Victor E. hanging out during last October’s Wiggle Waggle Walk. Roe Borunda/ The Collegian
Victor E. Bulldog II took his first step into the spotlight last year, eliciting thousands to say “Awww!” and fall in love.
The 45-pound English bulldog was only 5 months old when he stepped into the limelight, but already had the star power that was reminiscent of the beloved Fresno State mascot, Victor E. Bulldog, who had passed away from cancer August of last year.
To say VEBII (as he is affectionately known) had some big paw prints to fill was true, but he more than stepped up to the challenge, according to his owner and primary veterinarian, Dr. Kelly Weaver, of Fresno Pet Emergency Room.
“The thing is, he’s a different dog than the first Victor E. was,” Weaver said. “There’s going to be a difference in personalities, but his just fits.”
Weaver said that the moment VEBII laid his big brown puppy-dog eyes upon her it was a done deal. She had no choice but to take him home, and it was a decision she will never regret.
On Saturday, Weaver, VEBII and friends gathered at Me ‘N Ed’s Victory Grill in Granite Park on Cedar Avenue to watch the Bulldogs battle the Idaho Vandals.
The mom-pup duo made their appearances on KSEE 24’s “Bulldog Insider” and in between bites of pizza, tacos and barbecued wings, they made their rounds through the restaurant, greeting fans and bringing smiles to their faces.
She described VEBII as a happiness ambassador, not just for Fresno State, but for the community as well.
“He loves kids,” she said with a laugh. “It’s like if you put a stick here and a kid there, he’s going to go for the kid.”
In fact, there were a few children’s birthday parties at the restaurant that were livened up by the waddling and wiggling of excitement.
A little boy got his picture taken, and VEBII gave him birthday lickings as well. This aspect of VEBII’s personality adds to his animated reputation.
“He has a couple different snores, but they sound so much like a cartoon, it’s hilarious,” said Jeff Rhodes, a close friend of Weaver and VEBII.
Another fan and best buddy of VEBII in attendance was Mike Scott, a local television journalist who worked for CBS47 and retired earlier this year, just shy of his 30th anniversary with the station.
Scott was seen fawning over VEBII, often taking pictures, cuddling him and letting the dog “clean” his face after he ate.
“Everyone just loves him,” Weaver beamed.
She added that she wished she could take him to every sporting event that Fresno State has, “but there are just so many.”
VEBII stays very active, she said. The pair will be attending the Quarterback Club on Monday at 12 p.m. and the Women’s Basketball Ice Cream Social at Smittcamp Alumni House at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
He also knows when he is going incognito versus when it’s “celebrity” time. “When I put his jersey on him, he does what we call the ‘bulldog bounce’ because he starts hopping around,” she said with a laugh.
As for what the future holds for VEBII, Weaver said she hopes to get him involved in working with children to boost awareness of animals, sports and Fresno State.