Diesel prepares for goodbye to Huskies

By KeAndre Worthy

NIU has a new dog ready to learn old tricks.

Today will likely mark the last time Diesel, NIU’s mascot, will represent the Huskies during a home game. Master Sgt. Rufus Beamon, an instructor in Huskie Battalion, said Diesel’s job will be passed to another Huskie: Shiver Mission Accomplished, who was born Dec. 11, 2011, will take over as mascot.

The ROTC program will be in charge of training, presenting and caring for the mascot.

“He’s been trained as a pup to be used to loud noises as well as basic manners,” Beamon said.

Mission will be available for scheduled appearances for events and activities. Details have not been released, but there will be some fee associated with his appearance.

“[He’s a] pretty good addition to Huskie Battalion. [It] helps get us out into the public and around campus,” Beamon said.

Beamon said with the new program, the mascot will be switched out every six to eight years so he can retire at a young age.

“The news is kind of a rough thing to hear, but at [Diesel’s] age when the games become too much you need retirement,” said Emily Murtaugh, senior occupational therapy major.

Lt. Col. David Dosier said it is an honor for the Huskie Battalion to be connected with something so important to the university.

“The handler, which will be a cadet in charge of Mission at events, will receive training, and Mission will … start training to learn a touchdown dance for the football team,” Beamon said.