A dog cavorts on the Slope in winter

Once Upon a Time, Canines Cavorted on the Hill—Even in Class

Stories You May Like

Vintage Scrapbooks Offer Fascinating Windows into Student Life

For Guiding Eyes Volunteers, it’s a Labor of (Puppy) Love

Connecting Students with Nature—and with Each Other

Doggone it! Recalling a furrier era, when free-roaming, four-legged friends were a ubiquitous part of campus life

By Joe Wilensky

For much of the 20th century, the Ithaca campus had truly “gone to the dogs”: canines were allowed to not only romp and roam on the grassy quads, but to visit their human friends in lecture halls, libraries, and dining halls.

And while the University attempted for decades—albeit halfheartedly, ineffectively, or both—to enact a variety of bans, the seemingly constant presence of four-legged friends on the Hill lasted well into the 1970s.

Dog hangs out outside Willard Straight Hall
Willard ... Stray?

It was only after several students got nipped during a chemistry exam that real enforcement of existing leash laws began, finally putting an end to the furry freedoms on campus by the ’80s.

“Like most Cornellians from the ’70s, I remember dogs being everywhere,” says Doug Little, PhD ’78, “from the Ivy Room in the Straight to the Temple of Zeus in Goldwin Smith to various classrooms.”

Richard Immerman ’71 had one of those dogs—an Irish setter named Hans who accompanied him to campus, “where he would roam free all day.”

“My classmates were dumbfounded as to how he memorized my schedule,” Immerman recalls. “He would visit my classes and walk through the rows of chairs, one by one, until he found me.”

One of Little’s favorite Cornell “shaggy dog” stories involves legendary professor Walter LaFeber. When Little was TA-ing LaFeber’s U.S. foreign relations class in Ives Hall one day in the late 1970s, two dogs wandered in.

“Not a problem; Walt liked dogs,” Little recalls. “And then the dogs started to become … amorous. So I got up and shooed them outside and closed the door. Walt quipped, ‘That’s the “open-door policy” in action’—and brought down the house.”

Dogs and humans frolic on the Arts Quad
The Arts Quad occasionally had the air of a dog park.

An early anecdote that typifies the omnipresence of dogs on campus appears in As I Remember, a memoir by former law professor Allan Treman 1921, JD 1924, who recalls a 1921 concert featuring a world-famous pianist—and an uninvited guest.

“Sergei Rachmaninoff was playing in the middle of the Bailey Hall stage on a grand piano,” Treman wrote. “One of the larger campus dogs made his way into the building, walked onto the stage in the middle of a long number, and gently sniffed at Rachmaninoff’s left hand.”

The pianist, Treman recalled, was unfazed. “Aside from a couple of dirty looks at the dog, he kept playing as if nothing amiss was going on,” he observed, noting: “The applause at the end of the number was twice as loud as usual.”

Dogs were indeed tolerated—and, by many, welcomed—on the Hill for years, some becoming unofficial mascots. The most famous may have been a three-legged husky named Chinook (nicknamed “Tripod”), a house dog of Kappa Delta Rho fraternity and a frequent campus visitor during the 1950s.

“Tripod” was a campus-famous Husky in the 1950s
The famed (or, to felines, infamous) “Tripod.”

After being involved in a mini-scandal in which he (directly or indirectly) caused the death of a cat and was banished from campus, Tripod moved to Alaska with his human companion, Roger Burggraf ’55, BS ’56—though he made a lasting impression by getting his senior portrait in the 1959 yearbook.

Stories You May Like

Vintage Scrapbooks Offer Fascinating Windows into Student Life

For Guiding Eyes Volunteers, it’s a Labor of (Puppy) Love

While the campus was reportedly dog-friendly from its founding, attempts to ban dogs go back at least a century; a 1924 New York Times article described the University’s efforts to enact a decree that had never been strictly enforced.

“The result was that the dogs brought their friends, their friends’ friends, their relatives, and their progeny,” the Times reported, “increasing the collection of campus canines to such an extent that their noise, their frolics, and their presence aroused the displeasure of the Faculty, which has refused to tolerate the disturbance longer.”

