Sad news from Sacramento Friday, and another loss to chalk up in 2016: Sutter Brown, the older of Governor Brown's two Pembroke Welsh corgis and the official First Dog of California, passed away at the age of 13. Sutter was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer earlier this year and underwent emergency surgery in October, however it seems not all of it could be removed. And as the Sacramento Bee reports, the dog's health deteriorated rapidly in recent days and Brown and wife Anne Gust Brown decided it was "time to say goodbye."
According to a statement from Brown spokesman Evan Westrup, "Sutter passed away peacefully [Friday] afternoon with the Governor and First Lady at his side and was laid to rest at the family ranch in Colusa County, where he loved to roam, sniff and play."
The Browns adopted Sutter in 2010 from Governor Brown's sister, and starting in 2011 he began making public appearances with the governor, and acquired his own Twitter account. He continually "charmed members of the media, becoming a recurring character in Sacramento Bee editorial cartoons, and cracked a rare window into the personal life of the governor and his wife," per the Bee. For instance, Gust tweeted this photo of the governor cradling a post-op Sutter, sutures and all, after his surgery two months ago.
He made a brief recovery, and then made public appearances with the governor handing out candy on Halloween this year, and on Election Day.
Sutter is back in fine form for Halloween!! pic.twitter.com/O25jF6oGpg— annebgust (@annebgust) November 1, 2016
Trick or treat! pic.twitter.com/XzmyvsH9sE— Sutter Brown (@SutterBrown) November 1, 2016
This was Sutter's last tweet on December 5, the day of the tree lighting at the Capitol, with his younger sister Colusa Brown, who was adopted as a puppy last year.
In addition to softening Brown's public image, the Governor had incorporated Sutter into campaigns, using the dog's image, for instance, on cards that were passed out during Brown's State of the State address in 2014 that said, "Let’s keep new spending on a short leash." As Gust Brown told reporters back in 2011, per the LA Times, "He warms up Republicans," and the governor did use that to his advantage.
According to a statement, Colusa Lucy Brown will now assume the duties of First Dog.