Ashleigh Butler and her dog Sully will be performing tonight on America’s Got Talent: The Champions. This is the duo’s debut performance on the show; when Ashleigh won Britain’s Got Talent season 6, she competed with her dog Pudsey who passed away in 2017. Sully has a lot to live up to on the show, competing with a partner whose already won a Got Talent title.
When Pudsey passed away, Ashleigh wrote in an emotional post “My poor handsome is gone, and I don’t know what to do without him. My heart is broken, and I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. It hurts so much, that my handsome, incredible Pudsey Bear will never be by my side, where he belongs, again.” He was 11 when he passed, and the two were even in a movie together, called Pudsey the Dog: the Movie. Though she has continued competing and performing with Sully, she said Pudsey was her “one in a billion dog that will never be replaced.”
To introduce Sully, Ashleigh and her dog appeared on Good Morning Britain. Sully, whose full name is Sullivan, is a poodle, border collie, and Chinese crested mix. While grieving the loss of Pudsey and seeking a new dog to compete with, Ashleigh said she’d had Sully for 4 years and he grew up with Pudsey, making him an easy choice. She said that when Pudsey died, who was like Sully’s brother, Sully “went through a period where he started losing his coat a little bit and he just wasn’t right.” She said that she named her dog after Sully the monster from the Disney-Pixar movie Monster’s Inc.
Ahead of Ashleigh’s return to the Got Talent stage, People Magazine got a look at her new act and new dog. For their America’s Got Talent: The Champsions audition, Ashleigh and Sully perform a dog trick act in a faux boxing ring to the song “Maniac.”
Ashleigh is an agility handler; according to SpotOnAgility.com, successful agility trainers need to be open-minded, constantly learning, and always be teachable. Ashleigh appears to be all three, and the commitment to her dogs is apparent on her Instagram page. She often posts photos of their training, and gushes over Sully’s show wins in her posts. Recently, she shared that Sully concluded the 2018 agility season “by winning his 9th championship ticket!!! Meaning we hit our goal of winning 5 champ tickets this year!!”
Butler’s IMDB says she was born on February 6, 1995 in Northampton, England. Apart from her career as an agility handler and dog trainer, and her fame for her winning dog trick acts on Britain’s Got Talent, Butler’s Instagram shows that she is also a talented singer and recently played Dorothy in a stage production of The Wizard of Oz. Photos with friends show that she enjoys nights out like any other young woman her age.
Watch Ashleigh & Sully, and all the other “Champion” contestants, compete on America’s Got Talent: The Champions, airing on NBC at 8pm ET.