The dogs brought their friends, their friends’ friends, their relatives, and their progeny.

The New York Times, 1924

The crackdown either didn’t last or was ineffective, because a similar effort was made a generation later. In Cornell: A History, 1940–2015, Glenn Altschuler, PhD ’76, and Isaac Kramnick note that in 1948, President Edmund Ezra Day banned canines from the Willard Straight cafeteria.

“A year later, the Daily Sun began a campaign to keep them out of libraries, and in 1953 President Malott excluded them from graduation ceremonies,” they write. “By 1959 dogs were persona non grata in all university buildings, with the explanation that ‘dogs in the library are destroying books and disturbing study conditions; dog fights in classrooms have occurred; and students and staff alike have been bitten.’”

Despite this, dogs again seemed to be everywhere by the late ’60s and early ’70s—joining Commencement processions, accompanying students at protests and sit-ins, frolicking with each other, and (especially) lounging, both outdoors and in.

This dogged acceptance may have been fueled by an oft-repeated but apocryphal legend: that a wealthy alum had bequeathed a great sum to Cornell, with the proviso that canines be allowed to roam free.

Years later, the myth was given additional legs (so to speak) when Matt Ruff ’87 repeated it in his fantastical novel Fool on the Hill, which was set on campus—and where, he wrote, a donor had “created a codicil that granted free run of the campus to any and all dogs, ‘be they stray or otherwise, for as long as this University shall endure.’”

While Ruff’s novel may have cemented the perception of Cornell as dog friendly, Frank Costigliola, PhD ’73, attributes it to the overall mood at the time he was on the Hill—an era when intellectual rigor coexisted with a strong sense of the counterculture.

“It was tough, academically stringent, but there was also kind of a free atmosphere, symbolic of the rural environment,” he says, “and the dogs were part of it.”

Even Ezra Cornell ’70, a direct descendant of the University’s founder and its current life trustee, had a four-legged companion—“a wonderful dog, a true loyal friend”—during his last two years as an undergrad.

Ralph, a 50-pound sheepdog mix, lived with him in the Sigma Phi house and followed him to campus every morning—waiting outside each building until it was time to go to his next class.

Ezra Cornell ’70 on the Arts Quad with Ralph in the fall of 1969
In dog we trust(ee): Ezra Cornell ’70 and Ralph.

“Ralph greeted everyone on the Arts Quad, where he spent hours every day making friends, catching and chasing Frisbees and tennis balls,” Cornell recalls. “He reduced the stress of students, staff, and faculty—and made even non-dog people comfortable, with his wagging tail and big brown eyes.”

All images courtesy of Rare and Manuscript Collections.

Published May 16, 2023

Do you have any dogg-ed memories of the Hill?


  1. Bradley Piatt, Class of 1977

    It is sad Cornell has banned dogs. The banning of dogs is a sign the university has lost its way. May the university come to it’s senses; it needs the spirit of her dogs.

    • Ed Feinberg, Class of 1961

      In those days when Tripod was the king of the campus, my dog, Dutchess , was one of his pals. I lived on West Ave and Dutchess was free to roam the campus as she pleased. A housemate told me he was walking in front of the Zoology building near Dutchess and a wizened older professor emerged. “is that your dog” he asked. thinking quickly my friend said “no sir, never saw her before”. Well the professor said, that is a very rare African breed. (She was a mongrel of course).
      The Kingston Trio came to Bailey Hall and my date (now my wife of 60 plus years) and I wwere in a back row when Dutchess entered, climbed on the stage and sniffed across. The Kingston Trio stoped and talked to her and she left. I, in the back row, was low in my seat, sure that 20000 eyes were on me.
      One spring, I was walking with the same date around BeeBe lake and Dutchess swimming in it, started to drown. On her third going under I reached her and saved her life. Years later, she pushed my toddler son out of the way of a speeding car, thus repaying me.
      I have worked with dogs all my life. Dutchess I will never forget.
      Ed Feinberg Ag 61 Vet 63

      • Ed Goldman, Class of 1961

        Yeah Tripod, and all the other CU pooches!

