California’s ‘First Dog’ Sutter Brown Dies at 13

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — “Sutter” Brown, a Pembroke Welsh corgi christened California’s first dog by his owner Gov. Jerry Brown, died Friday following a brief illness. He was 13.

The dog’s health had deteriorated rapidly in recent days and the decision was made to say goodbye, the governor’s press office said in a statement.

He passed away peacefully with the governor and first lady Anne Gust Brown at his side, and was laid to rest at the family ranch in Colusa County, where he “loved to roam, sniff and play,” the statement said.

Sutter was a fixture at the Capitol and on the campaign trail where he softened the image of the cantankerous governor and helped cut the tension between Democrats and Republicans in the midst of contentious negotiations.

Legislators, lobbyists and aides from both parties sought selfies with the short, pudgy, brown and white fluffy dog. Sutter obliged, starring in countless photos with his mouth open and ears perked.

A Twitter account in his name racked up more than 11,000 followers. Tweets show Sutter and younger sister Colusa, a corgi mix, lounging around the governor’s office or promoting his owner’s top priorities.

Sutter was rushed to an animal hospital Oct. 7 and underwent emergency surgery, said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Brown. Veterinarians discovered several masses suspected to be cancer in his intestines, lymph nodes and liver, but they were unable to remove them all.

Sutter, who shares the name of the 19th-century pioneer who established Sacramento’s earliest settlement, was the pet of Brown’s sister, Kathleen Brown, until she moved out of state following Jerry Brown’s election as governor in 2010.

The governor and his wife adopted Sutter and were often seen walking him from home to the Capitol in the morning.

Anne Gust Brown, who is her husband’s chief adviser, joked in a rare public address in 2013 that Sutter is better known than she is. “It’s hard in my household to get any attention between my husband and the dog,” Brown said to laughter at the luncheon.

Sutter’s sister, Colusa “Lucy” Brown, will assume his duties as first dog.

The press office said goodbye in a tweet:

No colleague brought us more joy – & distraction – than you, (at)SutterBrown. We’ll miss you buddy. (hash)GoodBoy

© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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