Lexington, the much loved dog of Msgr. Robert Ritchie of the St. Patrick's Cathedral, passed away Monday, according to New York Daily News. The darling yellow lab has lived at the cathedral for over 15 years, and has even served as the inspiration for the addition of a new dog statue in the Christmas Nativity scene. Ritchie's beloved pooch passed away peacefully while Ritchie was recovering from knee surgery.

Ritchie first purchased Lexington when it was just a pup. The rector was smitten with Lexington, who served as Ritchie's companion in walks through the upper East Side. During one of these strolls, Ritchie was inspired to include a dog in the Nativity scene. An Italian studio provided the carving of a golden retriever that bears a striking resemblance to Lexington.

After all, Didn't the shepherds have dogs to help herd the sheep? said the clergyman.