Going to sporting events and cheering on the Buccaneers is a pastime of many ETSU students, but one four-legged sports fan is a little different than the rest.
George the dog is an eight-year-old yellow Labrador who is the star of his own Instagram page. Chris Guffey, George’s owner, says George loves to attend ETSU events.
“This semester I’ve taken him to a lot of my school stuff,” said Guffey. “Fraternity and sorority things … always at tailgates.”
George attended several volleyball games last semester and is a regular sight at football tailgates, with many fans considering him a tailgating mascot.
“Tailgating is where most people could count on seeing him,” said Guffey. “We went to every tailgate.”
George has become so familiar to event-goers around ETSU that Guffey decided to create an Instagram page for him called @etsu_george. Currently, George has about 400 followers.
“I try to post things about him on my page too,” he said. “It was a way for people to see the ETSU dog in his daily life.”
According to Guffey, George is more than just one of the Buccaneers’ biggest fans.
George is a service dog given to Guffey through Puppies Behind Bars, an organization that allows prison inmates to train service dogs for wounded war veterans and first responders. Guffey, who returned home from service in 2012, received George through the program a little over four years ago.
“I would not be where I am and as successful as I am today if I hadn’t been able to work with Puppies Behind Bars and get George,” he said.
Whether working hard, cheering on the Buccaneers at a game, drawing crowds at the tailgates or posing for Instagram pictures, George has a special place in the hearts of ETSU sports fans.
“He’s a dog, but he’s more than just a dog,” said Guffey. “He’s a friend.”