Hold your horses Virginia Tech community — someone let the dogs out. Even though the famous horse on a treadmill has been removed from the NCAA halftime spots, something equally as fascinating may soon be taking its place — an underwater dog on a treadmill.
A yellow Labrador, Baxtor, has been working with Flori Sforza, a veterinary technician, a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
Despite the popularity of the horse featured in the promotional spots for Virginia Tech, the dog will most likely replace the image during the commercials.
“A lot of people like (the horse),” said Dr. Sherrie Whaley, director of communications at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.
“The addition of the dog is a relatively recent one,” Whaley said. “The underwater treadmill is used quite often to help with rehab for dogs that have had surgery and that type of thing.”
The underwater treadmill is located in Blacksburg in the veterinary school. Whaley referred to it as a “therapy service for canines” complete with everything you might have in a physical therapy facility for humans.
As part of his physical therapy, Baxtor does work on yoga balls, balance boards and on the underwater treadmill, which helps remove the pressure on his joints. The water can also be heated to provide thermotherapy, and the water level can be changed to manipulate resistance.
However, the popular “Invent the Future” horse on a treadmill has been featured on NCAA halftime spots since 2010 and has built up somewhat of a following with it’s own Twitter account, and now with t-shirts made available from The Key Play, an online community that reports on Hokie football.
Lola, the horse, was also set to appear in “Real Cowboys” on The History Channel. The History Channel visited Lola, a six year-old thoroughbred mare at the time, in 2008 at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center to determine how far and how fast a horse could be expected to go. Lola’s top speed was recorded at 30 miles per an hour, which she maintained for approximately 15 minutes.
It’s currently uncertain whether or not the horse will continue to be featured in the sport, or if the underwater dog will take over.