Mutts on the Quad

While we often stop to chat with friends between classes, it is a rare but pleasant surprise to encounter another kind of friendly face.

I decided to get the scoop on man’s best friend – our canine companions – and sat down with a few owners of well-known dogs to chat about what it’s like to be a mutt on campus. While students aren’t allowed to own pets, the professors’ dogs, their cuteness ranging from white poodle tufts to German shepherd “tough,” have become celebrities on campus. Unfortunately, the pups themselves were unavailable for comment. 

This nine-year-old German Shepherd is most frequently spotted in Science Quad playing Frisbee. Gimli goes to class every day with Professor of Geosciences Paul Karabinos, where he “induces students to pet him.” Gimli also plays an active role on geoscience field trips, where he always tries to shepherd the students into a tight group. Gimli’s favorite spot on campus is in Geosciences Departmental Administrative Assistant Patricia Acosta’s office in Clark Hall, where he knows he can always get biscuits. When asked about the hardest aspect of having a dog on campus, Karabinos said, “Gimli loves everyone, but not everyone wants to pet a big German Shepherd – especially when he is wet.” Karabinos’ favorite thing about Gimli is that no matter what the weather is like, this German Shepherd always is excited to go for a hike.


Casey, a white poodle, can be frequently spotted sitting on the east side of the President’s House. Her favorite activity on campus is watching students walk onto Chapin Lawn from her perch outside the President’s House. “Casey can sit there for hours,” President Falk said. Casey earned the unique middle name “McGuillicuddy” because her doggie ’do resembles the haircut sported by Lucy McGuillicuddy Ricardo on the hit television show “I Love Lucy.” The Falk family’s favorite thing about the canine is her cheerfulness, as this pup is always looking for fun. Falk repeated what the breeder told him about Casey: “If you told Casey the world would end in two weeks, she would say, ‘Great! Let’s do something fun until then!’” According to Falk, the biggest problem with having a dog on campus is that “she would prefer to be the only dog on campus, and although she loves to play, her idea of playing is too rough for most other dogs.” But Casey loves to be pet by students and play Frisbee. “[If someone asks Casey], ‘Where’s your ball? Where’s your Frisbee?’ she will seek one out,” Falk said.


Monty loves to attract students’ attention wherever he goes. The Chesapeake Bay retriever is most frequently spotted upstairs in Paresky or in the Chaplains’ office with Rick Spalding, chaplain to the College. In fact, some consider him the adjunct chaplain. Monty is named for Mount Hope in Williamstown, which is one of his favorite places to go on walks. Monty’s best feature, according to Spalding, is that he has a great intuition and “just knows when someone needs to be paid attention to, needs love or needs to get a bit out of themselves. I only wish my schedule made it easier for me to have him there every day,” he said. In fact, it is lucky that Monty is even allowed in upstairs Paresky. According to Spalding, it was recently negotiated with the Board of Health that Monty could enter a food service building, which is not normally allowed. The only rule is that Monty must enter from the side door of Paresky. “I guess somebody understood the calming, joyful presence of gentle, affectionate, well-mannered dogs,” Spalding said.

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