There are many faces of retirees throughout the Brazos Valley, but one of the more recognizable ones is that of Reveille VII. Miss Rev, as members of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets call her, has championship papers up and down both sides of her line and now that she's retired, Reveille VII has no official obligations to the university.
Since joining the family of Paul and Tina Gardner, Texas A&M's former top dog is basically living a dog's life and she and the Gardner's are loving every minute of it.
Paul Garnder says, "She's the highest ranking in the corps. Yes, the Corps Commander wears four diamonds to represent his or her rank and Reveille has five diamonds on her coat so she outranks everybody."
It's only fitting that the First Lady of Aggieland outranks everybody, but this particular Reveille, Reveille VII, she's comfortably enjoying retirement and the story of how the Gardner's got her is quite humorous.
When Paul Gardner was informed that Reveille was going to be retired and was asked if he and his wife would take her he said, "Of course, we would like to take her, but she needs to be out on a ranch somewhere where she can run around chase squirrels or do whatever dogs do."
For most dogs, life on a ranch may seem like heaven, but this particular girl, the Gardner's learned, "Reveille is a couch potato and so I said, we already have two couch potatoes so we might as well have three and we're very honored to receive that award," recalls Paul Gardner.
But just like any former First Lady, Reveille VII's ties to the university remain strong and she's supportive of the current Reveille.
"She and VIII do get together and they do play together and VIII will come over here and run around and she'll run around with her and we've had them together at E-2 functions together," says Tina Gardner.
Of course, when both Reveille VII and Reveille VIII get together, there's lots of barking, running and just plain old fun that only dogs can enjoy and sometimes even go to the "beauty parlor" together.
As for the Gardners, they also enjoy the tricks Reveille VII picked up from the days spent at Texas A&M. One of the Gardner's favorites Paul says is when you ask Reveille VII, "Would you like to be a Longhorn fan or a dead dog and she'll lay down, roll over like she's dead."
Clearly, Reveille VII is in good hands with the Gardner's because Aggielands former First Lady now reigns as Queen of the Gardner household and thankfully for her K-9 companion, Sparky, she doesn't mind sharing...there's plenty of love to go around. Reveille VII's golden years are definitely filled with enjoyment and life at the Gardner's is full of fun. In fact, a while back, she and her doggie pals, Sasha and Sparky found out the hard way they need to stay away from skunks.