      • Fritz Rothermel

        As a freshman in 1961, I remember Tripod being pretty much top dog on the Arts Quad. Even with only 3 legs, he ruled.

    • Deborah L. Goldman, Class of 1989

      I don’t think that they are banned. I think they just have to be leashed. My dog came with me to classes all the time in the mid 80s- but he was leashed. No one ever gave us a problem.

    • Paul, Class of 1983

      No it isn’t.

    • Sandy Caro DeCain, Class of 1986

      As other universities have moved in the opposite direction having emotional support dogs, not just on campus, but living in dorms, we decided to go to backwards. This article is sadly so one-sided. I had a dog at Cornell and “Olaf” knew the campus better than most freshman. Olaf would hang around with Mason, a black lab from Alpha Sigma Phi, as well as the St. Bernard, which I believe was Sigma Chi’s dog. In addition, other seasoned campus canines would contribute to the quality of life on the campus by reducing stress through their existence with us. The four years of Olaf’s residency at Cornell in the late 80s there was never one incident. Dogs were allowed to enter in to large lecture halls and they would quietly sleep under their owners feet. When class ended, everyone stood up to depart and the canine students would wake up and calmly, proceeding outside with the students. For lab classes where dogs were not allowed; the canines waited outside or played in the quad until class ended. When we did get separated, I would always find Olaf waiting on my front step on Stewart Avenue. He never had a leash on him, that would’ve insulted his intellect that he acquired in Ithaca. Everyone knew Olaf and he walked with me during graduation. Afterwords, I moved to Manhattan and once again never had a lead on him. This article highlighted all the reasons why you shouldn’t have a dog on campus, (which I personally never saw) and never interviewed the people who did have dogs on campus after the 70’s ( and prior to the ban). Perhaps you should research other campuses like Virginia Tech where dogs thrive with students.

  2. John, Class of 1986

    Plenty of dogs in 82-86 when I was there, but the campus is virtually devoid of them now. It is very sad and a little troubling. Cornell, and indeed, Ithaca, is losing much of its unique character.

    • George Weiner, Class of 1964

      I thoroughly agree! I remember dogs often wandering on Schoellkopf Field during football games. Always entertaining, unlike some of the games.

    • Richard Stein, Class of 1975

      It has to have loss character. The bucolic 16,000 student campus with safety officers and fields to roam is now a little city of 35000 students with a police force, traffic and walking congestion. Less safe for dogs now

  3. Caroline

    Even during the mid to late 80s, dogs were welcome. Rio was a black lab who would devotedly wait outside for Ruth while we were in class.

  4. Jeff, Class of 1984

    Melvin, class of ‘84 left our apartment on Stewart Ave promptly at 8 am each morning. He went first to the philosophy department where he had food, water and a bed awaiting him. Mel got adept at tracking me down and rousting me out of class. Over the years it got harder to give Mel the slip as he would wait for me at the rear exits to Willard straight, the campus store and goldwin smith. It was always great to go find him on the arts quad to hang out with your dog between classes.

    • Amy Smith Linton, Class of 1985

      Oooh! I think I remember Melvin on the Arts Quad!

  5. Chris C, Class of 1986

    I had my dog Honey with me from 1982 to 1986 and she loved the campus. Those were probably the happiest years of her long life.

    • Penny Nemzer

      My first golden retriever, Chelsea, spent a lot of time outside Morrison Hall in 1983. She would walk down Tower Road with a huge stick in her mouth. Sadly she was hit by a car just before I started vet school. My next golden retriever, Rebecca, enjoyed running in the Arts Quad and the Cornell Botanical Gardens.

