La. Tech bulldog mascot goes missing

OK, so this story may not come with the import of major NCAA infractions, but it is legitimately troubling nonetheless -- particularly to members of the Louisiana Tech community. Tech XX, Louisiana Tech's rather adorable mascot, went missing Sunday evening and hasn't been seen since, according to the Shreveport Times. On Tuesday morning, the initial reward offer of $1,000 was increased to $2,000, as caretaker Dr. Patrick Sexton attempts to locate the lost pooch.

Tech XX, a four-year-old English bulldog, was last seen Sunday night in Ruston, La., where Sexton owns and operates an animal clinic. A worker let Tech XX outside for a quick business break. When the worker came back to the door to let Tech XX in, the dog was gone.

Sexton told the Times it is unlike Tech XX to wander off, saying he prefers the comforts of air conditioning to the outdoors. How long the dog has been outdoors is a serious concern, because English bulldogs aren't wired nasally to do particularly well with heat and heavy breathing, and it is (obviously) very hot in summertime Louisiana.

“It’s so hot and to not know whether he was taken or is lost or something else completely is scary,” Sexton told the Times. “I just want to know he’s OK.”

The Ruston community has rallied behind the efforts to find the dog, with the Louisiana Tech Student Government Association leading the way. Students have placed fliers around town and spread the word on social media sites (hashtag: #FindTechXX) in an effort to locate the pooch.

Anyone who has ever lost a pet, even for a short while, knows this very particular feeling of dread. Let's hope, one way or another, the poor little guy finds his way home -- and sooner rather than later.