Brian, the family dog in Fox’s long-running animated hit “Family Guy,” died Sunday night when he was struck by a car.
The Griffin family’s faithful dog – a far more level-headed being than any of the human characters on the show — was killed off and, after some grieving, replaced with a new dog, named Vinny.
Brian’s multitude of fans want him back, and so do we (and at the end of this post, we have a suggested story line that would allow him to return, at least in a form).
The death of Brian came Sunday night in the sixth episode of “Family Guy’s” 12th season — and seemed to hit fans of the show hard.
A petition on Change.org is gathering thousands of signatures after being launched Monday by an Alabama fan asking the show to bring back Brian.
“Brian Griffin was an important part of our viewing experience,” the petition reads. “He added a witty and sophisticated element to the show. Family Guy and Fox Broadcasting will lose viewers if Brian Griffin is not brought back to the show.”
Brian, who was an aspiring novelist, was voiced by “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane; Vinny, the new dog, is voiced by Tony Sirico of “The Sopranos” fame.
The Los Angeles Times wondered whether fans will get to see their beloved dog again, and didn’t rule out the possibility.
Reuters reported that Brian appeared in more than 200 episodes of the show, which averages 6 million viewers an episode.
At Brian’s funeral, Peter Griffin noted, ”Brian wasn’t just my dog, he was my best friend in the whole world.”
We don’t know how much memories of Brian are going to play into upcoming episodes, but we’d guess that — as with any dog owner — it’s going to be hard for the show to just let him go.
And, while it’s too late, we can see some great opportunities — story-line-wise — growing out of his death.
For one, an exploration of what really happens at “Rainbow Bridge.” MacFarlane’s mind, and writers, could have some fun with that.
Better yet, what if it turned out the Griffins had hung on to a hunk of Brian’s tissue, and sent it off to South Korea for a clone to be created. It happens in real life, and it sounds like just the sort of thing Stewie would go for.
Having written a book about it, I don’t favor cloning pet dogs, and generally don’t see it as a laughing matter. But “Family Guy” has always had a way of making things that aren’t laughing matters pretty laughable.
If a clone of Brian were created in a lab, and the family “reunited” with him, would it really be Brian, brought back to life — as those behind cloning initially would have us believe — or just a similar-looking dog with his own distinct personality?
And, assuming writers followed a factual route, and Brian’s clone was not the same character Brian was, how disappointed would viewers be?
It could be a funny and informative route for the show to follow.
As many problems as I have with dog cloning, as blanketly against it as I am, I would have to be in favor of reanimating Brian.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animation, best friend, brian, bring back brian, cloned, clones, cloning, cloning dogs, dead, death, death of brian, dies, dog, dog cloning, dogs, family guy, fox, funeral, griffin, new dog, peter, pets, plot, reanimation, seth macfarlane, stewie, story, suggestion, television, the family guy, vinny
Figo wasn’t with his partner when the 33-year-old police officer was shot and killed alongside the road, but the German shepherd attended the funeral and paid his respects.
Jason Ellis, a K-9 officer with the Bardstown Police Department in Kentucky, was shot and killed last Saturday when he stopped to remove some debris from the road, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Police said he was shot multiple times with a shotgun by an unknown assailant.
Ellis was buried Thursday after a funeral service held on the seventh anniversary of his taking the oath as a police officer in Bardstown, a town of about 12,000 people, located 40 miles southeast of Louisville.
The funeral at Parkway Baptist Church, just off Blue Grass Parkway in Bardstown, drew law enforcement officers from Chicago, Pennsylvania, Ohio and across Kentucky, many of them K-9 officers who brought their dogs.
Attendees filled the sanctuary’s 1,000 seats, 500 more seats in a fellowship hall, and were lined up along the walls. After service in the church, there was a 20-mile procession to the rural cemetery in Chaplin where Ellis was buried.
At the funeral, Ellis was remembered as a family man, friend and a hero. Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin said Ellis “paid the ultimate sacrifice doing what he loved: being a police officer.”
(Photo by Jonathan Palmer / Lexington Herald-Leader)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 3rd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ambush, animals, bardstown, dogs, figo, funeral, jason ellis, K-9, killed, law enforcement, officer, pets, photo, police, police department, police dogs, shot
About 150 people gathered for a memorial service at the Thomasville Funeral Home.
Police Chief Jeffrey Insley said before the service that an autopsy determined that Cheko — a drug-detecting dog who also was trained as a tracker — had been poisoned, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. He was one of four dogs in the K-9 unit.
Cheko died in March, just a week before he was scheduled to retire, at the Randolph County home of his handler, Thomasville Police Sgt. John Elgin. Elgin found Cheko dead inside his kennel, about two days after the dog started acting sluggish.
The Randolph County Sheriff’s Department is investigating how the dog ingested the poison. Elgin said additional tests will be conducted to determine what chemicals or poisons killed Cheko.
“It could have been an act of retaliation from a past arrest, but we are not going to point any fingers until we complete our investigation,” he said.
“Any new dog who takes Cheko’s place will have big paws to fill,” Insley said at the service.