  6. David Green

    George, a lovable old brown mutt, was owned by Dave, proprietor of Student Agencies at 409 College Avenue (above which my brother and I shared an apartment in 1961-1962). George would commute from Collegetown to Willard Straight, where he regularly spent the day in the Music Room. George loved Brahms string quartets and would frequently fall peacefully asleep listening to them. He would leave immediately, however, when anyone requested Gilbert & Sullivan — far too noisy for his taste.

    • Judith Weis, Class of 1962

      I don’t remember people asking for G&S in the Music Room!!

    • Jeff Bennett, Class of 1980

      As a class of 1980 member I recall the dogs fondly. I didn’t know they were banned. It’s very unfortunate. Does every school need to be the same like every person these days. Cornell deserves to stand out for its diversity in all areas. Relieve the pressure and bring back life. Bring back the dogs.

      • Allan Griff, Class of 1954

        you run so fast no other dog can catch you
        your ears they flap like wings in the air
        you like to lie so somebody can scratch you,
        your fur is smooth and you’ve got short hair
        Two of them have dogs now and one of them married a veterinarian.

      • Carolyn Hill Rogers, Class of 1959

        . . .and tone down the “wokeness”!

  7. Mark B. Spiegel, Class of 1983

    Perhaps if there’s enough “species diversity” today’s administration will allow them back!

    • Mark B Spiegel, Class of 1983

      Sorry, I meant “breed diversity”…

      Clearly I wasn’t a science major!

  8. Elizabeth Moore, Class of 1975

    I was a campus dog catcher. $5 a dog and a U sticker which meant I could park my 14 year old 2-seater convertible anywhere on campus. I removed dogs from labs and other places they were not allowed. Getting large dogs in the car was a challenge. Was supposed to take the dog to ASPCA, usually I’d just relocate it.

  9. Debbi Munz Harris, Class of 1983

    I did not realize the dogs had been banned (I believe there may have been some sort of regulation on the books when I attended but no one even vaguely considered enforcement). This saddens me as it was a wonderful part of my Cornell experience.

  10. Suzanne Andrews, Class of 1988

    Remembering St. Bernard’s Heidi and Anderson from the mid-to-late ‘80s!!

    • Deb Kelly, Class of 2000

      I also remember the Saint Bernard’s that belonged to a fraternity. During breaks everyone would go home and the dog would roam the campus looking for open offices to sleep in. In Willard Straight Hall, 5th Floor employees had dog treats in our drawers as well as couches that were perfect for napping. They would visit every day. I believe one was named Bismarck in the mid-90s.

      He fell prey to the dog catcher many, many times including on Slope Day. I believe the SPCA eventually adopted him out to a professor that had a sprawling farm.

      We also had the occasional squirrel. 🙂

  11. A. Tod Campbell

    My dog, Scooter, joined me for my undergrad and grad engineering classes from 1982-1984. She also appears on two of my fraternity composites. One professor said he didn’t want the dog in his classroom as he knew a professor, who while giving a lecture, walked backwards, stepping on the dog and it bit him. So, I asked Scooter to lay down in the classroom doorway. After two weeks the professor said she could come in. She lay at my feet for the semester. At the last class, he was the only professor that said,” I’m going to miss your dog.”

  12. Kathryn G., Class of 1975

    I’ll never forget the big dog that peed all over my leg during a final exam on the very last day of exams before winter break. I was kindly offered the chance to go home and change and come back to finish, but my ride was leaving right after the exam. Yuck! But I loved having all the dogs on campus: I missed mine at home a bit less.

  13. John C., Class of 1986

    Miraculously, I was walked back to West Campus by a four legged friend that I ran into after my first after hours at a North Campus fraternity during my first week at Cornell. I had had no idea where I was (pretty typical for me at the time), so I just followed my new friend in the dark and hoped for the best. After about 15 minutes, we got to a spot that a vaguely recognized which was all I needed. Forever indebted.

  14. Mark, Class of 1986

    Another LaFeber story. In the early 1980’s, Professor LaFeber was lecturing in Uris Hall and a dog came in and sat down right next to him. Professor LaFeber continued with his lecture (no notes, of course), while petting the dog on its head the remainder of the class.

