Athens, Ga.-Uga VII, the legendary Georgia mascot who roamed the sidelines at Bulldog football games, died unexpectedly Thursday morning in Savannah.
He died of heart-related causes according to owner Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler.He was four years old and finishing his second season as the team’s mascot. His given name was “Loran’s Best” and his first game was Aug. 30, 2008, vs. Georgia Southern.
“We are all in a state of shock,” said Seiler.”We had no warning whatsoever.”
There will be no live mascot at Georgia’s game on Saturday but a wreath will be placed on Uga VII’s doghouse on the north sideline.
“He was 10-3 last year which is not bad for a ‘freshman,'” said Seiler.”Uga VII was not as active or mischievous as his father but more distinguished.He realized his role when he put his shirt on.He was well-behaved and always appreciated the significance of his role.”
“This is a very sad day for the Seiler family but also for all Georgia people,” said Damon Evans, UGA Director of Athletics.”Just as his ancestors, he had captured the hearts of college football fans everywhere as the country’s number one mascot.He had been truly embraced by all those who follow the Georgia Bulldogs across the country.We will miss him dearly.”
Seiler said there were options available for Uga VII’s replacement but no final determination would be made until sometime next year.
“Our hearts go out to the Seilers and the entire Bulldog Nation at this unexpected loss,” stated University of Georgia President Michael F. Adams.”Uga VII was both a family pet and a symbol for millions of fans, and besides that he was just a sweet dog.We will miss him.”
The College of Veterinary Medicine is saddened by the sudden loss of our dear friend and mascot,” Uga VII,” said Dr. Sheila W. Allen, dean of the College, and Dr. R. Bruce Hollett, personal faculty veterinarian for Uga VII. “His playful personality and winning spirit will be missed by all of us at the veterinary college, and all of us at the University of Georgia. The Seilers are long-time friends of the University, and we share in their grief.”
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the Seilers have requested donations to help build UGA’s new Veterinary Medical Learning Center.
- Audio slideshow: Uga VII’s first day on the job
- Movie: Uga VII at work
- Photo album: Saturday’s memorial service
- Movie: Saying good-bye