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Tributes for Dogmeat Pour in from Fallout Fans Following the Death of Real Life Inspiration, River the German Shepard



As someone who recently lost a canine companion myself, this story made me a little emotional and so I really wanted to write about not just the sad news, but also the way that we gamers have come together to pay tribute to a lost, loved doggo. River the German Shepard- who was the inspiration behind Dogmeat from Fallout 4– sadly passed away last week. However, fans have been celebrating the life of the beautiful, female German Shepard with various tributes in game as well as on social media. They may not be people but dogs are still a valuable and highly important to so many of us as family members. They can get us through the toughest of times thanks to their love and companionship and the grief that can be felt at losing a dog- or any pet- is not something to ever be scoffed at.  Dogmeat was a companion throughout the Fallout games, though River’s incarnation of the dog is from Fallout 4. Dogmeat is not just a combat companion but also a loving in game pet, so gamers everywhere have come together to mourn the death of canine actress River. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that Fallout fans have come together to appreciate River and her role in Fallout 4.

Joel Burgess– a Bethesda Softworks developer who had a pivotal role as lead designer in both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4– tweeted out the news about River’s passing. He followed this up with a great deal of information about River and how she brought Dogmeat to life, describing her impact on Fallout 4 as a whole both behind the scenes and on screen. Burgess is clearly stricken from her loss and it shows in his emotionally charged yet informative tweets about River and how they went about bringing her into the game as Dogmeat. I will post Burgess’s original tweet here and also link a behind the scenes video of River (see above) that Burgess posted on his Twitter as well.

There have been a few mods dedicated to River since her passing over on Nexus Mods, including this lovely memorial statue from Mangaclub. The statue becomes a craftable item on the Workbench if it is downloaded and it depicts a sleeping River atop a pedestal with a weeping figure next to her. Her name is also engraved on the statue. Check out the mod here.

Another Nexus Mod – linked here– comes from Sirucus, which allows the player to rename Dogmeat to River in tribute.

Onto some Reddit posts, this one from u/originalgamerguy is both lovely and heart-breaking. I personally very rarely switched out from Dogmeat as a companion- and many others were the same from the look of the comments section- so it is difficult not to feel something from this post.

A cute image of Dogmeat chilling in the dog house that you build from them from u/Chaca_0621 as well as a few images of the pup in game.

u/KittinKanin posted some screenshots of Dogmeat in game as a tribute to River, including Dogmeat dressed up in their cute scarf and google combo.

u/Ekho_location is all of us right now.

We love you, River! Rest in peace, beautiful girl. Sleep well knowing that you brought so much joy, not only to your family and the Bethesda development team but also to tons of gamers everywhere with your companionship in Fallout 4.

Credit: Joel Burgess
Credit: Joel Burgess
Credit: Joel Burgess
Credit: Joel Burgess

Antonia Haynes resides in a small seaside town in England where she has lived her whole life. She's a simple girl with a passion for zombies, writing, film, television, drawing, superheroes, Disney and, of course, video games. Her ideal day would consist of junk food, fluffy pyjamas and video games because quite frankly going outside is overrated. Follow her on Twitter on @RainbowMachete