He’s one of the most famous mascots in the country. He’s been on the cover of Sports Illustrated and even had a part in the movie, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
Uga (pronounced UGG-uh) is the University of Georgia’s bulldog mascot and when he travels for gameday, football fans everywhere greet him like the paparazzi.
"We draw a crowd. It's not us, it's the dog” says Sonny Seiler, Uga’s owner. Seiler has owned and furnished the mascots for over 55 years.
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He received the first dog, Uga I, as a wedding present and took him to the University’s first home football game in 1956. Uga and his descendants have been at every Georgia football game since – home or away.
Seiler raises and keeps the bulldogs at his home in Savannah, GA and makes sure to note that Uga is not just a prop for the University. "He's a family pet first so we treat him like that.”
And the rest of the Seiler family do their part as well. Son, Charles, has been the exclusive handler for Uga since 1974. A job he took up when he was 14 years old.
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Charles says that Uga doesn’t fly commercial anymore but neither do most football superstars.
His main concern – staying cool on the sidelines. That’s why you’ll usually see Uga sitting on a bag of ice on gameday or chilling in his air-conditioned doghouse.
“It is really hard to keep him cool at the beginning of the year but now that the temperatures have dropped in the '70s, we are in good shape” says Charles. If Uga is in good shape then so is his team.
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