Uga VIII, pictured, died unexpectedly last year and the role of the iconic University of Georgia mascot is being filled in the interim by Russ. Uga owner Sonny Seiler and co-author Kent Hannon will sign copies of their book about the history of the UGA mascots Dec. 6 at the Albany mall.
ALBANY, Ga. — Savannah Attorney Sonny Seiler and writer Kent Hannon will sign copies of “Damn Good Dogs!” on Dec. 6 at the Albany Mall. The book tells the history of Uga, the University of Georgia’s iconic mascot.
Since 1956, Seiler and his family have furnished the famous white English Bulldogs that have graced the sidelines at Georgia’s Sanford Stadium.
The inside jacket cover of Seiler’s book says it all: “The name Uga is synonymous with the Georgia Bulldogs, a perennial powerhouse among the top college football teams in the country. There, English Bulldogs are so revered that when they die, they are buried in a mausoleum at Sanford Stadium.
“But Uga is also a family pet, and ‘Damn Good Dogs!’ gives readers a rare glimpse into the personal history of these nationally acclaimed mascots.”
There have been eight Ugas over the past 55 years:
— Uga I (“Hood’s Ole Dan”, 1956–1966)
— Uga II (“Ole Dan’s Uga”, 1966–1972)
— Uga III (“Seiler’s Uga Three”, 1972–1981)
— Uga IV (“Uga III’s Magillicuddy/Seiler’s Uga Four”, 1981–1990)
— Uga V (“Uga IV’s Magillicuddy II”, 1990–1999)
— Uga VI (“Uga V’s Whatchagot Loran”, 1999–2008)
— Uga VII (“Uga VI’s Loran’s Best”, 2008–2009)
— Uga VIII (“Big Bad Bruce”, 2010–2011)
“As long as there is a University of Georgia, as long as there are devoted alumni and fans, as long as there’s a Sanford Stadium and intercollegiate athletics, as long as there is a sense of Bulldog Tradition and pride ... there will there will always be an Uga,” Seiler said.
At the moment, however, there is a break in the chain. Uga VIII died unexpectedly from lymphoma in February, just months after gaining the job.
In the interim, Russ, Uga VII’s half-brother, is making his second stint as the temporary mascot. After the death of UGA VII in 2009, Russ served as the mascot for the final two games of 2009 and the first six games of 2010. After Uga VIII’s death in 2010, Russ opened the 2011 season and continues in that role today.
“We’re not in any hurry to find Uga IX right now,” Seiler said. “We have until September ... besides, Russ is doing pretty well at the moment, and we don’t want to rock the boat,” a reference to Georgia’s 9-2 record and pending appearance in the SEC championship game.
Russ, who is 8 years old, has already sired two litters of pups with another one on the way. The next Uga will be chosen from one of these three litters.
“We will take our time, consult with the UGA vets and make sure the pup is sound and healthy,” Seiler said. “We will also make sure he has the right temperament. But right now Russ is enjoying the best of both worlds.”
The book signing will take place on Dec. 6 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the center court of the Albany Mall.