Fulfilling the role of Fresno State’s living, breathing mascot can be pretty hectic. Some could even say it’s “ruff.”
Appearing at special events and games can run a “good boy” ragged. Luckily for Victor E. Bulldog III, there’s a dedicated staff managing the pup’s day-to-day activities. Whether he’s getting his biweekly grooming or posing for pictures, Victor has a human entourage that keeps him on his paws.
One of Victor’s favorite humans is Alumni Association student assistant Ian Carabarin. When Carabarin started as an assistant four years ago, he did not know he would end up spending most of his time with a pooch, but now his job has literally gone to the dog.
“Victor sort of fell into the association’s lap last summer. Before that my job was just answering phones and running paperwork,” Carabarin said. “But now, I would say 90 percent of my time in the office is spent with Victor.”
Carabarin is among several other student assistants who help manage Victor’s day-to-day agenda. They hold quite the coveted position on campus. Their main responsibilities include walking Victor, playing games and escorting him to events. Don’t feel too jealous yet, though. The job is not always sunshine and tail-wagging.
“He’s definitely a bulldog,” Carabarin said of Victor, who can get fairly grumpy after a long day.
Most of Victor’s schedule is composed of event appearances. He’s often spotted at football and basketball games and recently attended the Recruit Up the 99. Before going anywhere, though, Victor has to be prepared.
“When we were getting him ready for football games, he got to hang out with all the cheerleaders,” Carabarin said. “Then he got to the marching band. He didn’t like that as much, but he got used to it. One time, at his first basketball game he saw his first basketball and he went nuts.”
When he’s not at events, Victor is busy greeting students on campus and visitors to the Smittcamp Alumni House. On Mondays, Victor receives training. At the moment, he is mastering the art of waving. At other times, he can be found napping, checking his social media and being adorable.
On Saturday, Victor will celebrate his first birthday with a birthday “paw-ty.” Jacquelyn Glasener, executive director of the Fresno State Alumni Association, said the event, open to the public, will be a big celebration.
“He’s got a few dog friends coming, like Tessa the Arson Dog and the Fresno lab and bully rescues,” Glasener said. “There’s going to be a cake, presents and even a dog agility course.”
Victor’s “paw-ty” is Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Smittcamp Alumni House and is free to attend.