Saturday, June 28, 2008

Uga VI Dies

The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionPublished on: 06/28/08

The University of Georgia's beloved and Churchillian English bulldog mascot Uga VI died peacefully Friday night in Savannah of congestive heart failure after serving nine years on the Bulldog sidelines as the school's winningest mascot.
Uga VI, owned by Savannah attorney Frank W. "Sonny" Seiler, was the biggest in the line of six solid white English bulldogs to serve as UGA's mascot since Uga I became a Georgia football game fixture in 1956.
"He was a good one," Seiler said in a prepared statement. "What can I say? He had a marvelous record. He was a very strong and healthy dog. He was the biggest of all the dogs, and he had the biggest heart. It just played out."
Damon Evans, UGA director of athletics, bestowed the highest praise on the beast that he could Saturday, in a statement:
"Uga VI was a damn good mascot and a damn good dog," said Evans.
With the passing of one Uga there's always speculation which bulldog is heir to the throne, which comes with a few perks, including an air-conditioned dog house, travel by Delta Airlines to away games, celebrityhood (Uga V was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1997 as the nation's best mascot) and a fanbase that's paparazzi-like in its obsession.
"People pet him so much his head gets sore," Seiler once said of his line of Ugas. "He's like a politician who shakes too many hands."
Seiler said Saturday that the "lineage is taken care of" and would be announced by Seilers and the UGA athletic association later.
Uga VI will be buried in a marble vault in the Southwest corner of Sanford Stadium with his ancestors in private ceremonies expected to be held early next week.
There had been speculation earlier this year that the 2007 season might have been Uga VI's last as a mascot because of his age. He would have turned 10 on July 22.
Seiler said in a statement Saturday he noticed Uga VI was breathing heavily shortly after Seiler arrived home from work Friday evening. He was taken to Dr. Stanley Lester, the family's veterinarian, who consulted with Dr. Bruce Hollett at UGA's College of Veterinary Medicine.
"I noticed a little congestion in his throat, which usually is not cause for alarm," said Seiler in the release. "I gave him a bath, which he always loved, to cool him off. After that, I called Dr. Lester, whose office is about a four-minute drive from our house.
"His heart just played out. He suffered no pain and died peacefully."
UGA president Michael F. Adams said in a statement Uga VI will be "missed and remembered by UGA alumni and friends everywhere."
During his reign as mascot, the UGA football team compiled a record of 87 wins and 27 losses, captured the 2002 and 2005 Southeastern Conference championships, and won six of eight bowl games, surpassing Uga IV's record of 77-24-4.
By far the biggest of the Ugas — he weighed 65 pounds, more than twenty pound heavier than his father — his full name was pretty hefty, too: "Uga V's Whatchagot Loran?"
— AJC staff writer Chip Towers contributed to this story.

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