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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Browns held a viewing service for late mascot dog Swagger

Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns dealt with a significant loss within their organization this month when Swagger, their first ever live mascot, died suddenly at the age of 6. On Saturday, the team held a memorial service for the bullmastiff.

A two-hour visitation service was open to the public from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday. Swagger’s owners, Fred and Debby McLaughlin, greeted Browns fans and the like at the memorial, which featured an open casket. The fact that the team and the McLaughlins chose to have an open casket for a dog was met with some controversy, and Cleveland.com added to the awkwardness by live streaming the event and showing Swagger’s body. As a warning, some may find the photo below disturbing.

Swagger’s 14-month old son SJ, who will now take over as the Browns’ official mascot, guarded the casket throughout much of the service. Fans didn’t seem to mind the open casket, as Hannah Drown of Cleveland.com noted that many of them were seen kissing and petting Swagger to pay their respects.

Having an open casket memorial service for a dog seems a bit unusual, but the Browns were treating Swagger like a member of their family rather than a pet. It’s hard to fault them for that.

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