Another Uga is gone, and I understand the sense of loss

Was this not the most handsome of creatures? (AJC photo by Pouya Dianat)

I ask you: Was this not the most handsome of creatures? (AJC photo by Pouya Dianat)

When Uga VI went to that great puppy playground in the sky two summers ago, some folks wondered why such a fuss was made over his passing. “It is,” they sniffed, “just a dog.” And I thought to myself: Er, no.

I’m not a Georgia fan — and here we pause for all Tech backers to say, “Oh, really? — but I’ve been a fan of the Ugas since first I laid eyes on one. It was a rainy October night in Lexington, Ky. The year was 1976. Georgia was playing the Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium. My girlfriend (now my wife) and I were sitting in the UK student section. We wound up watching less of the game — Georgia won 31-7, Ray Goff throwing a long touchdown pass to Gene Washington — and more of Uga III, who was patrolling the sideline.

We loved his sweater. We loved his proud little walk. We loved him. Indeed, on my first trip to Athens — it was the summer of ‘77, and at age 21 I’d been dispatched on the old SEC Skywriters’ tour — I found a poster of Uga III in a downtown camera store and bought it for my wife-to-be, who displayed it in her apartment. (And she was, and is to this day, a ‘Cat fan.)

When finally I was allowed to cover games for the Lexington Herald-Leader, I would make a trek to Georgia sideline near the end of the game and seek out Uga for petting purposes. Once, at my request, I even had my picture taken with the honorable hound, and I turned to Claude Felton, then as now the Georgia publicist, and said: “This is the greatest moment of my life.”

And he said: “It’s the second-greatest. The greatest will be when he autographs it.”

As fate would have it, I wound up working at the ol’ AJC and hanging around Georgia on a semi-regular basis, and I’ve had the honor and privilege of meeting all Ugas from III through VII, who died today of a heart attack. I even met Otto, who spelled Uga IV for four games — going 3-1 — back in 1986. (Uga had hurt himself falling off his hotel bed. Seriously.) And I still remember what Vince Dooley said that year: “We’ve got good depth at dog.”

I try to be objective about most things. (Here I pause for Paul Hewitt and Greg Norton and Willie Martinez to scream, “Oh, really?’) But I am not at all objective about the Ugas. I believe they’re the most handsome canines in this world or the next. And I completely understand Bulldog Nation’s sense of loss when one is taken away.

Oh, and about here I probably should mention that I attended Maysville High School in Maysville, Ky. We were the Bulldogs. Darn right we were.

473 comments Add your comment

Big time?? Not

November 19th, 2009
9:20 pm

2BT

November 19th, 2009
9:20 pm

Geesh! 3 minutes of my life I can never get back!

Big time?? Not

November 19th, 2009
9:21 pm

Ok just to make it clear for all you bumblers…….Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes. And “buzz” was created by a dog…….

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2009
9:22 pm

Yes, Big Time. Kudos.

Epiminondas

November 19th, 2009
9:24 pm

The poor dog died from grief. I mean, how much more could he take???

NJ Dawg

November 19th, 2009
9:24 pm

Any decent person should be able to understand the pain caused by the loss of a pet. Thanks for your thoughtful column, Mark.

ron_mexico

November 19th, 2009
9:24 pm

enjoyed the article.

phil

November 19th, 2009
9:25 pm

Bradley
Your best work. Long live the UGA’s

Wonder what VII’s epitath will be? We hardly know ya!

NO 3 MAN RUSH EVER

November 19th, 2009
9:25 pm

GLOOM, DESPAIR AND AGONY ON ME. A GREAT DOG THAT WILL SURELY BE MISSED. HOPE THIS SEASON DIDN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. LET US PULL FOR THE DAWGS SATURDAY NIGHT AND EAGERLY AWAIT THE NEW UGA. GOD BLESS UGA.

he was a good dawg

November 19th, 2009
9:25 pm

he was a good dawg

BG

November 19th, 2009
9:25 pm

Great Article UGA7 will be missed.

