Hail Caesar! Western Bulldogs’ puppy king

DEBUT: Ballarat Bulldog puppy Caesar prepares to meet the Bulldogs' faithful at Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Western Bulldogs

DEBUT: Ballarat Bulldog puppy Caesar prepares to meet the Bulldogs' faithful at Etihad Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Western Bulldogs

BALLARAT puppy Caesar is the new face of Western Bulldogs Football Club.

Officially introduced to the pack in scenes reminiscent to The Lion King  on Saturday night, complete with music from the iconic moment, Caesar begins his public duties this week. This includes a spot on football show AFL 360 on Wednesday night.

Caesar, aged 4.5 months, will continue to live with his family in Ross Creek amid a hectic schedule of club meet-and-greets, a new clothing line, social media promotions and, of course, home game match day duties.

Owners Chris and Tanya Templeton say Caesar’s anointment has created an absolute whirlwind but, the parochial Bulldogs’ supporters, are rapt. 

“What a big honour – it’s just a dream,” Ms Templeton said.

“He’s actually born to be a star. He’s just so good and loves getting his picture taken. He did the changeover with (retiring mascot) Sid and wasn’t fazed one bit.

“One of the only things that frightened him a bit was the streamers behind the goals.”

Mascot pack

Mascot pack

The Templetons applied for Caesar to be mascot via a position’s vacant ad on the club website. Ms Templeton said he turned on the charm – “so obedient” – in an interview at Whitten Oval, the Bulldogs’ heartland.

Initially, the young British Bulldog had joined the Templetons initially to be a stud dog . Ms Templeton said he would instead be a star.

The Templetons retain full discretion on Caesar’s public commitments.

Ms Templeton said her husband, a life-long Bulldogs’ supporter, was in “heaven” when it came to the moment to introduce Caesar to the Bulldogs’ pack before the game at Etihad Stadium. 

And as for that Lion King moment: “It seemed like he held Caesar up there for ages.”

Players will pay homage to Caesar on their way up the players’ race for each Bulldogs’ home game. Jake Stringer was the first players nominated to give Caesar a reverent pat.

Their other dogs have made guest appearances for Bulldogs’ events in Ballarat and at Eureka Stadium, particularly leading into AFL grand final day last season.

Ms Templeton breeds Aussie Bulldogs and has a couple of energetic French Bulldogs. 

Caesar is a special one.

The Templetons can hardly wait until Caesar gets his real big moment, the first AFL premiership game in Ballarat on August 19 when his Bulldogs take on Port Adelaide in a round 22 clash.