Boasting that one school mascot is better than another might get you into a bar fight, but certainly among the most famous of dog mascots are the University of Georgia Bulldogs, all of whom have been named “Uga.”
The Uga mascot line started in 1956 when “Sonny” Seiler, an attorney from Savannah, Georgia, attended Georgia’s first home game of the season and brought along the Bulldog given to him as a wedding present. Afterwards, head coach, Wally Butts, asked Seiler for permission to use the dog as Georgia’s mascot. Around the same time, a college friend and law school classmate of Seiler’s suggested that he name his dog, “Uga,” a play on the common abbreviation of the University of Georgia – UGA. Since then, every Uga has been owned by and lived with the Seiler family in Savannah, Georgia. For the past 20 years, Uga jerseys have been custom-made at the beginning of each season from the same material used for the players’ jerseys. Old jerseys are destroyed.
All Ugas who have passed away are interred in a mausoleum near the main entrance to Sanford Stadium making the University of Georgia is the only major college that actually buries its mascots within the confines of the stadium. Epitaphs to the dogs are inscribed in bronze, and before each home game, flowers are placed on their graves. It’s a popular spot to visit for hundreds of fans and visitors.
Seen here is the Bulldog who started it all: Uga I.