  15. Maunsel White, Class of 1975

    As a grad school Hotelie 1974-75, my dog, Ralph, accompanied me to all classes…except for Dr. White’s class on Sanitation. He had a fit when I brought Ralph into the lab.

  16. Andy Lenssen, Class of 1980

    Hambone was a Weimaraner who resided during the day in the Ag Quad. He was very friendly and always well mannered with people and other dogs. Funny, I remember the dog’s name but not his human’s name, another Agronomy major.

  17. Mark B Spiegel, Class of 1983

    I remember taking Econ 101 around 1980 with Mark Gertler (now a prof at NYU) and EXACTLY as he finished making a very important lecture point a dog wandered into the hall and “woofed.” Without missing a beat, Gertler whirled around, pointed to him, and said “Right!”

  18. Marc, Class of 1994

    Bismarck, Sigma Chi’s St. Bernard, was a common site on campus in the early ’90s. Deke also had a dog who made class appearances, but I can’t remember anything else about him. I was definitely under the impression the legend was true and surprised and disappointed to learn we couldn’t bring our Lab to Reunion a few years ago. He’d love the campus.

  19. Lisa Sotir Ozkan, Class of 1988

    Dogs were in many of my classes in the 1984-1988 period. That was one of the awesome idiocincracies of Cornell that I loved.

  20. Susan Walsh, Class of 1982

    I fondly remember a dog peeing at the dais while our President Frank Rhodes spoke at our graduation class of 1982. After the dog did his duty, Frank Rhodes said to us graduates the dog is giving you all a true “Cornell sendoff”. Classic dog memory!

    • Arthur Flatau, Class of 1980

      I remember that as well, although I remember Rhodes some like that the dog’s actions did not reelect badly on the ceremony. It certainly seemed like an apropos ending to my time at Cornell.

  21. Barbara Osgood

    I remember Tripod! There were dogs everywhere in the early 1950s. On one memorable occasion I was in my Physics 101 lecture when a dog wandered in, lifted his leg, and peed on the podium. The professor never missed a beat.

  22. Robert Epstein, Class of 1973

    I remember Cornell and dogs well. I was planning on attending my reunion, but when I found out dogs were now banned, I decided that leaving Lucy at home was not an option.

  23. Michael A. Smith, Class of 1969

    I recall in December of 1965, when Lehigh’s wrestling team came to Cornell. During one of the matches, Ezra, a Saint Bernard, walked onto the mat behind the Lehigh wrestler who just about jumped out of his uniform when he sensed motion, turned and saw the dog. I believe this was memorialized in the 1966 Yearbook.

  24. Laurie Rubin, Class of 1979

    Frolic, my beautiful German Shepherd, started attending classes with me as a puppy in August, 1975. People’s faces brightened when they walked toward us on campus and she helped me make friends. Frolic was perfectly behaved in class, curled up at my feet. She was also my swimming and sun bathing companion at the Reservoir, where she never trampled anyone’s towels or shook water on them. The husband of one of my professors called her “A Class of the Reservoir Dog.”

  25. Lorraine, Class of 1978

    I wonder if Frolic was the GSD that was in my philosophy class. I swore he was the only one in class that actually understood any of it. He always paid rapt attention to the professor while the rest of us struggled to stay awake.

  26. Laura, Class of 1994

    Wandering dogs made life so much happier, calmer and fun! I can’t think of Cornell without picturing Saint Bernard, Bismark. Back on campus for grad school, I got to know my classmate (now husband) via his dog.

  27. Maury Lacher, Class of 1963

    Dog incidents that stood out:
    While taking a physics exam in Rockefeller, a large dog came in and started barking. A graduate assistant grabbed the dog by the collar and wrestled it out. We all cheered.
    Dogs learned the bells that signaled class changes and would leave when the class was over, whether or not the teacher was done.

