Within an hour of the message being posted, it had garnered an astonishing 300,000 messages of support from well-wishers.
When the new litter was born, Mr Middleton and his fiancee Alizee Thevenet, 31, posted pictures of themselves with the puppies, as well as their other spaniels Ella, Inca, Luna and Zulu plus golden retriever Mabel, on Instagram. He wrote: “I am sad to see you go, and yes I might cry, but it will be with happiness as each of your new homes are bursting with love.
“You might be scared at first, that’s ok. Just be yourself and you will never understand how much happiness you will bring to your new families and the people you meet. Make me proud and remember to write.”
He donated the money from the sale of the puppies to the charity Pets As Therapy, which provides therapeutic visits to care homes, hospitals and schools.
When Lupo died, Mr Middleton wrote: “Nothing can ever prepare you for the loss of a dog… those who have loved a dog know the truth: a dog is not just a pet; it is a member of the family, a best friend, a loyal companion, a teacher and a therapist.”
He has since said that Ella, who is still alive, really helped him during a difficult battle with clinical depression.
“She saved my life,” he said.