Air Buddy (dog)

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Air Buddy
Michelle Tanner.jpg
Mary-Kate Olsen with Air Buddy as "Comet" in an episode of Full House
Species Canis lupus familiaris
Breed Golden Retriever cross breed
Sex Male
Born c. March 23, 1988
Sierra Nevada, (found near June Lake, California)
Died February 10, 1998 (aged 9)
San Diego, California
Occupation Dog actor
Years active 1989–1998
Owner Kevin di Cicco

Air Buddy, also known as Buddy, and sometimes credited as Buddy the Wonder Dog (1988 – February 10, 1998) was a cross-bred Golden Retriever dog actor, best known for playing athletic canine "Old Blue" in the Disney film Air Bud, that sparked the franchise; he also appeared for a special cameo billed as "Comet" in an episode of sitcom Full House.

Early life[edit]

Air Buddy was found by Kevin di Cicco as a stray dog in the Sierra Nevada in the summer of 1989.[1] Di Cicco adopted the disheveled Golden Retriever and brought him home to San Diego, where he trained him in the sports of basketball, baseball, football, soccer, and hockey.[1] Buddy's most eagerly awaited sport is basketball. di Cicco revealed that Buddy tried to bite the ball, but its slipperiness, enhanced by saliva or more efficiently by olive oil, would propel it from his mouth.[2]

Early appearances[edit]

His first appearance was on America's Funniest Home Videos.[3] He then gained further fame bouncing a basketball off his muzzle and into a basketball hoop on David Letterman's "Stupid Pet Tricks" segment of the Late Show with David Letterman.[4] Buddy appeared three times on the Letterman Show.[2]


Comet on Full House[edit]

Air Buddy made a special appearance on the ABC sitcom Full House in season 3.


In 1997, he was cast as Buddy/Old Blue in the Disney movie Air Bud, a Golden Retriever abandoned by his abusive owner. In the movie, he moved in with a boy named Josh who was depressed due to the death of his father. He appeared on the Kids' Choice Awards in 1998, where he was nominated for a Blimp Award for the movie. The film's sequel, Air Bud: Golden Receiver, was made in his memory. Prior to his death, Buddy sired nine puppies.[5][6] Air Bud was Buddy's final acting role.

Illness and death[edit]

In 1997, Air Buddy had his right hind leg amputated due to synovial cell sarcoma, a type of cancer that manifests near the joints, although he was still able to shoot hoops[7] Six months later Air Buddy died in his sleep due to complications from cancer on February 10, 1998, at his owner's San Diego home.[8] At the time of his death, Buddy was believed to be 9 1/2 to 10 years old, he had a litter of nine pups[5]


Buddy's story is told in the 2012 book Go Buddy!, written by his owner Kevin di Cicco.[1][9]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Status
1998 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Animal Star Nominated[10]




Year Title Role
1997 Air Bud Buddy
1995 Fluke Fluke
Year Title Role
1995 Full House Comet

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c di Cicco, Kevin (2012). Go Buddy! The Air Bud Story. Air Bud Publishing Group / p. 348. ISBN 0-9859-8370-1. 
  2. ^ a b Air Bud: Kevin DiCicco Exclusive Interview on YouTube,
  3. ^ Tony Perry (August 9, 1992). "Once Again, It's Man's Best Friend to the Rescue". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  4. ^ Margaret A. McGurk (August 14, 1998). "Wholesome Air Bud scores with youngsters". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Tribune News Services (February 13, 1998). "Athletic Canine Star Of `Air Bud' Film Dies". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  6. ^ Ryan, Joal (Feb 13, 1998). "Hollywood Mourns Loss of "Air Bud"". E! Online. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  7. ^ Tribune News Services (August 7, 1997). "Cancer Can't Ground `Air Bud' Hoops Pooch". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ "'Air Bud' Star Dies Of Cancer,". The Spokesman-Review. February 13, 1998. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Story Behind "Air Bud"". KATU. August 30, 2012. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  10. ^ Melanie Mcfarland (April 3, 1998). "The Kids Get Their Say For Nickelodeon Awards". The Seattle Times. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 

External links[edit]