Furry social media goes dark as Tony "Dogbomb" Barrett passes on
Furry icons on social media sites went dark on April 5, 2019, following a tweet from Dogbomb that he would be passing on soon. Known for his German Shepherd fursona, Tony Barrett had modelled his character in honor of Rodger, a canine companion he'd lost, who had been with him for 14 years.
Dogbomb's wardrobe consisted of a Hawaiian-style lei, which is why some of the recent icons have been placing the flowery necklace against a black background, a design put forth by The Forgess, pictured here.
It stands out as a beacon, as Tony had been in his life.
Update 4/8: Fixed statement where Lei art was falsely credited to Trinity. Thanks to BlindWolf8 for the correction.
An advocate who would not go quietly
The circumstances around Tony's passing are rare: a furry fan knowing the end to their mortal chapter in advance. He'd been diagnosed with a terminal illness known as ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), in March 2018. In that time he'd become an advocate of fundraising and spreading awareness of the disease. In October of 2018, Tony and his team raised $35,550 for the ALS Foundation. As someone never sedate in life, Dogbomb fought his circumstances and showed his determination to not let the condition define what he could and couldn't do.
He also made it clear that although he would die, the sleeping dog would not lie. In a letter to those who would be using his cadaver (which he donated for research purposes), he gives comfort by using a sort of macabre humor. It also appears that he bequeathed his Twitter account to a person naming themselves Greg, to keep the conversation of advocacy going. What they plan on utilizing the feed for has yet to be seen. The account could be used to post news stories and statistics about the fight against ALS, or maybe fundraise using fan-created works made in Dogbomb's honor. Regardless, it's an opportunity for those of us left behind to continue being charitable in the memory of those lost to the disease.
Footsteps to follow, as the furs left behind move forward
As a veterinary technician, Tony was well-versed in the cycle of life and death and the loss of those we care for, animal or human alike. His career had him pursue the fight for quality of life, even before he learned of his terminal diagnosis. One well-known story was when he'd used his fursuiting as a way to bring joy to the infirm. "Courage on Two Wheels" was a post made on Fur Affinity in 2010 about meeting a lady on the beach who was wheelchair-bound by cerebral palsy, and the happiness his fursuit had brought to her.
More details about his personality and life will be coming out on the Moms of Furries twitter feed, for whom Tony had answered twenty questions before he passed on. The first one being how he came to join the fandom. Apparently an inquisitive waitress had asked him if he was a furry, when he wore a T-shirt and dog ears in honor of his lost companion. Confused about the term, he went home to research the community, and then decided to join the fandom. Moms of Furries have stated they will be releasing more stories and answers in the days to come.
A multitude of furry fans have contributed fan art of his character which can be found on his Twitter feed, including touching animations by Jib Kodi and Dark Ivory. As the furs who are left behind continue on our journeys, the impact the Dogbomb left on the community will be remembered in fondness. Please feel free to share your stories you have in the comments below.
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