DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Porterhouse, a popular bulldog and mascot at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, has died, officials said. He was 8.
The bulldog owned by Kevin and Erin Bell won the 2009 Beautiful Bulldog Contest at Drake, becoming the university's mascot for a year, the Des Moines Register reported.
However, Porterhouse was so popular with fans, the university asked him to stay on as mascot after his reign ended.
Along with attending Drake sporting events, Porterhouse was a registered therapy dog and visited local hospitals. He also appeared as "Rufus" in the Des Moines Community Playhouse's production of "Legally Blonde."
The Bells announced Porterhouse's death on Sunday on his blog. University officials also helped spread the word about his death.
"His gentle nature and loving personality will be missed by everyone that has come in contact with him," Drake athletic director Sandy Hatfield Clubb said in a statement. "Porterhouse allowed adults and children to pull on his ears, hug his neck, and take endless pictures by his side -- indeed, no bulldog has had such a meaningful and lasting impact on the Drake community. We sincerely thank Erin and Kevin for so lovingly sharing Porterhouse for the past four years."