COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KTRK) -- Reveille VIII, one of the latest iconic canines who served as Texas A&M's symbol of athletic pride, has passed away.
University officials said the 12-year-old collie fell ill over the weekend. She passed away on Monday.
"She had a disease that involved her liver, her spleen, and many of her muscles," said Dr. Kate Creevy, associated professor of small animal internal medicine at Texas A&M. "We could see this was a source of pain for her and not something that we wanted to ask her to fight."
Reveille VIII made her debut as the Aggies mascot in 2008, just in time for Texas A&M's football season.
She continued to serve as the Aggies' four-legged representative until 2015, when she retired.
"Reveille VIII is more than just a dog, or even a mascot. She's a lady, a former student, a loyal companion, and a perfect representation of why Texas A&M is so great," Ryan Kreider, Reveille's handler, said. "She was truly a part of my family, and I'm forever grateful to have held the honor of serving as her handler."
According to Texas A&M, the Reveille tradition began in 1931 when members of the university's Corps of Cadets hid and cared for an injured dog. The dog wasn't so hidden, though, after one night when "Reveille" was played by a bugler, causing the canine to bark.
Since then, the school continued the tradition of adopting a canine to become its mascot. Since Reveille III, all canines adopted by the school as its mascot came from the collie breed.
Reveille VIII, former Texas A&M Aggies mascot, dies at 12