Fresno State’s football home opener Saturday will be missing a bit of a bark.
And it could be some time before that bark comes back to Bulldog Stadium.
Victor E. Bulldog III – the university’s real-life mascot and considered the “loving face” of Fresno State athletics – is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks because of a knee injury, the school announced on the mascot’s blog.
“I wanted to let you know that I’ve been put on the live mascot ‘IR,’ ” Victor E. Bulldog’s blog stated Friday, a day before Saturday’s homer opener against Minnesota. “In football terms, that means the ‘Injured Reserved List.’
“I’ve been experiencing a little stiffness in my right knee. … I have ‘effusion’ of my right knee. Knee effusion, or ‘water on the knee’ as it is called.”
Given the mascot’s recovery timeline, Victor E. Bulldog III is expected to miss at least one more home game, which is the Sept. 21 matchup against Sacramento State.
But the bulldog could be back by Oct. 18 against UNLV, which is Fresno State’s first home game in Mountain West play.
Fresno State’s costumed bulldog “TimeOut,” meanwhile, still is expected to be at all the Bulldogs home games.
Victor E. Bulldog, the real-life mascot, has been a popular figure at Fresno State events, football games especially.
Fans of all ages often ask to take photos with the dog, who is typically dressed in Fresno State doggie apparel.
Others get excited just to interact with the lovable pet.
Life as Fresno State’s real-life mascot, though, hasn’t been the easiest for the animals in recent years.
The original Victor E. Bulldog died of cancer in 2012 at age 8 after serving six years as the mascot.
Victor E. Bulldog is taken care of by the Fresno State Alumni Association.
The position that handles the mascot made national news this summer when it was learned that Fresno State was offering $42,000 with benefits to take care of the dog.
“If you could do me one favor while I am recovering, please go out and support our Bulldog student-athletes,” the blog for Victor E. Bulldog III states. “They need you to cheer (bark, in my case) them onto ‘Victor-E!’ ”