Raven, perhaps the better known of the man-dog duo that created Minnesota Bound, died Wednesday. The camera-loving Black Lab, who Ron Schara often called "the real star of the show" was 12.
The old dog departed, leaving behind a legacy that will long be remembered by the thousands of people who have enjoyed this special dog at fairs, sports shows and on television nationwide. She starred in nearly 400 episodes of the Emmy-winning program "Minnesota Bound." She was also known for her roles on ESPN's "Backroads with Ron and Raven" and "Ron Schara's Call of the Wild".
The famous dog had been retired recently as age and medical problems started to take their toll. People started noticing problems in March of 2004 when Raven and Ron hosted the 'Kids Fishing Clinic' at the Northwest Sports Show in Minneapolis. As usual, there was a bigger line of folks waiting to pet Raven than there was to talk with him.
A woman came up to Ron and asked, "What's the matter with Raven?" as she pointed to the left side of the dog's face. It looked hollow because the muscles beneath her skin had atrophied. The skin was collapsing against her skull.
"There's a cluster of nerves on each side of a dog's head, and the cluster of nerves on this side quit functioning. The muscle all atrophied here and now her eye doesn't sit right," Ron explained months ago. "My veterinarian, Doc Epping, and the vets at the University of Minnesota assure me she's in no pain, but, she's getting to be an old dog."
The retired Raven, formally named Rum River's Black Raven, was replaced on screen with one of her pups, Raven's Rum Rio, who is also called Raven. The new Raven inherited her mother's love of performing and just “being a ham.” Raven II, as she's called, continues to work with Ron.
To send Ron Schara your thoughts, click here.
To read an Extra Ken Speake did on the outdoors duo, click here.
Copyright 2005 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.