From the University of Georgia:

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.”

The University has put up a slideshow of Uga VII's first day on the job and a movie of Uga VII at work.

Uga's father in happier times.