipperton, "always knew where the camera was."
For more EXCLUSIVE news on Gidget's life and legacy, visit PEOPLE PETS