There are currently 36 colleges and universities across the nation who have the Bulldog as their mascot 16 of which have live mascots. Recently, Adrian College joined the latter group with the arrival of Bruiser the Bulldog, AC’s new live mascot.
Bruiser is an English Bulldog. He was born with the name “Eddie” on Oct. 20 to a breeder in Oklahoma. He was selected from roughly 100 different bulldogs by Kristi Maxwell, dean of student life.
Bruiser was selected for several different reasons, including his temperament, health, physical appearance and the fact that he was male.
For both Maxwell and President Jeffrey Docking, it was evident from the moment they saw his picture that he was the dog for AC.
However, Bruiser almost did not make it to AC. The day he arrived, there also happened to be an English Bulldog coming in from Oklahoma on the same flight. Both Bulldogs were also to be picked up by a woman named Kristi. It was only discovered at the last moment that there were two separate Bulldogs, and that they were about to go to the wrong owners.
Once in Adrian, he needed a home. Docking and Maxwell spoke to several members of the staff to find out who would be the best caretaker. They came to the conclusion that he would live with an Adrian resident named Janine Grier.
Grier was personally interviewed by Docking to make sure she fit the college’s expectations for an ideal owner.
One major concern with the person in charge of taking care of Bruiser was their ability to keep him healthy. As a species, bulldogs are prone to negative health. They traditionally have breathing problems, poor eyesight and their wrinkles must be cleaned everyday to avoid fungal infections. Bulldogs are also highly intolerant of heat.
Grier’s knowledge of how to deal with all of these different issues was a large part of her selection as Bruiser’s caretaker. Bruiser is fed entirely natural dog food and treats and is typically walked two to three times a day.
Bruiser has had an overwhelmingly positive reception here on campus.
“I’ve had him in Ritchie, in Caine and the Merillat,” Grier said. “It’s been awesome. I’ve had huge, tough looking guys just go crazy over him.”
Maxwell also believes the response to Bruiser’s presence has been positive.
“It brings school spirit to light, literally,” she said. “The students love him. Lots of science and pre-vet majors have jumped at the chance to help.”
That excitement is evident from 18 students who have applied to be members of the ‘Dawg Squad,’ a group of students who will aid Grier in taking care of Bruiser. Interviews to be on the squad began yesterday. Members of the Dawg Squad will walk Bruiser and take him to events Grier cannot attend.
Much of that excitement is coming from the athletic community at AC.
“It’s awesome to have a live mascot,” said freshman Charlie Cullen.
While Bruiser has made several small appearances over the last week, he will make his official debut Friday at the men’s varsity hockey game where he will be dropping the pre-game puck.
Bruiser has his own email, website and calendar for anyone who wishes to get in contact with him or view his schedule for the future.
Maxwell has high hopes for the future of Bruiser. She hopes he will learn some tricks, as well as become the face of AC, with his face appearing on pamphlets and yearbooks and similar publications.