In the annals of animal celebrities, none is more iconic than the hoop-shooting dog affectionately known as Air Bud. The movie, where a golden retriever learns to play basketball was released by Disney in 1997 and was the most commercially successful film to star an animal, earning nearly $28 million off a $3 million dollar budget.
The fact that the gravesite of this iconic canine is a mystery was so befuddling to one author (link to article) that he went out to solve the mystery.
Initially, a search on findagrave.com was performed, however, this did not offer many clues as to the location of the dog’s grave. The page for Air Bud, also known as “Buddy the Dog”, features a black and white headshot and has the comment “ashes are buried in an undisclosed area by his owner.” Members of the site have left over 1000 digital “flowers” or comments which are mainly various dog gifs.
Buddy the Dog was born in 1988 when DiCicco found him as a stray near his cabin in the Sierra Nevada. DiCicco brought him to his home in San Diego where he filmed his puppy playing various sports, sending a tape to America’s Funniest Home Videos and The Late Show with David Letterman and booking both. Air Bud would go on to star in Full House as Comet while DiCicco eventually landed a deal with Disney to produce a feature film starring the canine. Unfortunately, Air Bud met his end after a severe bout of cancer and seizures near the end of his popularity in 1998, one year after the release of “Air Bud”.
When asked about the whereabouts of Air Bud’s grave, DiCicco was reluctant to give an answer, eventually saying that he spread the ashes on Pacific Beach in San Diego but wasn’t specific as to where he spread the ashes. Initially, he wanted to bury them near the cabin where he found the animal but the winter snow made it so that the “timing didn’t work out.”
There are, however, a few vials of semen from the dog actor that have been left over at the International Canine Semen Bank. Perhaps the likeness of Air Bud will see a resurgence in the future.