The dogs behind CU

Ellis Freilich mugs with her dog Stevie.


Every person who has a pet has a story to tell about them and an assortment of photos to show off.

Their face lights up and their voice fill with excitement as they tell their dog’s story or talk about their quirks.

Professors and students at Castleton University are no different.

Freshman Ellis Freilich’s dog is a shar-pei-pitbull mix named Stevie. And he can’t walk in a straight line, she said.

“He’s impressively lopsided,” she said with a laugh adding that when he runs, he zig-zags.

And she said it only got worse after he ran into a car that pulled into their driveway. The car didn’t hit him, she said, he hit the car.

He was fine afterward, but it made him even more crooked, Freilich said.

Another student’s 120-pound Newfoundland, Elsa, just wants to offer a helping hand, her owner Jared Goodrich said. As he or anyone in his family enters the house, she grabs something from their hand and carries it to the room they are going into before giving it back upon command.

“She’s like the bellboy of the dogs,” Goodrich said.

Geography professor Scott Roper has a dog named Gypsy, a beagle-border collie mix. His mother-in-law chose the name, naming her after the stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, Roper said.

There was no specific reason behind it, she just thought it sounded like a good dog name, he said with a smile.

Lauren Holt, above right, hugs her very allergic pup, Adam.

She has been the easiest dog he has ever had in terms of training, but she is very demanding. She has a biological clock and lets them know if they are late to feed her or even when it’s time for bed, Roper said.

“She knows when its supper time and she knows when it’s time for a snack,” Roper said.

But she also is very sweet and loves people he said.

Journalism professor David Blow’s dog is a rottweiler/shepherd/chow mix named Bear. He has an intimidating look, but is the biggest wimp, he said.

“If he ever got into a dog fight, I would have to beat up the dog and its owner,” Blow said, laughing.

He also added that Bear is afraid of any loud noises, the family cat, which he is way bigger than, and he rolls over on his back at the first sign of trouble.

But he loves to play catch and loves to play in the snow, Blow said.

A video Blow shared showed Bear bounding through the snow happily and burying his ball, which Blow said he does every time he plays in the snow.

And at the end of the day, he just wants to be pet.

“He’s an attention monger,” Blow said.

Student Lauren Holt has an Australian terrier named Adam, and he’s allergic to everything – including human hair, she said.  They even have to feed him a special type of food due to food allergies and get him a special dog bed because of his allergy to cotton.

She has had him since the fourth grade when she got him as a Christmas present. Her mom had wanted to surprise her, but one day while at the mall, Holt cried so bad when her mom refused to get her a dog from the pet store, her mother gave up on the surprise that they were already getting a dog, it just hadn’t arrived yet.

Her face lit up as she talked about how energetic he is and how sometimes he gets so wild that he runs into the wall.

“He’s always excited to see me, which makes me feel special,” Holt said.

But dogs aren’t the only pets that students get excited to talk about. Makenzie McMullen has a dog, but also has two cats who she said are more like dogs, yowling to get attention like a dog would bark or tapping her face seeking a pet. One of her cats, Melvin, is quite diabolical, she said.

He knocks things off the counter that her dog Luna will pick up and chew on to get her in trouble.

History professor Scott Roper, below, says his dog, Gypsy, can basically tell time.

“We joke Melvin would be this manipulative businessman (as a human),” McMullen said.

Her cat, Zinger, is always running around crazily like a kitten, even at the age of seven.

Luna, her dog doesn’t mind the cats ruling the house.

“She allows my cats to control her,” she said.

Most students and professors said they got their dogs as puppies.

Student Tyler Sawyer got his Chihuahua when she was so tiny she could fit into any small space. The family had seen her in a pet shop window while out for a walk and his dad surprised them the next day with the dog, carrying her in his shirt pocket, Sawyer said.

“We still have her, she’s just really old now,” he said.





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