UNIVERSITY: Mississippi State University
LIVE MASCOT: Bully
BULLY’S BREED: AKC registered English Bulldog
(Current) BULLY’S OFFICIAL NAME: Bully XXI “Cristil’s Golden Prince”
(Current) BULLY’S NICKNAME: Jak
(Current) BULLY’S REIGN TO DATE: April 2015-present
BULLY’S HANDLER & COORDINATOR: Lisa Pritchard, MSU College of Veterinary Medicine – Head Technician, Internal Medicine and Oncology
VEHICLE(S) BULLY PRIMARILY TRAVELS IN: Chevrolet Tahoe or GMC Sierra
GUNNER KENNELS PRODUCTS BULLY OWNS: G1™ Intermediate, Tie-Down Straps, Fan Kit
The “Bulldogs” became the official nickname for State in 1961, but use of it dates back to around 1905. The first “true” Bully mascot was given to the school in 1935 – and fans have been enthralled with him ever since.
Everything. Being Jak’s caretaker is basically like having a celebrity with you at all times! We’re always on a schedule.
We go to all the football games, both home and away. Bully also attends every at-home basketball game (for both men and women), as well as the at-home baseball and softball games.
Plus, we attend at least three social or community events every week – he’s asked to participate in photoshoots all the time. We also go to area elementary schools for themed events or reading days, and to visit local assisted living facilities.
We’re always on campus too – he comes to work with me every day at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
The MSU Bully (XIX, XX, XXI) mascots have lived with me since 2001. This dog is like another child to me – just like his dad and grandad before him. Jak never leaves my side, so he’s on the go a lot. He loves to ride, doesn’t matter where we’re going. Right now (it’s football season), Davis Wade Stadium is his favorite destination, to watch Mississippi State play.
We start out on the Dawg Walk, where the players come through each game. He sits in the Southern Traditions Tailgating truck. Passersby can see him sitting on the deck, without us running the risk of him getting trampled (though we do have security with us at all times). Before the game starts, we have a 30-minute photo op for fans in the Junction. Then we head to the stadium. Jak and I run out on the field right before the football players, and go straight to midfield. When the game starts, we’re cheering the boys on from the sidelines or taking photos with fans.
Jak sits at my feet and watches football. He’s really engaged in the game. And don’t let a football near him, he’ll make a dive for it. He thinks he owns every football that comes around.
After the game, Jak is wiped out – we go home to recuperate until Monday.
He is the face and living image of Mississippi State. Anyone remotely associated with State can recognize Jak. They knew his dad and his grandad the same way. Fans absolutely adore him. Of course, he’s a celebrity on campus too. You can imagine.
Jak’s a very social and outgoing dog. He thinks everyone’s job is to pet him, because everyone wants to. But he has a different personality when he’s got his harness on and is “working” (primarily at games, and sometimes at social events). We both have work mode and play mode.
Jak is extremely significant to the university, its fans and even the fans’ morale. His safety is of utmost importance. After watching Gunner Kennels crash testing and videos, I knew that’s what Jak deserved. I now have peace of mind knowing that Jak is 100% safer when in a vehicle – safer even than me.
Jak and I are always on the move. It’s just a blessing to have zero qualms when traveling with him, knowing that we have the absolute best product to protect Jak – and that’s Gunner Kennels.
– LISA PRITCHARD, MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY MASCOT COORDINATOR
Read More: Transporting Auburn University’s Mascot
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