Wrangler, A Puppy With Purpose Made Famous By The Today Show, Has Died at 6

“Our hearts are broken as share that Wrangler, our very first puppy with a purpose, has died at the age of 6,” the Today show announced on social media, following his passing.

By Kisha Forde Jul 19, 2021 7:40 PMTags
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The Today show has lost one of their beloved, four-legged buddies: A service dog named Wrangler.
Wrangler's original handler, Saxon Eastman, shared the devastating news to Instagram on July 18. She first introduced the adorable yellow Labrador retriever to the world at just 10 weeks old when he appeared as the morning show's first "Puppy with a Purpose" in 2015.
Disclosing that Wrangler passed away suddenly from liver disease, Saxon also shared a few heart-rending photos of the pup from their brief time together. "In his short 6 years, Wrangler did more than most humans," Saxon wrote in her Instagram post. "He started a wave of national media coverage for guide and service dogs."
Proving you can teach a young dog new tricks, Wrangler spent 16 months being trained in studio to work as a guide dog in the hopes of raising awareness of how much work goes into training a service animals.

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After his days working with New York nonprofit Guiding Eyes for the Blind were complete, he then went on to become a detection dog alongside the Connecticut State Police.


"To me, Wrangler was my super early morning buddy," Saxon continued. "He had the most perfectly squishable neck rolls. He rarely caught the ball, but never stopped trying. He was one of the few Labs I know who wasn't fickle with his love. And I know that my life would look very different today if he hadn't been a part of it."

Today's Instagram account also shared the sad news, writing, "Our hearts are broken as share that Wrangler, our very first puppy with a purpose, has died at the age of 6."

And though losing Wrangler was an unexpected blow, Saxon also reflected on the joy of spending time with the extraordinary pup, writing, "It's never lost on me how lucky I am to have known this dog."