  28. Tom Furlong, Class of 1979

    Wolfgang, the house dog of Pi Kappa Phi when the chapter was on West Campus, was The Big Dog on Campus in the late 1970’s. We had front row seats in the corner of Lynah Rink which gave room for Wolfie to sit- he would start barking loudly whenever a fight a broke out in the corner, usually distracting the opposing player so the Cornellian could get in one last punch…

    • Don Schwartz, Class of 1977


      Thank you and hello from Pi Kappa Phi. Wolfgang was the greatest dog of all time and the king. I was just telling stories about him. One day a little foo foo dog had the temerity to approach me in class and Wolfgang launched at it. The noise was deafening then “ You and your dog get out.” The best days.

  29. Tom Furlong, Class of 1979

    I forgot to mention- Wolfie was a German Shepherd whose backside is visible on the left side in the Arts Quad picture…

  30. David L. Lightner, Class of 1969

    Arriving as a graduate student in 1964, I was assigned as a teaching assistant to Paul Gates in the U.S. History survey course. Gates explained that one of my primary duties would be to break up any dog fights that might occur and explained how to do it. Such a fight did break out once right in the middle of a lecture. The other t.a., Lewis Perry, and I hurried down front. Lew grabbed the hind legs of one canine combatant and I the other, and we threw both critters out of the room and closed the door. Gates calmly resumed his lecture.

  31. Deborah L. Goldman, Class of 1989

    My dog, Tiger, always came to classes with me right before the end of the semester. But he was leashed. Most of my classes with on the Ag Quad and Arts Quad and I never had an issue. He came up with me from home after Thanksgiving and then again after Passover and would stay through finals. All my friends and roommates loved having him, as well as my classmates.
    He even came to graduation! Dogs were always welcome at Cornell and because the founder loved dogs, they should remain welcome in classrooms. I understand the leashing laws- but they shouldn’t be banned (unless they are unruly- barking, biting, etc.)

  32. Richard Stein, Class of 1975

    Not only LaFeber. In Bio 101 Bailey Hall 1972ish, two mating dog were at it
    behind the lectern. Keeton had retired. I forgot the professor’s name, but she made the appropriate comment that they were there the incorrect week.

  33. Erica (Siedner) Wolff, Class of 1970

    My dog Gamma attended some of my classes, including embryology. Prof Blackler must have thought she was a good dog because on the end-of-term postcard sent home, I got an A- and Gamma got an A.

  34. Dustin Moskowitz, Class of 1991

    I prefer to believe the myth about a sizeable donation ensuring dogs could roam free was true, because there were quite a few on campus in my years from 87-91.

  35. Rebekah Sale, Class of 1989

    My dog Phred attended nearly all of my classes, usually coming in late to class after romping on the Quad. She always found me wherever I was. One Prof asked if she was taking the final and I’d meet folks who worked in Olin Library and recognized Phred from her staring in the window trying to find me. My advisor, Prof. Stuart Blumin had an office up the old stairs in McGraw and Phred would run up to greet him, preceeding me by 10 minutes. Prof Blumin knew when class time was up because Phred would wake from her nap as she took 50 minute naps exactly. I loved having my dog with me at college!

  36. James A Tenser, Class of 1979

    Biff, a legendary St. Bernard, was known to roam the Arts Quad in the late 70’s. On one occasion circa 1977-8 he entered a lecture hall in Goldwin Smith, sat down and woofed repeatedly until the professor gave in and cancelled the remainder of the class.
    Can any of my classmates confirm/correct this account?

  37. Craig McMillan, Class of 1966

    Peppy joined me on campus from 62 to 66 and got to more classes than me (thanks to fellow Delta Chis). She was also in our Composite. It took me a while to realize that the warm smiles on approaching pretty coeds were for Peppy, as she had met them with other fraternity brothers. Those were great times.

  38. Jane Marshall Richards, Class of 1968

    I arrived on campus in 1964 and remember a slightly overweight black and white dog named “Sarah” who appeared in many classes and ruled the Arts Quad. Later in my senior year I remember Prof. Ralph Agnew bringing his sable and white collie to 3rd semester calculus class at White Hall – the dog was calm, almost non responsive but always able to sneeze on Agnew’s command!

