Tucker the Mississippi Therapy Dog to "Rufferee" College Football Championship Game
We're used to seeing black-and-white stripes on football fields, but what about black-and-white spots? This year's College Football National Championship Game is trading zebra stripes for puppy paws with the introduction of a few very special "rufferees".
Tucker, a Goldendoodle who works with Mississippi Gulf Coast paramedics, is one of seven American Medical Response therapy dogs who made the journey to Indianapolis in advance of Monday's matchup between SEC dynasties, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs.
While he'll leave regular game duties to the standard two-legged officials, Tucker has the equally important job of refereeing the Puppies at the Playoff event, which will be held January 7 at the Indiana Convention Center's Playoff Fan Central.
According to a release from American Medical Response parent company Global Medical Response, "the adorable event matches up two teams of cute Labrador puppies who are playing for all the kibbles and cuddles."
Tucker and his handler AMR Deputy Chief Charles Wise, as well as six other AMR dogs and their handlers from across the country, will have the very important job of breaking up any puppy scuffles that get too ruff. They'll also be hanging out at Fan Central all weekend to interact with football fans and facilitate pet adoption through a partnership with Love of Labs animal shelter.
Tucker is no stranger to important jobs, though. As an AMR therapy dog, he provides support to paramedics, EMTs, and other first responders who need to unwind after stressful work shifts. Since coming to AMR in 2018 and completing his certification training in a record 12 months, Tucker has helped hundreds of heroic first responders who bravely support our communities through natural disasters and emergency situations.
"Tucker and I look forward to showing fans how our work makes a difference in the lives of first responders," Wise said in a release. "And hopefully we can help some puppies find their forever homes at the same time."
No word on who Tucker is pulling for in the football game, but you can rest assured we're pulling for him!