Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Dogbomb: praise for a furry hero – from the ALS Association, Orange County Chapter.

by Patch O'Furr

ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a fatal disease that needs a cure. In a call with the Executive Director of the ALS Association of Orange County (California), I asked if they would like to join furries in the San Francisco Pride parade in June to represent their cause. Plans are in progress, but so far the answer was an enthusiastic “count us in!” This is the ongoing legacy of one inspiring man.

Dogbomb (Tony Barrett) was the reason for our call. He was a furry fan who some called “Mister Rogers with a beer,” and an ALS patient represented by the ALSAOCC. Thousands of fandom members united for his cause, bringing six figures in charity donations — (another story for another article this week.)

After Dogbomb passed away, Furry Twitter was filled with profile pics gone black with a rainbow lei to represent him. Hashtags, toasts, memories and plans were shared in his honor. There was hardly anywhere in the fandom where his presence wasn’t felt. But because his work directed this positive energy far outside of the group, here’s a story about effects that may not have been seen, as told by ALS patient advocates.

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The Goodest Boy – Dogbomb’s victory lap against ALS

by Rune AngelDragon

Rune’s Furry Blog showcases “people within the Furry Community… their characters, life, thoughts, and beliefs”. Check out her tag for more. – Patch

Vet tech, runner, fursuiter, grease monkey, motorcycle hysteric and full time nutjob. ALS can kiss my fuzzy butt. I ain’t scared! – DogBomb

Words on a profile aren’t even a shadow of the figure that Tony “DogBomb” Barrett would create when he was diagnosed with ALS in March of 2018.

Furries, for all of the negative stereotyping they receive from time to time, have often spread light in many ways throughout their communities. Whether that be placing smiles on the faces of adults and children alike, raising money for animal organizations through their conventions, or, in the case of Tony (DogBomb), raising money and awareness for a very serious disease… Furries have always been there to lend their helping paw.

Tony not only shed light on his condition by documenting it as it happened, he also showed how something so devastating did not have to bring a person down. ALS is a very real and serious terminal condition… but Tony never let it stop him from loving and living his life in the only ways he knew how. Wherever he went, he continued spreading positivity and love, while educating the public on why taking action and pursuing research was important and even crucial to find a cure for future generations.

He took a terminal condition in stride as he continued to walk, boat, ride, and sit down with friends, all the while confessing that he shouldn’t be doing such things, but he had a point to prove, even with his doctor’s disapproval. Through laughter and moments of honesty, and even a few moments of vulnerability- DogBomb had nothing to hide from the community he loved so much. All he ever asked is that we pay it forward, and keep shining that light after he had gone.

“No one should be broken up over my passing. Sadness or anger at ALS is appropriate, but there is nothing to grieve about when you consider the ride that I was afforded. Wag every day, please. Hug your dogs and your friends. Smile when you think of me. No regrets.” – DogBomb

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“Last Mutt Standing”: Dogbomb inspires the world through his courageous battle against ALS

by Patch O'Furr

Dogbomb: Not your ordinary canine is a 2011 profile of a fandom-loved personality written by Kijani Lion. Kijani himself gets love here for bringing excellence to furry news (see his 2016 interview). By request, his Dogbomb article was reprinted with a plan for a fresh 2018 update. It was delivered with this note. (Your fluffy editor – Patch) 

In my 6+ years of journalism this was the most challenging, emotional yet inspiring piece I’ve ever written and I’m very happy at how it turned out. At the bottom I added an additional Q&A with Dogbomb and his friends and also some links. I chose the headline “Last Mutt Standing” as a homage to his favorite artist Jimmy Buffett and his single “Last Man Standing,” I know Dogbomb will appreciate that. I really look forward to seeing this online and it was my honor and pleasure to share the uplifting story of a true inspiration to many in the fandom and beyond! (- Kijani)

Dogbomb (Tony Barrett) and Trip E. Collie share a laugh at Biggest Little Fur Con (BLFC) in Reno last May. Barrett was diagnosed with ALS two months prior and said this would be his last appearance at BLFC. Photo courtesy of AoLun

“Last Mutt Standing”: Dogbomb inspires the world through his courageous battle against ALS

 By Kijani Lion

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but sometimes you also can’t tell a mutt to lie down, even in the face of the most grim diagnosis. For Tony Barrett – affectionately known as “Dogbomb” in the furry fandom – giving up was, and never will be, an option.

After experiencing gradual loss of muscular function about two and a half years ago starting with his feet and lower legs, then progressing into his hands, neck, back and throat, Barrett was officially diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in early 2018. The disease kills motor neurons, effectively blocking the nerve path to the brain that makes muscles work, rendering them weak and eventually unresponsive.

“Walking is becoming extremely difficult, and my swallowing and speech are rapidly worsening,” Barrett said. “With ALS, each day is slightly worse, and it becomes difficult to plan for the future. What is easy today may be impossible in a week or a month, and that’s just frustrating.” 

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