Originally written October 18, 2013 on Bush League Chronicle:
The dog that became a national hero after he ran away from home and joined a half marathon has passed away in Evansville, Indiana. Boogie Butts gained internet fame when he escaped from his leash the night before he joined the race on Oct. 5. Perhaps just simply looking for his way back home, the 100-pound black Labrador joined in halfway through the 13.1 mile run, and finished in a modest time of 2 hours, 15 minutes. After the race, Evansville police corralled the canine and sent out a notice looking for his owner. Thanks to the power of social media, the dog reunited with his owner, Jerry Butts, who then heard about his pet's marvelous feat. For his efforts, Boogie was even awarded a medal for the race. Sadly, his owner posted this message on Facebook this week. “It is with great sadness that we inform you that Boogie passed away due to a heart attack on Tuesday, Oct. 15. He was 10 when he wiggled free of his owner Jerry Butts’ leash on Oct. 4 and, two days later, ran 13 of 13.1 miles in the Evansville Half Marathon. Boogie received a medal for completing the race and became an international media sensation. He loved every minute of the attention. You know him as the first dog thought to have completed a half marathon unassisted, but to me and my sons, he was our companion, our watchdog, and a member of our family. Boogie was a rascal and he went out the way he wanted, by being a little mischievous and not being too shy to soak up the glory. Thank you to all the runners, to the YMCA, the media, and friends new and old for your outpouring of support. Don’t forget to hug your furry family members a little closer this evening. Boogie, age 10, died of an apparent heart attack. Via For the Win
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