  39. Neil MacCormick, Class of 1983

    When I was a middle schooler living just off campus, a rambunctious neighborhood dog used to follow me on my walks across campus. One day, I planned to stop by Olin Library to visit my mom during one of her work shifts. I had to ditch the dog, because I knew he would find his way in and create a stir. I entered one end of Goldwin Smith, leaving “Duke” on the outside, and walked through to the other end. I thought I would lose him in the process, but there he was to greet me outside the door. I was foiled in going to see my mom that day, so I think we settled for getting into the many frisbee tosses on the Arts Quad.

  40. Francis Rauh, Class of 1976

    Grad student in Chem Eng- 1975-76. Olin Hall ” dog” was Millie. Dept head ( Winding) had an oil painting of the dog on his desk.

    Millie would just hang out. Other dogs would come into the faculty lounge for coffee and doughnuts.

    I would bring my dog “Mike” into the lab.

    Town dog was a beagle named Sam. . After classes Sam would go home but stop at the Royal Palms to see what was happening.

    Dogs were socialized and pretty polite. Shame things have changed.

  41. Bruce Mainzer, Class of 1974

    That was my Gordon Setter Brandybuc who was shown the door by Walter LaFeber in that class that day. My roommate Jim Irish (ILR 74) took the dog to class that day. Brandy attended more classes than anyone else I lived with because he would always go along to everyone’s classes, but he would always look for me at lunch time in front of Willard Straight Hall despite his very busy schedule. Brandy passed away in 1982.

  42. Jack Glassman, Class of 1980

    So many wonderful dogs were part of my Cornell experience! “Tripod” was but a legendary memory during my tenure at KDR, but we did have “Ezra” during the late 1970s. My classroom and design studio life around Sibley Hall also included some memorable canines: Structures Professor Frank Saul’s hound “Hank”; “Shack” (a Black Lab built like a tank, but he had quite the Stewart Park picnic when he scarfed down a controlled-substance brownie or two); Beau, the wonder Beagle with the most “human,” knowing eyes I ever saw; Gemini, the sweet German Shepard; Maile, a sleek Weimaraner…

  43. Eric Key, Class of 1977

    When I was in grad school in 1977, Professor Moss Sweedler used to bring his dogs to class, and a couple of times my dog joined them, all sleeping on the cool floor in the basement of White Hall.
    And I remember some big old dog that used to sleep by The Stump. I think he belonged to the brothers of Psi Upsilon. Now that I am back in town semi-permanently, I miss the dogs.

  44. Hank Tillman, Class of 1985

    We had our malamute, Mr. Bear, on campus for 3-4 years. He made it into two Daily Sun editions and could also be seen running through the background of a Cornell scene in the 1985 Rob Reiner film “The Sure Thing.” It would have been nice to post one of the Sun photos with the pack of dogs running around the quad. He had the run of the campus and made his way into numerous classes over the years. One memorable interruption involved my ROTC class where he found me while we were listening to a guest speaker, and he decided to start howling near the end of class, which earned me a butt-chewing by the military staff. It was worth it.

  45. George Weiner, Class of 1964

    When I was in grad school, I had a golden retriever, Honey. We lived on Triphammer Road, opposite a campus bus stop. I’d let her out in the morning and I know she often went to campus as I’d sometimes find her waiting at my office. Most times, though, she just hung around. One spring, after the snow melted, I found a half dozen gloves, but not one pair, outside my apartment. I often thought about those students having to walk to classes with only one gloved hand.

