It takes a village: Raising a University mascot

21 Apr

You may have seen my recent post that I received the 2015 Bryant University Spirit Award. Or, rather, my moms did.

“The Spirit Award is presented to a team that enhances the quality of life at Bryant by preserving, promoting, and carrying out positive and quantifiable values and traits. They go above and beyond what’s expected in serving Bryant University.”

They got the award for taking care of me because I am an integral part of the Bryant community now! And they do it as volunteers – they don’t get paid to do so…they just love me because I’m family. I remember May 2010 like it was yesterday…I was a little, 20-lb nugget being introduced during Commencement and carried across the stage to receive my degree in “Character and Obedience,” honoris causa (that means “honorary degree!”)

It took a couple of years before people knew about me. But thank Dog for social media!

I couldn’t have received this Spirit Award without my Uncle Ron and Auntie Kati Machtley, who had the vision to understand that a college needs a proper, live mascot. They searched until they found my moms – Claire and Tina Senecal, mother and daughter and long-time Bryant employees – who agreed to give me a home (or two).

Thank you to those who work in Academic Records for helping to watch me, entertain me, scratch me, and fetch me when students come in the office to get pet therapy before class or after tough exams. And thanks to those in University Relations who scratch my bum when I come in for a visit.

Auntie Kristin helping the tailor with my fitting

Auntie Kristin helping the tailor with my fitting

Special thanks go out to my Auntie Kristin and Uncle “DP” Penta. When she first started working here, Auntie Kristin fell in love with my squishy face. Over the years, the Pentas have supported me in many ways. They donated my stroller to me, they watch me when Ma has to do something “real quick,” they asked their tailor to make my official jersey, and Uncle DP built a “throne” for me to use in the basketball stands so I don’t have to sit on Ma’s lap. She’s not super comfortable. I know Ma appreciates all they’ve done, too!

And, of course, thank you to the students, alumni, parents, staff, and faculty who find me “irresistabull.” The ones who invite me to their events and appreciate my representing this fabulous university. I’m thankful that you appreciate me and that you understand when I can’t attend absolutely everything I’m invited to (even though I’d love to be able to go to everything). Gratitude to all my friends on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Vine who have no connection to Bryant but who continue to support me and share my posts. It means the world to me!

With so many wonderful people here, I’m honored to call Bryant University my home. Woof!

Hanging out on my throne in the stands at the half, waiting for some scratchies.

Hanging out on my throne in the stands at the half, waiting for some scratchies.

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