With the University of Georgia battle hymn playing, a golf cart carrying the flag-shrouded body of Uga VII took the beloved Bulldog across the Sanford Stadium field -- one more time -- to the spot where he was interred Saturday next to his father.
Only university dignitaries, members of the family that owned UGA's mascot and a few members of the media were at the memorial for the 4-year-old white English Bulldog. Uga VIII died unexpectedly Thursday from heart complications, a condition that also took Uga VI in 2008.
The golf cart carrying Uga VII first appeared in a northeast corner of the Sanford Stadium, near Uga VII's dog house. He was wrapped in a University of Georgia flag and placed inside his carrier.
The cart slowly approached the mausoleum in the southwest corner of the field where Uga VI, registered as "Uga V's Whatchagot Loran," and five other Ugas are entombed in large red marble slabs.
About 50 select mourners waited.
The public, however, was not invited, even though Uga VII's death brought an outpouring sympathy from Georgia fans as well as supporters of the team's adversaries.
"Everyone has been so kind. Everybody loves that dog," said Swann Seiler, the daughter of the owners of all Georgia's mascots for the past 54 years.
Georgia Athletic Director Damon Evans spoke first. Then, UGA President Michael Adams had a few words and he was followed by the former team chaplain, Claude McBride.
Mostly, they expressed the condolences to Cecelia and Sonny Seiler, who also owned Uga VII's predecessors.
Evans said he understood that Uga VII was also their pet.
"Our hearts go out the Seiler family," Evans said.
Adams said Georgia's mascot was "a symbol of strength, continuity and concern and also the fighting spirit which has been a part of this tradition."
Uga VII also was a "sweet dog," Adams said.
Evans closed the 15-minute service about nine hours before Georgia's 7:45 p.m. kickoff against Kentucky.
Then the media was asked to leave. Only school officials and the Seiler family stayed for the internment.
There will be no white English Bulldog on Georgia's sidelines for Saturday night's game against Kentucky because Uga VII's death was so sudden. But this is not the first time the team has played without its mascot present. As recently as 2000, Uga VI couldn't make the 10-hour flight to Hawaii for the Oahu Bowl.
The school expects to have a fill-in mascot for the Georgia Tech and bowl games, but that interim mascot may not become the university's permanent football symbol. Sonny Seiler said Uga VIII most likely would not be selected until after the first of the year.
"There’s lineage out there we can depend on in unforeseen cases such as this. That’s what we intend to do," Swann Seiler earlier.
UGA VII, registered as Uga VI's Loran's Best, had a personality very different from his father's.
“Uga VII was not as active or mischievous as his father but more distinguished," Sonny Seiler said in a statement. "He realized his role when he put his shirt on. He was well-behaved and always appreciated the significance of his role.”
UGA VII was in only his second season as the Bulldogs' official mascot, a tenure during which the team's record was 16-7.
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