Sir Von Rah, celebrity dog from Kingsport, dies

Holly Viers • Jan 7, 2018 at 6:30 PM

KINGSPORT — If you’ve been out and about in Kingsport over the last few years, chances are you’ve caught a glimpse of a special Great Dane, Sir Von Rah.

From parades to businesses to city offices, Sir Rah made many appearances over the years, and he was hard to miss. Whether it was his black and white coat, his regal demeanor or his large head sticking out of the sunroof of his owner’s car, many people have memories of the dog, and some even consider him a celebrity.

Despite having no known health problems, Sir Rah died unexpectedly two days after Christmas, leaving a hole in his owners’ hearts.

“He did all kinds of things,” said Denise Dumas, who along with her husband, Anthony, owned Sir Rah. “He loved hearing me say, ‘Let’s go see the people.’ ”

The couple owned Sir Rah since he was 8 weeks old. Since then, he participated in the Fun Fest and Christmas parades, won first place in a dog show and regularly visited establishments all over Kingsport.

He was also the mascot of the local Lowe’s, met Congressman Phil Roe and was the first dog to receive the city gold seal from the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Perhaps most notably, he received an award from the American Kennel Club president and chairman out of New York for excellent service to mankind.

Dumas said she is still unsure what happened to Sir Rah. On the night he got sick, Dumas made several calls to her vet friends asking for at-home help, but none were able to come.

She and her husband eventually decided to drive him to the Airport Pet Emergency Clinic.

“I told my husband, ‘We’ve got to get him up there,’ because it couldn’t wait until the next morning,” Dumas said. “We got as far as to John B. Dennis (Highway) and he didn’t make it.”

Dumas decided to have Sir Rah cremated by Carter-Trent Funeral Homes. She received an urn in his honor as a courtesy, and she will also receive a gold, heart-shaped necklace with his engraved paw print.

“He brought joy to a lot of people,” Dumas said. “We were truly inseparable.”

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