The story of UGA mascot Hairy Dawg - CBS46 News

The story of UGA mascot Hairy Dawg

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
ATHENS, GA (CBS46) -

As the Georgia Bulldogs prepare to take on the Oklahoma Sooners in the Rose Bowl, there will be one famous Dawg on the sidelines to cheer on the team.   

"It’s in the eyes, you look at Hairy’s eyes he’s tough, he’s big and he’s wide and he’s got muscles," said Hairy Dawg creator Tom Sapp.

Sapp has created close to 200 mascots during the past 37-years, but one of them stands out from the pack.

It all began back in 1980, the year the Georgia Bulldogs won the National Championship. 
 
"I told friends I was watching the game with I’d really like to have a dog down there next year that will intimidate that gator and Hairy Dawg was born," said Sapp.

Sapp designed a dog with attitude and presented his artwork to the University of Georgia.  
 
"Coach Dooley called me and said can you have it in three weeks for the Sugar Bowl and I naively said sure why not," said Sapp.
 
And with the help of a friend, he created the first Hairy Dawg costume in the basement of his home.
 
"I remember being scared to death, do they like this dog, are they going to embrace this dog and looking back at the pictures they’re all laughing inside the helmets," said Sapp.

And the rest is history.  For Sapp a business was born because as you know, every Dawg has its day.
 
"As far as original designs I’m really proud of Sparty at Michigan State, Ute the fighting blue hen at Delaware, Rocky the mountain lion at the Denver Nuggets, Slugger the Kansas City Royals, Nash at the Predators," said Sapp. 

Hairy Dawg replaced a less intimidating mascot named Fluffie that only lasted a couple of years. Hairy on the other hand, has become a permanent fixture and is sure to hunker down with the team at the Rose Bowl.

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