The impact of Dogbomb on the furry fandom and charity to cure ALS.

by Patch O'Furr

Coming soon: inspired by Dogbomb, ALS advocates will join furries in the San Francisco Pride parade.

Ask any furry fan to name a fandom saint. Dogbomb (Tony Barrett) didn’t carry a cask of brandy on his collar, but you can picture him with a halo and a beer.

On this site, the Dogbomb tag is probably the most positive representation of the fandom. He raised awareness about Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and his impact with outsiders got a look with the latest story in May 2019: Dogbomb: praise for a furry hero – from the ALS Association, Orange County Chapter.

Fundraising in his honor includes walks, art and pins for sale. Grubbs Grizzly’s Good Furry Award just went to Dogbomb with a $1000 prize donated to charity. The energy keeps going with an art book in the works. According to his wishes, his likeness is free to use as long as proceeds are donated.

The amount of donations will likely be a sizeable chunk of ALL furry charity done this year, but who knows how high it is? Ask Dogbomb’s inner circle of friends who were entrusted to carry on his legacy. Last month I spoke to Trip E. Collie, who knows a lot about the total impact.

(Patch:) Hi Trip, I’m sorry about the loss of your friend. The entire furry fandom was incredibly moved by it — even cats and dogs agreed about Dogbomb’s character and positive message for the future. Can you tell me about your part in it?

(Trip:) There is plenty I can share about this whole crazy wave of energy. I spoke with Tony practically daily for the past month and plenty before that. His final week we texted each other early each day. He sent me a message not long before his final tweet and I knew it was to be his last. I don’t even know if he saw the video toast message I made specifically for him that final day, but it’s ok if he didn’t. While I made the video for him, I put a lot of heart into it and  it was well received by many. That’s good enough for me. I like to think he saw it based on his last text to me, but I can’t know for certain. I kind of like that though. It reinforces to me to stay positive and imagine he did.

My recent article looked at how the ALS Association, Orange County Chapter was incredibly supported by Dogbomb’s energy and the furry community, as seen from the outside. What can you say about support from the inside?

I have tons of information you might be interested in about Dogbomb’s legacy and continued efforts within the furry community towards that effect. I have a thread stating some facts.

Updated for June 2019: there are at least 34 ALS walks in 20 states and 2 Canadian provinces, and over $200,000 in donations raised so far. Two of Dogbomb’s suits will also be worn at events in his memory, according to his wishes.

I have a pretty extensive list of the walks now, based on what people passed to me. I’m working on adding more of the fundraising things that have been done. I dropped off Twitter for awhile after Tony’s passing and hadn’t recorded some things I saw. I do have a decent start to it all though and of course a record of the original 2 California events with Dogbomb and the ALSAOCC, as well as the visible tallies online for all the walk teams I’m aware of.

It’s mind boggling to me though that one pin from @figmentsss on Twitter sold enough quantity for the total donation of $27,264. Then, following up behind it, the fursona pins for Dogbomb sold at least $10K worth. Those first pins were how the ALS National representative ended up getting in touch with me.

I’m astonished that over $200K of donations in Dogbomb’s honor reaches close to HALF of ALL furry charity donations from all conventions in 2017 (the latest year given on Wikifur). What a great story about how he lives on.

Yeah. Those are just the tip of the iceberg too. I know of lots of things in the works since people were contacting me about it all. A lot wanted approval from me as a friend of DB… which my approval seems odd to request for that but I understand the sentiment (and it’s sweet). There’s art and shirts and all sorts of things coming out. A virtual tribute online too which people can explore.

Watch for more news about furries in San Francisco Pride on June 30, with participation from the ALSOCC. I have been organizing for it since 2012 —- see a look back at all the articles at bottom here.

While checking with Trip for his wag of approval about this, he added comments on 6/12/19.

At the celebration of life for Dogbomb this last weekend in SoCal, a question was asked of Gregory Sabala (one of the close friends entrusted with his legacy) regarding the lei he always wore. Greg was asked if he knew what Dogbomb’s lei meant since he wore it early on with his suit. I don’t know this for certain and I want to ask Greg myself to hear the same thing repeated again, but apparently it was his way of expressing that he was gay. So, if true, the iconic colorful lei apparently was his personal pride symbol. I find that amazing and thought you might want to know.

There’s a tribute book with several great stories in it and TONS of art in memory of Dogbomb. Midwest Collie is handling it and has had me heavily involved in the process. I have proofread the various versions of it and Midwest just recently sent the files to the publisher. The book will be over 120 pages with submissions from over 200 artists. It will be FANTASTIC.  All proceeds for the book will be going to the ALSAOCC.

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