Our Canine Ambassador

Meet Growley II (call sign "Tank")

Growley II

Growley II, a Labrador retriever, is the canine ambassador for the Corps of Cadets.

He arrived on campus in fall 2016 from Ciao Bella Retrievers of Troutville, Virginia, where he excelled throughout extensive service dog training. 

Growley is cared for 24/7 by a nine-member team of cadets. Dr. Lara Bartl of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine is his veterinarian.

Supported by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands, Vice President of Student Affairs Patty Perillo, and Vice President for Administration Sherwood Wilson, the Corps received permission, under Virginia Tech Policy 5000, for Growley II to reside with his cadet handlers in Pearson Hall. 

Request an Appearance

To request an appearance at your event, email growley-g@vt.edu. Please include the following:

  • Date and time of your event
  • Location of your event
  • The organization hosting the event
  • The type of event it is
  • The length of time you'd like Growley to be there
  • Why you'd like Growley to be there
  • Your contact information

Social Media

Follow Growley on Instagram. He's @VTGrowley.

Why Growley?

A man by the name of “Growley” Schultz ran the mess hall in the early 1900s. According to folklore, he didn’t have a very sunny disposition. Students called the food he served “growley,” and eventually first-year cadets who announced the time until the morning formation would call “minutes to growley.”

Another piece of folklore centers around a dog that was either owned by a Depression-era commandant or adopted by cadets of that era. Cadets would hold a bit of “growley” back from their meals to ensure that the dog had enough to eat.

Fast-forward to present day. When the cadets’ initiative to add a four-legged ambassador to our ranks took shape, they maintained the connection to Growley and the past.