Reveille VII, the mascot of Texas A&M University, will be retired.
In an announcement at the Sanders Corps Center on campus, university leaders said the collie dog had served in a capacity unlike any of the previous mascots, working a schedule filled with campus events, community gatherings and long trips across the country.
"She's lost a step or two, we've noticed, and we don't want to put anymore stress on her than already being an older dog," said John Morello, the commander of the Corps of Cadets Company E-2, which cares for Reveille. "We think it's best for her to go out with a bang."
It was the increasing demands that got E-2 cadets thinking it was time to retire the latest Rev, who was born in October 2000, and became mascot in April 2001.
"Company E-2 began this conversation, brought it to me, and then it was taken to the administration from there," said Conner Prochaska, the student body president. "This administration has always included students, from tuition to our mascot."
That input will continue on a number of fronts as Reveille VII serves her final days until the Corps' final review this semester. The university will seek out a new home for the dog.
Also of note, the university will discuss numerous options for her successor, including the possibilty of changing the mascot from a collie to something else. Dean Bresciani, the Vice President for Student Affairs, and others involved in the process say the demands of the mascot and what animal can best meet those demands will be talked about in the coming months.
"Part of it is the animal itself," Bresciani said. "Part of it is the expectations placed on the animal, and we're going to try to balance those more purposely than we perhaps have done in the past."
The original Reveille was a small dog accidentally hit by cadets coming back to campus from Navasota, according to the university. The dog was named after the morning wake-up bugle call of the same name, which the dog barked at each morning.
The dog is considered the highest ranking member of the corps, and is called the First Lady of Aggieland. She also lives with Company E-2, and has a new handler assigned to her every year known as the mascot corporal.