Among those paying tribute to Cheko was Thomasville Mayor Joe Bennett told the audience, Cheko had gone to heaven. “I doubt there are drugs there, but he is looking for something and having fun.”
Posted by John Woestendiek April 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cheko, dead, detecting, died, dog, dogs, drug, funeral, john elgin, K-9, k9, killed, law enforcement, memorial, north carolina, pets, poison, poisoned, police, randolph county, sniffing, thomasville, tribute
Reports of Casey Johnson’s funeral have been greatly exaggerated.
Both TMZ and RadarOnline reported the heiress was buried Sunday — without her dog Zoe, who is reportedly still alive.
Now, still more celebrity-centric websites are reporting that information was erroneous. No funeral has taken place.
Nicky Hilton and Bijou Phillips, Johnson’s lifelong friends, went to the home Johnson shared with Tila Tequila last week to pick up Johnson’s two dogs, Zoe and Elvis.
Johnson before her death had expressed her wishes to be buried with Zoe’s cremated remains, and Tequila insisted there were plans to put the dog asleep so that it could be buried with the Johnson & Johnson heiress.
Spokesmen for the family have denied the claim.
The whole thing — too many celebrities, too much drama, too many lies, too many abbreviations and all the shabby reporting – is giving OMD a headache.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bijou phillips, burial, buried, bury, casey johnson, celebrities, celebrity, cremated, dogs, elvis, erroneous, error, euthanized, funeral, nicky hilton, put to sleep, radar online, tila tequila, tmz, zoe, zoey
E! Online is reporting that Casey Johnson’s family says they don’t plan to put down the deceased heiress’ ailing dog so that it can be buried with her.
But the dog still may be put down, and buried with her.
As we told you yesterday, celebrities Nicky Hilton and Bijou Phillips collected celebrity Casey Johnson’s dogs, Zoe and Elvis, from Johnson’s celebrity fiancee, Tila Tequila.
Tequila made a big to do over what she said were plans for Zoe — elderly and ailing — to be put down so she can be be cremated and her ashes buried with Johnson, which was apparently Johnson’s wish.
Such wishes are carried out all the time — but generally not so publicly, and not with a dog who’s alive at the time of its owner’s death.
E! Online’s Mark Malkin reports the dog may be blind and have liver problems. “She is something like 20 years old,” he quotes an unnamed family source as saying. “Sadly, she probably should have been put down a while ago. She’s suffering.”
Casey had said on numerous occasions that she would keep Zoe’s remains in an urn and have the urn buried with her, Malkin reported.
Before any decision is made, Malkin reports, Zoe will first be examined by a vet and then by the Johnson family’s animal doctor on the East Coast.
“No one is going to ceremoniously kill the dog just so she can be with Casey,” the family source insisted. “That is not what Casey would have wanted to happen.”
Posted by John Woestendiek January 8th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bijou phillips, buried, casey johnson, celebrities, celebrity, dog, dogs, euthanized, examined, funeral, heiress, johnson & johnson, nicky hilton, owner, pets, tila tequila, zoe, zoey
Hoping to breathe new life into his business, a Colorado kennel owner bought an old hearse and converted it into a pet limo, adding pick-up and delivery to the services he offers pooches.
Merle Maser, owner of Land of Ah’s Kennel in Fountain, spruced up the old funeral limo with a paint job and uses it to deliver animals to and from the kennel at a cost of one dollar per mile.
Posted by John Woestendiek January 5th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, boarding, business, colorado, delivery, dog, dogs, fountain, funeral, hearse, kennel, land of ah's, limo, limousine, merle maser, pets, pickup, transportation, video
As a footnote to our discussion yesterday on animals and emotions, we bring you the story of Dorothy, a female chimpanzee in her late 40s when she died last year of congestive heart failure.
As the photo above shows, a crowd of fellow chimps gathered and watched solemnly as she was wheeled to her burial.
The November issue of National Geographic magazine features the photograph, which has since “gone viral,” turning up in websites, TV shows and newspapers around the world, according to a National Geographic blog
The photographer, Monica Szczupider, is a volunteer at Cameroon’s Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center, where Dorothy had lived for eight years. The center houses and rehabilitates chimps victimized by habitat loss and the illegal African bushmeat trade.
After a hunter killed her mother, Dorothy was sold as a “mascot” to an amusement park in Cameroon, where she spent the next 25 years tethered by a chain around her neck, and was taught to drink beer and smoke cigarettes for the amusement of onlookers.
In May 2000, Dorothy was rescued and relocated along with ten other primates. As her health improved, she cared for an orphaned chimp named Bouboule and became a close friend to many others, including Jacky, the group’s alpha male, and Nama, another amusement-park refugee.
“Her presence, and loss, was palpable, and resonated throughout the group,” Szczupider said. “The management at Sanaga-Yong opted to let Dorothy’s chimpanzee family witness her burial, so that perhaps they would understand, in their own capacity, that Dorothy would not return. Some chimps displayed aggression while others barked in frustration. But perhaps the most stunning reaction was a recurring, almost tangible silence.”
