I thought about this quite a bit, and then suddenly it came to me. My mascot would be the St. Bernard - and I would call him "Barry" after the most famous of these Swiss Mountain Dogs. These dogs were originally bred by the monks of the hospice at the Great St. Bernard Pass in the Swiss Alps. There is some debate about the breeding - the original dogs were smaller and today's St. Bernard comes from a hybrid that included larger dog breed - according to Wikipedia it was the Newfoundland. The famous Barry saved more than 40 people (maybe as many as 100) by using his awesome ability to navigate the rocky and treacherous terrain, to search out and find people who were trapped under snow or ice so that the monks could pull them out and back to safety.
When I was at a leadership training course through work several years ago, one of the many things we did was a 360 degree review from the people we worked with, and then we reviewed our results in small groups of 6. It was an incredibly intense exercise and very uncomfortable at times, but one that I value tremendously. To cut to the chase, one of the wrap-up exercises we did in our group included "if ______ were an animal, what animal would s/he be?" (we also did what food, what musical instrument...you get the idea). The animals people chose for me were all large, strong, protective animals - multiple lioness votes, and I don't remember all but there were two dog votes. Specifically the St. Bernard (we were at a facility in Switzerland at the time so maybe that was part of the influence).
I was a little taken aback. A dog? You think I would be a dog?
You think I would be a dog.
I didn't really know anything about St. Bernard dogs. I still don't know much more than a few facts, but I like the idea of a mascot who can navigate their way under the most adverse conditions. A mascot who is strong, but part of a team - never acting alone to rescue a trapped traveler.
Sometimes I'm the lost and half-frozen traveler. Navigating a complex set of physical challenges is tricky.
But other times I can take the lead and approach the problem at hand in a systematic and pragmatic way, and with a cool head.