Former Texas A&M mascot Reveille VIII died Monday at the age of 12 after a brief illness.
The former “First Lady of Aggieland,” was the school’s live mascot from August 2008 until May 2015, when she retired to the school’s Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center.
University officials say the dog fell ill during the early morning hours of June 23 and was taken to Texas A&M’s veterinary hospital. She was discovered to be suffering from a disease that was affecting her liver, spleen and muscles.
“We could see this was a source of pain for her and not something that we wanted to ask her to fight,” associate professor of small animal internal medicine Dr. Kate Creevy said in a press release.
Reveille VIII, who hailed from Topeka, KS, was the eighth live dog that Texas A&M has utilized as a mascot. The tradition dates back to 1931. It was inspired by members of Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets, who, as legend has it, hit a dog on their way to campus. They kept it and the dog led the band onto the football field the following year, becoming the university’s official mascot.
Each Reveille is the highest-ranking member of the Corps of Cadets, holding the rank of general. It is taken care of by a sophomore member of the corps.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Reveille VIII today,” Corps of Cadets Commandant Brigadier General (ret.) Joe Ramirez said in a press release. “She was a beautiful mascot for our university and represented Texas A&M with grace and charm wherever she went.”
Since Reveille III, each mascot has been a Rough Collie. The latest, Reveille IX, made her debut in May 2015.
Reveille VIII will be buried in Kyle Field Plaza alongside the previous seven mascots.