Big time?? Not

November 19th, 2009
9:26 pm

Ok one more thing. I’m personal friends with the Seilers. They lost a beloved member of the family. Be cool with it.

buzz29

November 19th, 2009
9:26 pm

Larry Munson released a statement from the Shady Grove Retirement Home: Dearly beloved we are joined here today for the blessed union of pickle pants and 9:24:11 PM. Dan. I want to thank the Academy for this lovely bison pizza. Now give me the reins so that we don’t go over the cliff in our dishwasher.

Vick=Dog killing thug

November 19th, 2009
9:26 pm

If your any kind of dawg fan you’ve got tears in your eyes with this news. Happy trails in heaven UGA…

Barry

November 19th, 2009
9:29 pm

DGdawgs – every one of them.

carrolltondawg

November 19th, 2009
9:32 pm

Thanks mark great article maybe now we should black out saturday for UGA.

BugKiller

November 19th, 2009
9:34 pm

I have a feeling that after reading this, it will be impossible for the eyes of the Bulldog Nation to remain dry, Mark.

I know the Mike Vick fans will disagree, but for people who aren’t sociopaths, pets ARE family. Cats, dogs… they’re our comfort and our companions.

I feel for the Seilers today. They weren’t ready for this one. Just like my family wasn’t ready when Shadow, the black lab my mom rescued from the streets of Gainesville (GA) died suddenly and without warning after only two years. He was such a good boy, so full of energy and love.

We didn’t know Uga VII like we knew Uga VI. To be honest, I have to wonder if he was really okay this whole time. He labored so much more than his dad. He had far less energy and spent most of his time in his house with his icebag.

I think it’s time that the Seilers maybe try to breed a healthier bulldog, instead of trying so hard for a pure white bulldog.

[...] got good depth at dog.” Jump to Comments That’s Mark Bradley quoting Vince Dooley and it’s as appropriate an epitaph for Uga VII as I can think of.  Maybe he wasn’t as [...]

Chuck Uga

November 19th, 2009
9:35 pm

buzz29, congrats, that is funny in light of the sad news.

SADDER NEWS is that the young man Veazey (UGA baseball player) who crashed on his scooter a few days ago is paralyzed from the waist down. This has been a very, very bad week for the University of Georgia.

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2009
9:36 pm

Thanks very much. But I don’t know if the Bulldogs want to try another color-coordinated tack, Carrolltondawg. Just saying.

HBTD

November 19th, 2009
9:36 pm

UGA VII was a great one that will be dearly missed by all his fans. I saw him this past weekend heading up to his room after the game with Auburn. He looked great and was so cordial as he walked through the lobby where he stopped to have his picture taken with some of his adoring fans as he waited for the elevator. It’s very sad to think that UGA will not be with his team and fans this Saturday evening, but I’m sure his presence will be felt by all as they enter Sanford Stadium. Let’s hope the Dawgs can go out out and get a big win for UGA this Saturday.

GADevildawgs

November 19th, 2009
9:41 pm

great column Mark

bass stringerfish

November 19th, 2009
9:41 pm

Very nice article Mark. Well done.

misty

November 19th, 2009
9:42 pm

My deepest condolences to the Seiler family and UGA. I am a Univ of Texas graduate, married to a Tech graduate, but I always admire UGA’s beloved mascot UGAs. I have great memories with every UGA. My favorite is the Uga V vs. Auburn receiver Robert Baker incident, and UGA V in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. I was just getting to know UGA VII. My heart is truly saddened. R.I.P. UGA VII

La Jolla Dawg

November 19th, 2009
9:42 pm

We have a bulldog, Annie, who is absolutely adored by everyone in my family. I enjoyed this post Mark and must say that you have damn good taste in dogs. I am sorry for the Seiler’s loss, it is never easy to lose a pet, but losing one unexpectedly and at such a young age is very upsetting. I think all UGA graduates and fans are proud of the Ugas, it is a sad day for us all.

Big time?? Not

November 19th, 2009
9:45 pm

Last one really…..once I get past trying to trump St. Simons here’s the deal. Mark, I was at that 1977 game as a student. Have been to LX 6 or 7 times. Horse racing and football…great combination. One of my favorite road trips.

