DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — A Siberian husky named Diesel that spent nine years as Northern Illinois University's mascot has died after a lymphoma diagnosis.
Diesel's owner, Tom Bonnevier, said the 13-year-old dog died Sunday, a day after he spent Saturday at the NIU football season-opening game against UNLV. Bonnevier tells The (DeKalb) Daily-Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1isqKGX ) that he "couldn't have wished for a better last day for him."
Diesel stepped aside in 2013 and was given the title mascot emeritus. The Huskies' current mascot is Mission.
Bonnevier says Diesel had difficulty breathing and was in pain on Sunday. He took the dog to an emergency veterinarian and says "it was just time." The dog will be cremated.
NIU athletic director Sean Frazier says Diesel is a part of the team's tradition and "he'll never be forgotten."
Information from: The Daily Chronicle, http://www.daily-chronicle.com