POLITICS
01/01/2017 11:05 am ET

California's Beloved First Dog, Sutter, Is Gone

"We'll miss you buddy," the governor's staff tweeted.

Everyone’s favorite personality in California’s capital is gone.

Sutter Brown, Gov. Jerry Brown’s charismatic Pembroke Welsh corgi, has died of cancer at the age of 13, with the governor and first lady at his side.

Sutter was buried at the family ranch in Colusa County, where he “loved to roam, sniff and play,” according to a statement from the governor’s office Friday that announced the little dog’s death.

“It’s a sad day for all who loved Sutter,” said the governor’s deputy press secretary, Deborah Hoffman.

The dog, inherited by the governor from his sister in 2010, went everywhere with Brown and often broke the ice between battling Democrats and Republicans. (Sutter never revealed his party affiliation.)

He had his own Facebook page and Twitter account with 11,000 followers, helped pass along public service and political messages, and seemed to have lots of secret opinions. He underwent emergency surgery in October, but veterinarians were unable to completely remove his aggressive cancer tumors. 

Sutter, named in honor of the Swiss pioneer John Sutter who played a key role in the Gold Rush era, remained comfortable for a time. He greeted trick-or-treaters at the governor’s mansion, and went with his master to the voting booth on Election Day, but more recently his health deteriorated rapidly.   

California first lady Anne Gust Brown, who is her husband’s chief adviser, once joked that Sutter was better known than she was, recalled The Sacramento Bee. “It’s hard in my household to get any attention between my husband and the dog,” she quipped.

Sutter’s sister, Colusa “Lucy” Brown, who joined the family as a puppy last year and had been deemed “deputy first dog,” will assume his duties as first dog.

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