Zeke the Wonderdog has died at 11-years-old
MSU's Zeke the Wonderdog, the high-flying Frisbee catching Yellow Labrador died unexpectedly Friday night around 11:45 p.m.
His owners, Jim and Terri Foley, said Zeke was shaking and had trouble eating upon returning home from the MSU women's basketball game yesterday against Oakland University. When rushing Zeke to the veterinary hospital, he passed away. Jim Foley said the cause was likely a tumor in Zeke's abdomen that caused internal bleeding.
Zeke recently had blood and urine work done, however this tumor was hidden to these tests, Jim Foley said. Zeke went fast and never showed any signs of pain.
Zeke was soon to turn 12 years-old, his birthday a few weeks away on Dec. 19.
The Foley family said one of Zeke's fondest memories was the Spartan Marching Band at home football games. After each halftime performance, the band would receive apples and would feed some to Zeke. Terri said Zeke loved to interact with the band, while band members traded off feeding him.
Jim Foley said one of Zeke's happiest moments, was when MSU's former tight end Charlie Gantt streaked up-field to catch the game-winning 29-yard touchdown pass against Notre Dame in 2010 in Spartan Stadium. The play labeled, "Little Giants," was a fake field goal attempt in overtime to win 34-31. Jim Foley said Zeke was sprinting back-and-forth in the endzone in excitement and celebration.
“Zeke belonged to not only our family but the Spartan family,” Terri Foley said. “He loved, at halftime running into the endzone, catching Frisbees.”
Members of the MSU community have reached out to the Foley family including MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis and Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations Scott Westerman.
In his email to Jim Foley, Mark Hollis stated:
"So sorry to hear this news. Take comfort in knowing how many lives, young and old, Zeke impacted during his life. Sad day!
Go Green. Go Zeke."
Westerman said in an email to the Foleys:
"Jim & Terri,
The love and sympathy of the entire Spartan family is with you.
Zeke is truly an immortal soul. He manifests in the bodies of the amazing spirits you have nurtured over the years and miraculously reappears to amaze and delight generations of Spartan fans who appreciate all that he stands for. Our hearts are with you in this time of loss, but we take comfort in knowing that Zeke will live again. I can’t think of a better legacy."
The Foley family plans on showcasing the new wonderdog Saturday at the Breslin Center during the men's basketball game against Oral Roberts.
Zeke performed for nine MSU football seasons.
“I just remember Zeke as a loving Labrador,” Jim Foley said. “He touched people in so many ways.”