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Sporty, Chicago’s Favorite Self-Walking Dog, Died This Week

By Charli Renken

Sporty, Chicago’s Favorite Self-Walking Dog, Died This Week

Thank you for bringing so many smiles to the Loop. We’ll miss you, Sporty.

If you’ve been keeping up on our coverage of Sporty, Chicago’s self-walking dog, we have some really bad news. After a long fight with lymphoma, our favorite golden retriever died this week.

In a statement on the dog’s Instagram page, Sporty’s owner, David Duncan said, “The previous night we had ended up in the ER for about 4-5 hours and Sporty was deteriorating much faster than anticipated. And when I looked into his eyes, he was telling me it’s his time.”

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I have been trying to find a way to make this announcement but it is so hard when you know it’s going to unleash a wave of sadness felt around the world. At about 3:04pm on November 14th, 2019 Sporty breathed his last breath. The previous night we had ended up in the ER for about 4-5 hours and Sporty was deteriorating much faster than anticipated. And when I looked into his eyes, he was telling me it’s his time. He was able to come home and we spent the entire day snuggling and holding on to our final moments together. He went so peacefully on his blankets with his head on my lap, paw in my hand and surrounded by all his favorite toys. He knew it was his time and I know he’s in a better place. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced and i’m still having a hard time accepting this new reality. When you get a dog, you know the day will come, but you can never be prepared for it. I am so thankful for the time we had together and I think how lucky I am we found each other. There is a hole in my heart right now and I don’t know how it’s possible to hurt this much but I try to take solace in knowing he lived an incredible life that most dogs can only dream of. From the first day i met him i knew he would be special but i had no idea he would become an icon of chicago and loved by people across the globe. He was a fighter until the very end and i want you all to know i did EVERYTHING in my power to get him better but sometimes even the strongest hearts are no match for cancer. I would like to honor Sporty’s legacy in some way with the money he’s raised and help out other dogs afflicted with this terrible illness, but right now I just need time to grieve. If Sporty has impacted you or helped you when you were down I ask one last favor. Share your favorite Sporty pic/post or if you were lucky enough to meet him in person share that photo/video and let me know where you’re from so I can see how far his love stretches across the world. Sporty will always be apart of me and he will show himself in my dreams and let me know he is okay. He is running free across the rainbow bridge holding his leash creating a wave of smiles in his wake. #solaceforsporty #brokenheart

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A post shared by Sporty (@sporty_thedog) on

Sporty got to spend the rest of the day snuggling and spending time with David before the dog passed on in their home. “He went so peacefully on his blankets with his head on my lap, paw in my hand and surrounded by all his favorite toys,” Duncan said.

It’s never easy to lose a furry family member, especially when they’ve brightened so many people’s days. We’ll miss you, Sporty. Thanks for making us smile.

Feature photo: @sporty_thedog