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Puppy Joins Jack the Bulldog as Mascot-in-Training

April 13, 2012 – Today Georgetown officially welcomed with fanfare the bulldog puppy from California named Jack Jr. (or J.J.) who is joining Jack the Bulldog as mascot-in-training.

The university’s cheer team, student athletes and pep band lined up on the Healy Building steps Friday afternoon to deliver a new song about J.J.

Christopher Steck, S.J., an associate professor of theology and the dogs’ caretaker, and John Kenchelian (C'12) brought both canines down the steps as the band played on.

The song, to the tune of Bruce Channel’s 1950s song, “Hey Baby” (re-popularized in the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing), went like this:

Hey J.J. Song

Hey, hey, J.J.
We wanna know if you’ll be our dog
Hey, hey, J.J.
We wanna know if you’ll be our dog

When I saw you walking down the street
I said oh, he’s the kind of dog I want to meet
He’s so fierce, oh, he’s fine
I’m gonna make him mine, oh, mine…

The students then “taught” J.J. the university’s “Fight Song” and the pup officially joined the Georgetown community.

Parents’ Gift

J.J. is a gift from Janice and Marcus Hochstetler, whose children, Nathan (C’12) and Rachel (C’13), are Georgetown students.

The parents, who show and breed bulldogs, say they donated the puppy out of gratitude for the education their children are receiving.

“We are extremely grateful for the Hochstetlers' gift of a new bulldog puppy to the Georgetown community,” says Stacy Kerr, assistant vice president for communications. “We are thrilled that J.J. will be joining Jack the Bulldog on campus.”

Dogged Mentor

Jack, who is approaching his 9th birthday, has been the university mascot since 2003, when his predecessor moved to the University of Scranton with caretaker Rev. Scott Pilarz, S.J. (C’81).

Steck has been taking care of Jack the Bulldog since 2003. About 20 students take turns walking the dog every week.

The older dog recently injured his left rear leg, and is expected to have surgery this month. He will return in the fall to appear at games and teach J.J. what it means to be a Hoya.

Bulldog Penchant

After consulting with experts earlier this year and learning of the opportunity to take in a new puppy, Steck decided the dogs would benefit from a mentor-mentee relationship.

“Jack’s presence will provide important support to J.J., since the older dog is already comfortable with his life as a mascot at Georgetown,” Steck says. “J.J. will be looking for signals from Jack, and Jack’s enthusiasm in different environments will encourage J.J.’s own.”

Steck adds that while the puppy is laid-back, he has “the bulldog penchant for wrestling and already enjoys ripping boxes apart.”

“J.J. has a very mellow personality,” says Steck, a chaplain-in-residence in Georgetown’s New South residence hall. “He likes to sit in laps and is curious about the sights and sounds of the world.”

Bulldog History

The puppy is now a part of the long tradition, which began in 1962, of having bulldogs serve as mascots at Georgetown.

Students tried to name the first bulldog “Hoya,” but he refused to respond to anything but “Jack.” J.J. will be the sixth bulldog to serve as university mascot.

For updates on Jack and J.J.’s life at Georgetown, visit Georgetown.edu/jack-the-bulldog.

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