The legend of the Louisiana Tech Bulldog dates back to the Fall of 1899. The story involves five Tech students on their way home from class. When they reached the edge of campus, they noticed a quiet old bulldog sitting alone under a tree. Assuming the dog was a stray, they fed him all the food they had with them and continued on their way.
When the young men had reached the boarding house where they were living, one of them discovered that the bulldog had followed them. They all liked the bulldog and decided not to send him away. They received permission from the owner of the house to keep the dog and to let him sleep in the kitchen for the night. However, they would have to make other plans the next day.
During the night, a fire broke out in the house and the bulldog was the first to be awakened. The old dog became alarmed and ran from room to room tugging at the sheets of the bed to wake the students and the owner. Once the owner and the students had assembled outside, they were horrified to discover that one boy was still in the house. By this time, the house was almost completely full of smoke. Before the boys had time to react, they saw the bulldog run back into the burning house. Moments later, the final student ran out to safety. They all waited for the bulldog to come back out, but it never did.
By dawn the fire was out and the boys searched what remained of the house in hopes of finding the old bulldog alive. After a short time, they found the old dog lying in an unburned corner of the house. The smoke and heat had been too much, and the heroic dog just did not make it.
With tears in their eyes, the young men picked up the lifeless body, and without saying a word, began to walk back to the campus. When they reached the tree where they had met the bulldog only the day before, they began to dig a grave. Not wanting the bulldog to lie uncovered, two of the students took off their jackets and wrapped the bulldog. One jacket was red, the other blue.
Soon, the news of the stray old bulldog spread across the Tech campus. Everyone grieved and felt a closeness to the bulldog that most of them never knew. A loving old bulldog had become the first Tech hero.
A year after the death of the bulldog, Tech began making plans to start its first football team and needed a mascot and school colors. The students voted unanimously to become the Bulldogs in honor of Tech's first hero. The school colors were chosen to be red and blue in recognition of the colors the bulldog was buried in.
Today, no one is sure where the old bulldog is buried or of the names of the young men who saved it. However, one thing is certain. The spirit of the dog is still very much alive, and the love and loyalty it displayed has been a trademark of Tech people for many generations. Questions about the events long ago will always exist, but be assured that somewhere on the Tech campus are the remains of a brave old bulldog wrapped in red and blue.