Posted by John Woestendiek November 5th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blog, burial, cameroon, chimp, chimpanzee, chimpanzee rescue, dorothy, emotions, funeral, grief, grieving, magazine, mourn, mourning, national geographic, sanaga-yong
To the growing list of once uniquely human phenomena that have made the transition to the dog world — anti-depressants, day care, therapists, diet pills, legal representation, designer clothing and gourmet meals, to name but a few — we can now add newspaper obituaries.
One appeared Friday on bostonherald.com, under the header “Obituary for a canine,” right between the death notices for two recently departed humans, Bridget Connolly and Stephen M. Loud Sr.
The obit announced the death of Kross Monsta Giles, 9, of Saugus, who ”passed on February 3, 2009, with his loving family by his side.” It listed his survivors, including his human sister and his canine siblings. (He came from a litter of 10.)
The nine-year-old German shepherd, who succumbed to cancer, the obituary reported, was best known as the face of A Better Companion, a canine recreation center in Melrose, where he served as official greeter. The obit concluded with an announcement of the services, to be held today at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 W. Foster St., Melrose from 10 a.m. to noon.
Gately Funeral Home owner John Gately, a dog lover himself, donated the space for the service. He will bring an urn with Kross’ ashes, and those who knew Kross can offer condolences. An obituary for Kross also appears on the funeral home’s website.
The Boston Herald, in a story about the obit, called the funeral home services “a Massachusetts first.”
“From my heart,” said Gately, “it was just me helping a family grieving over the loss of a companion and a great friend to them. How could I turn them away?” Gately said no one has complained about the obituary and service.
The dog’s owner, Kris Giles, said she was turned down by one funeral home owner worried about “public backlash.” She thinks the wake will help bring closure to her, her husband and 7-year-old daughter. “It just felt so good having something for him,” she said. “It’s making me feel better. It’s making the loss a little bit easier.”
We’re liking the idea. Opening obituaries and funeral services up to dogs could give both industries — newspapers and funeral homes, which kind of share the same ambience right now – a much needed boost.
It’s not exactly a new idea. There are numerous websites that allow pet owners to memorialize, eulogize and wax nostalgic about lost pets (see, for instance, rainbowbridge.com, rainbowbridge.org, petloss.com, critters.com, youns.com or peternity.com). Some of them, apparently figuring it’s high time Rainbow Bridge started collecting tolls, charge a fee.
There’s no reason newspapers couldn’t, crass as it may sound, cash in on pet death as well, allowing canine death notices to appear right along with the humans.
As for the funeral services, we have only one problem with them — or at least the one today in honor of Kross Monsta: Dogs are not allowed.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, boston herald, death, dog, dogs, eulogize, eulogy, funeral, funeral homes, funerals, gately funeral home, giles, journalism, kross, memorial, memorialize, monsta, news, newspaper industry, newspapers, obit, obituaries, obituary, online, pets, rainbow bridge, remembrance, virtual
A down-on-his-luck Florida man whose last act in life was to try to save three dogs stranded in a freeway emergency lane, was remembered Wednesday at a donated funeral where he was praised by Houstonians who never met him, and remembered by a daughter who hadn’t seen him in 20 years.
Robert “Bob” Emery, 54, was fatally struck by a motorcycle the night of Sept. 27 as he dashed onto the East Freeway to rescue three dogs stranded against the median.
Alaina Emery, a 25-year-old paralegal student, drove from Pennsylvania to attend her father’s service, the Houston Chronicle reported. About two dozen animal lovers also were there.
She placed a framed wedding photograph of her estranged parents atop Emery’s oak casket.
Emery. after a 13-hour day of clearing brush from Hurricane Ike, was preparing to turn in for the night when he heard about the dogs just yards from his motel. He was struck my a motorcycle as he ran across the freeway. Animal control officers called to the accident later rescued the dogs, and they were returned to a senior-citizen couple that had been looking for them for days.
During the service at San Jacinto Funeral Home and Memorial Parks, the Rev. Bill Cole called Emery a hero, and sang a solo of the Prayer of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals. Flowers were placed atop a table covered with a blanket emblazoned with drawings of paw prints and bones.
Among those offering hungs to Alaina Emery were the dogs’ owners, who weren’t sure if she would be angry with them, but wanted to thank her.
“It is OK. It is OK,” Emery said quietly as she hugged them. “Take care of those dogs; take care of those dogs.”
A sad story just got a little sadder.
Bob Emery, the Hurricane Ike relief worker who died while trying to rescue three dogs trapped on an interstate highway, appears to be headed for a pauper’s funeral.
The 54-year-old repairman lived alone on Big Pine Key, Fla. He had a trailer with a view of the sea and was apparently estranged from family, the Houston Chronicle reported.
“We are trying to locate family to notify them of this person’s death,” said Beverly Begay, chief investigator with the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office. If no family is found, and no one claims the body, it would be given a pauper’s burial, Begay said.
The three dogs Emery was trying to reach when he was struck by a motorcycle and killed were rescued by Houston animal-control officers and returned to their families.
Emery’s, meanwhile, has yet to be found.
“He lived in Big Pine alone, and didn’t have a wife or girlfriend that I know of,” said Sandy Downs, whose husband knew Emery for about five years. “I’m having trouble tracking down the rumor he had two older daughters.”