Great article about losing a pet/family member. Thanks

Foreshadowing

November 19th, 2009
9:46 pm

The loss of UGA VII is sad for sure.
The whole thing is kind of symbolic of everyone’s hope in Mark Richt.
Richt, I believe, is foreshadowing his own departure, “”You never think something like that could happen that quickly, but it certainly did,” Richt said. “It’s sad we won’t have him on the sideline anymore.””

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2009
9:46 pm

I should also mention that Rachel Bradley, who attended a Georgia football game at a young age and likewise became enamored of UGA, went to a basketball doubleheader in the Georgia Dome — the year was 1996, I believe, which would have made her 6 — and was nonplussed at the dog’s absence. So she walked right up to Tubby Smith and said, “Where’s UGA?”

Mark Bradley

November 19th, 2009
9:47 pm

After Jacksonville, I’m pretty sure Lexington is the Georgia fan’s favorite road trip. Which I can understand. Lexington is a great place.

zingerdawg

November 19th, 2009
9:48 pm

I have always enjoyed your articles, but this one was great. Your best work, thanks.

uberVU - social comments

November 19th, 2009
9:48 pm

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by MarkBradleyAJC: Was UA VII “just a dog”? No way, I say. http://bit.ly/3df7qW…

Big time?? Not

November 19th, 2009
9:52 pm

Keenland on Saturday afternoon, Commonwealth Stadium at night. Good stuff.

dawggirl

November 19th, 2009
9:53 pm

You will be missed, UGA VII. Condolences to the Seiler family and to all of us in Bulldawg Nation.

He was the William Henry Harrison of UGA’s – too short a time in office.

browndog

November 19th, 2009
9:54 pm

Very nice article!

jarvis

November 19th, 2009
9:54 pm

They have officially lost the right to call us classless.

http://www.fromtherumbleseat.com/2009/11/19/1165637/ding-dong-the-mutt-is-dead

I wishall Jackets an untimely demise.

buzz29

November 19th, 2009
9:56 pm

Did Tubby ask her where her Tech hating dad was?

Tech Fan

November 19th, 2009
9:56 pm

I’m a Tech grad and Tech fan, but I feel for Georgia fans today with the loss of UGA7. Sonny Seiler has another in the wings, I’m sure, but the loss of a dog is hard for anyone. UGA: Godspeed to you, pup. I hope Bulldog heaven is a place where you get to watch the heavenly Georgia team win every game every year but the one that’s played after Thanksgiving.

Techreck

November 19th, 2009
9:58 pm

I still look forward to beating UGA next week, but I have great sympathy for the Seilers and the Univ
of Georgia. So sorry for your loss.

Chris

November 19th, 2009
9:59 pm

JARVIS and other UGA fans, the moron who made that picture’s e-mail address is thelegacyx4@gmail.com

willie martinez

November 19th, 2009
9:59 pm

I hate it, just hate it. don’t understand why i grieve like i do. Mark, great, great column.

WoodstockGT

November 19th, 2009
10:01 pm

As a GT fan- my condolences.

willie martinez

November 19th, 2009
10:01 pm

i feel terribly guilty now about making a joke about uga laughing in a staff meeting earlier today.

buzz29

November 19th, 2009
10:03 pm

Thanks for the link, Jarvis.

Asheville Dawg

November 19th, 2009
10:03 pm

God bless UGA. Mark, while you were at UK, I was at Transylvania U. (’78). Interesting.

willie martinez

November 19th, 2009
10:05 pm

kudos to the Sieler family that have provided the mascots through thick and thin.

willie martinez

November 19th, 2009
10:06 pm

God, sorry about the horrible grammer and spelling.

Coffee Bluff DAWG

November 19th, 2009
10:07 pm

Mark, Very nice words about our UGA Mascots. There is no mascot in CFB that can represent their school as well as our White English Bulldog.

It’s a very sad day here in Savannah and all across Bulldog Nation. Just found out when I got in earlier this evening and am very upset. My sincere condolences go out to the Seiler family on this devastating loss.

buzz29

November 19th, 2009
10:08 pm

I love you too, Mark.

willie martinez

November 19th, 2009
10:09 pm

Mark, is it hard to be so objective after working and living in Atlanta for 25 years?

willie martinez

November 19th, 2009
10:11 pm

i wouldnt scream at you right now.