ATHENS – Uga VIII died Friday, at not quite 17 months old and after only a half-season as the University of Georgia mascot.
The white English bulldog was diagnosed early last month with lymphoma, a common cancer in dogs.
“We all mourn the loss of Uga VIII, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Seiler family at this time,” said Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity, referring to the Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler family of Savannah, long-time owners of the Uga line of mascots.
Uga VIII, born Sept. 12, 2009, took over as the Bulldogs’ mascot at the Oct. 16, 2010, homecoming football game against Vanderbilt in Sanford Stadium. He served for the final six games of the regular season but did not travel to Memphis for the Liberty Bowl because of what was thought at the time to be a gastrointestinal condition.
After the cancer diagnosis, Uga VIII began chemotherapy treatments, which veterinarians hoped would extend his life.
Uga VIII died Friday morning, according to Georgia senior associate athletic director Claude Felton. A funeral service has not been scheduled, Felton said.
“Russ,” the six-year-old half-brother of the late Uga VII, again will serve as the Georgia mascot on an interim basis, according to the Seiler family. After the November 2009 death of Uga VII from heart-related causes, Russ filled in for the final two games of that season and the first six of 2010, as well as at the Liberty Bowl.
Uga VIII, whose registered name was “Big Bad Bruce,” was the great-great-great-great-great-grandson of the original Uga.
– Tim Tucker, UGA Blog
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