Citadel pups officially take the reigns as old guard retires

General and G2 (The Citadel)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The adorable new mascots at the Citadel have been making the rounds for a while now, but Friday afternoon, the Changing of the Guard will be official.

Current bulldog ambassadors 'General' and 'Boo IX' will be thanked for their service at Summerall Field. Both dogs have served since 2003 when the mascot program was created and are more than 10 years old. The average life span for a bulldog is eight years.

"General and Boo will sit back and relax," said Assistant Athletic Director Michael Groshom. "They'll still come to some events, but we are going to do everything we can to make sure they are taken care of.

During their service the dogs took part in community events, raised funds for animal rescue groups and took part in boosting cadet morale at school events.

"Mascots show up anywhere," said John Lackey, who graduated from the school in 1961. "They are welcome all over campus, in the classroom, in the departments, they are a part of cadet life."

General was born in 2003 and became the first live mascot to live on The Citadel campus since the 1950s. Officials say he comes from a long line of "bulldog royalty" and is related to UGA V, a former University of Georgia mascot.

Officials also say Boo IX comes from impressive and substantial bulldog lineage with a long line of Boos preceding him.

The first official Changing of the Mascot Ceremony in the history of the Citadel too place Friday afternoon.Pups General Robert P. Carson (also known as G2) and Boo X will take over.{}

According to a release from the school, G2 was named after Robert P. Carson who was a former Citadel football player and supporter of the college. He was a classmate of current Citadel President, Gen. Rosa; the class of 1973.

Mr. Carson passed away recently and is being honored for his loyalty to The Citadel.

"We are grateful for the service of these wonderful and loyal animals who have boosted the morale of the Corps of Cadets and delighted our staff, neighbors and visitors with their appearances since the of the breed first began officially representing the school around 1928," said Jeff Perez, vice president for External Affairs.

All four dogs will continue to live in one happy home on campus. Their "doghouse" has been specially adapted for the breed which is sensitive to extreme heat, including special cooled dog beds and a specially air-conditioned doghouse barracks modeled after the real barracks. Funding for The Citadel's bulldog mascots is entirely donation-based.


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