With football season in full gear, it may be poor timing to admit I’m not a big sports fan. But does it redeem my grid-iron lameness that I appreciate a good mascot, especially of the canine variety? From the squat nobility of University of Georgia Bulldog Ug to the not-terribly intimidating Boston University Terrier to the sleek and speedy (and sort of obscure) Salukis of Southern Illinois, dogs make great mascots because they have so many admirable qualities that translate to sport (loyalty, perseverance, love of play, good attitude, and on and on). Plus, you can have an actual dog in your parade and on the sidelines.
Among dog mascots (many Bulldogs among them) nothing touches the University of Washington’s, to my way of thinking. They fight the good fight behind a handsome Husky, usually “played by” a flashier, more docile Malamute. I admit I may be unduly influenced by the fact that I attended grad school at UW and that I’ve had three Husky-mix dogs sprinkle their pixie dust on my life.
For most of my time in Seattle, my UW Husky sightings were limited to t-shirts, posters and the bronze incarnation in front of Husky Stadium. But a couple years ago, I heard about Dubs (as in U-Dub), the latest mascot pup-in-training. I started following his blog, which is a constantly expanding collection of to-die-for photos. Interestingly his home and family are shrouded in secrecy to maintain his privacy and perhaps protect against pranksters. So when I saw him on a walk IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD I felt like I’d just spotted George Clooney. When we crossed paths a second time, I asked: “Is this?” The answer: “Yes.” We didn’t say his name, like a certified Hollywood star. We didn’t need to. But, unlike meeting a certified Hollywood star, I was allowed to pet him. Yum.
I see Dubs occasionally and check in on his blog. And I’m even starting to care how the teams do—for Dubs’ sake. Go Dawgs!
Do you have a favorite mascot?