Wrinkles, muscles and drool are hallmarks of Drake University’s newest live mascot, Griff, who was chosen on October 8, 2015.
As the new mascot, Griff has a ton of appearances to make. Luckily, Griff’s owners, Erin and Kevin Bell, have experience with handling a live mascot and the chock-full schedule that comes with it.
The Bells also owned Porterhouse, who was the previous live mascot for Drake University, and are prepared to take new mascot through the same experiences and traditions as Porterhouse.
Since this is Griff’s first year as live mascot, he will be busier then usually due to a steep learning curve before Relays.
“We did a short stint of training at the Animal Rescue League, just for basic obedience like sit, stay, drop and that helped us get going,” Erin Bell said, who said the bulldog will do anything for a treat.
The Bells take Griff to all sorts of events. From basketball games to admission events, Griff can often be seen giving kisses and posing for photos.
“He loves the hands-on attention,” Erin Bell said. “This dog is extremely needy.”
Students appreciate seeing a happy, friendly dog around campus.
“I never really get to see dogs in college, so it’s nice to see him out and about and being a part of the Drake community,” Junior Shaeffer Smith said.
Griff can be seen all over Facebook and Instagram when he is on Drake’s campus. The photos show Griff meeting his new friends with smiles and slobbery kisses.
“I have a few pictures with Griff, and they are some of my favorite pics,” Laura Kovanic said, laughing.
The bulldog is a great choice as a live mascot, Linda Shelburg of the Bulldog Club of Central Iowa Information explains.
“They are loving, friendly and with their personality they make a great live mascot,” Shelburg said.
The bulldog can sometimes be called a clown for its huge smile and funny wrinkly looking face.
“Bulldogs are natural-born clowns and they each have their own personality, which is why they make for great live mascots,” Shelburg said.
All the photos and interactions have prepared Griff for the busiest week of his year so far. The Drake Relays will allow Griff to meet thousands of new people. From alumni to prospective students, he will the big dog on campus.
To meet the friendly bulldog, be on the lookout during the Drake Relays and make sure to stop and say “hi.”