Clermont Mayor Gail Ash and City Manager Darren Gray met a four-legged Champion today.
Ash and Gray were touched when they heard about Beefy, the adorable pug with incurable cancer, and his owners Jennifer and Joe Lutes’s quest to make his last days his best. So, they invited Beefy and his crew to City Hall for some special recognition.
The Luteses arrived pushing Beefy in his stroller with a fresh haircut and a fancy tie. Ash and Gray presented Beefy with a City of Clermont logoed bandana collar and fed him dog treats.
“The City of Clermont cares,” Ash said. “Losing a pet is heartbreaking, but the whole Clermont community has rallied around Beefy and his parents. It’s very special.”
Jennifer handed them Beefy’s business card as the recently appointed Canine Ambassador of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce. She also presented them with a printed agenda for their meeting, detailing multiple “eat-and-greets” and ending with a photo and a press conference.
“Beefy is a Clermont Champion,” Gray said. “We’re glad we could meet him and make some happy memories.”
It all started on Facebook on the Clermont/Minneola Community Awareness group. Jennifer began posting her adventures with Beefy around Clermont on Feb. 23 to the group, which has about 19,000 followers.
Pretty soon, local businesses were inviting him for free treats and his story went viral, getting shared across social media and on local media outlets. People from as far as Australia have sent him fan mail.
Beefy’s visit to City Hall made stop No. 27 on his treat tour, referred to on Facebook as his #pugcrawl. The 11-year-old pug was diagnosed with terminal, untreatable cancer in December.