CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Citadel has lost one of their beloved mascots.
The school announced that General Robert P. Carson, one of their two bulldogs, died on September 13. The dog was 8 years old.
John Bradford, General's veterinarian and caretaker, said the bulldog hadn't shown any sign of illness.
“General was playing not 20 minutes before he passed away with no suffering and with Boo [the other mascot] curled up next to his side,” Bradford said.
He said the dog likely died from an embolism which he said is not uncommon for bulldogs, who often don’t live past the age of 10.
The dog's death wasn't announced to the cadets on campus until after the football team's game against Georgia Tech last Saturday. The game was an upset, as the lower division (Football Championship Subdivision) Citadel upset the Yellow Jackets, which play in the ACC and are a Football Bowl Division team. It was the first time Georgia Tech had lost to an FCS team since 1983.
“I just couldn’t do that to the cadets on the same day as the big win against Georgia Tech," Bradford said. "I couldn’t do that to them when they had so much to celebrate.”
Boo, his mate, and the General became the school's mascots in 2013. They had two litters of puppies together.
“General was a rock star. It would take us forever to get from our house on campus to the stadium or basketball games there were so many cadets and visitors wanting to take pictures,” Bradford said. “He was a diva – he loved the attention. He knew exactly how to pose, too. General was a natural.”
The college will have a memorial for The General later this semester, and he'll be interred at The Citadel Mascot Memorial Columbarium located at Johnson Hagood Stadium.