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Foo-Foo -- the beloved pet of Thailand's Crown Prince Maha, which held the position of Air Chief Marshall for the Asian nation -- died last week. Foo-Foo's body went through four days of Buddhist funeral rites, which can include cleaning and dressing the body, reciting prayers, meditation, and building altars in honor of the deceased.
\u201cTragic but true, @PaulHandley2, Foo Foo is finished.\u201d— Paul Handley (@Paul Handley) 1423088520
Photos of Foo-Foo's funeral were shared widely over social media, often with ironic commentary. Foo-Foo, who was 17-years-old, was placed in an elaborately decorated coffin, and was given an altar where mourners placed wreaths, trophies and other offerings. In Thailand, it is illegal to discuss the royal succession, which looms on the horizon as the current king is elderly and ill. Instead of discussing it openly, many Thai citizens took to Twitter last week to make satirical statements about the Air Chief Marshall's death, and to jokingly wonder who will succeed him.
\u201cIt can't be true! @Thailand Crown Prince's dog FooFoo, officially an air chief marshall, is dead? HT @zenjournalist\u201d— Paul Handley (@Paul Handley) 1423088520
Unsurprisingly, Foo-Foo lived a life that was as decadent as his funeral. In May of 2014, Prince Maha and his wife Princess Srirasmi scandalized the nation when a video emerged showing the princess on her 30th birthday, feeding cake to Foo-Foo while wearing nearly nothing. Many Thais were furious at this cartoonish display of decadence on the part of the royal couple, during a time when Thailand was rocked by a military coup. Only a few months after the release of the scandalous video, WikiLeaks revealed a diplomatic cable written by Ralph "Skip" Boyce, the U.S. ambassador to Thailand, which detailed a gala that Foo-Foo attended "dressed in formal evening attire, complete with paw mitts." Foo-Foo is said to have later drunk Scotch from the glass of one of the humans in attendance.