Our beloved mascot, Jack, is getting an understudy: a new bulldog puppy hailing from California will be arriving on campus soon, and will greet the Georgetown public on April 13th. And yes, young JJ "already enjoys ripping boxes apart." JJ and Jack will continue to reside with Fr. Steck in the Wolfington Hall Jesuit Residence, and get regular walks and belly rubs from student volunteers.
Video and official annoucment after the jump. (Warning: video may induce massive squee-ing.)
Meet Jack Jr. - Say Hi! (via GeorgetownToday)
March 30, 2012 – A laid-back bulldog puppy from California will begin keeping Jack the Bulldog company as a Georgetown mascot-in-training in about two weeks.
The puppy, who will be called Jack Jr. or. J.J., is a gift from Janice and Marcus Hochstetler, whose children Nathan (C’12) and Rachel (C’13) are Georgetown students.
The parents, who show and breed bulldogs, say they donated the puppy out of gratitude for the education their children are receiving.
"We are extremely grateful for the Hochstetlers' gift of a new bulldog puppy to the Georgetown community," says Stacy Kerr, assistant vice president for communications. "We are thrilled that J.J. will be joining Jack the Bulldog on campus."
Jack, who is approaching his 9th birthday, has been the university mascot since 2003, when his predecessor moved to the University of Scranton with caretaker Rev. Scott Pilarz, S.J. (C’81).
Along with Jack, J.J. will live with Rev. Christopher Steck, S.J., an associate professor of theology who has been taking care of Jack since 2003. About 20 students take turns walking the dog every week.
Jack, who recently injured his left rear leg, is expected to have surgery in April and will return in the fall to appear at games and teach J.J. what it means to be a Hoya.
After consulting with experts earlier this year and learning of the opportunity to take in a new puppy, Steck decided the dogs would benefit from a mentor-mentee relationship.
"Jack’s presence will provide important support to J.J., since the older dog is already comfortable with his life as a mascot at Georgetown," Steck says. "J.J. will be looking for signals from Jack, and Jack’s enthusiasm in different environments will encourage J.J.’s own."
Steck adds that while the puppy is laid-back, he has "the bulldog penchant for wrestling and already enjoys ripping boxes apart."
"J.J. has a very mellow personality," says Steck, a chaplain-in-residence in Georgetown’s New South residence hall. "He likes to sit in laps and is curious about the sights and sounds of the world."
The puppy will become a part of the long tradition, which began in 1962, of having bulldogs serve as mascots at Georgetown.
Students tried to name the first bulldog "Hoya," but he refused to respond to anything but "Jack." J.J. will be the sixth bulldog to serve as university mascot.
Georgetown will host an official welcome event for J.J. on the afternoon of April 13 after his weeklong trip across the country from California.
Those who wish to follow J.J. on his trip to Georgetown can visit: Georgetown.edu/jack-the-bulldog.