  46. Diana Drucker, Class of 1974

    Having lunch in Ivy Room and my roommate looked away from her plate for a moment and Hans the Irish setter grabbed her hotdog out of the bun and took off. She yelled: that red haired dog stole my lunch!
    I loved all the campus dogs, even the food thieves

  47. Thy Nguyen Cavagnaro, Class of 1995

    I totally and very fondly recall an Akita named Mishka free roaming during the 1991-1993 years, as well as other dogs, but Mishka was one who stuck out in my mind. Our paths often crossed as I walked up Tower Rd to various classes, and I more than happily shared my bagels with her in the past. That led to her intelligently crossing paths with me more often afterwards 🙂 I believe she was a house dog of one of the fraternities, but don’t recall which one.

  48. Mitchell Kornet, Class of 1976

    Dogs were everywhere in the early 70’s, and being an aspiring veterinarian, I loved it.
    But just minutes before my organic chemistry lecture in 1973, a student stood at the door to the lecture hall in Baker Lab and was calling her pet in. Everyone was looking at her including Professor Goldstein. Seconds later her pet pig walked in and that was the last straw. I remember the professor strongly telling the student “to get that pig out of my classroom.”
    Dogs weren’t the only animals running on campus in those days.

  49. Kevin, Class of 1984

    Our fraternity had one of the best – Wolfgang Pauli. I still use that name today to sign up for subscriptions etc. Wolfgang was a giant German Shepard and was as timid as they come – except for the mailman. He hated the mailman and so the mailman would deliver our mail to the office next door and we would go get it. He would sit on the steps of the library waiting for us to come out and would go to class with us. He was in every Pi Kappa Phi portrait. We loved Wolfgang

  50. Rick Grinter, Class of 1976

    I recall taking my dog to all classes. He would lie at my feet and sleep while I listened to the lecture and took notes. He would listen to the lecture and take notes while I slept.

  51. John Custer, Class of 1964

    I remember being in the stands at a football game, when, at halftime, we witnessed a greyhound streak diagonally across the field at top speed, chased at a distance by Tripod. Somehow, I don’t think Tripod ever caught up.

  52. Robert Grant, Class of 1983

    The “dog park” photo includes me, my dog Angie, as well as the woman with whom I still live, and her dog Nyx. Without those dogs, I’d never have had a chance.

    No dogs on campus? Not a great leap forward. Grumpy people suck.

  53. John F. Deasy, Jr., Class of 1966

    I remember fondly several dog instances on campus in early ’60’s. One involved a bitch in heat that wandered into Dr. Keaton’s biology lecture, pursued down the rows by a male dog. He caught up with her in mid-row and completed the “act”. Dr. Keaton paused, and said something to the effect of “Well it is biology, but I can’t compete with that!”.
    Another involved a St. Bernard named Baron at a 150 football game on lower alumni fields. He was on a leash but his handler was busy talking with someone and didn’t notice the rabbit who went hopping onto the field. Baron saw the rabbit and took off in hot pursuit, yanking the leash from the handlers hand. The terrified rabbit ran through the two teams as they got into their stance for the next play and Baron, who probably out-weighed any of the players, blew a hole through both lines taking out at least four players. The rabbit escaped under the fence at the end of the field. It was the most entertaining part of the game !

  54. Lynne Mehalick, Class of 1975

    When I was a Cornell freshman, the brother of actress Valerie Perrine was an upperclassman. Everyone knew who he was but I don’t remember his name now. He was very good looking and had a beautiful, elegant, blonde Afghan Hound on campus with him. On sunny days I would see them lounging on the steps in front of the Straight. He was always talking with other people but he would smile at me when I stopped to pet the dog. It made my day.

  55. Misha Pinkhasov, Class of 1996

    1992-96 I remember plenty of dogs on the loose around campus, occasionally in a lecture hall and accompanied even more rarely. But wait: this wasn’t a thing on campuses everywhere? I just assumed…

  56. Andrew Biemiller, Class of 1969

    I was a graduate student at Cornell, 1962 – 1968. At that time, dogs were welcome in Olin Library. I had a wonderful cat, Peter, a Siamese. He would walk on heel without training. At least twice, I took him to Olin for library work. There were many dogs in the library, but they and Peter were well-behaved. No barking (dogs) or hissing (Peter). Peter would rest on the table where I was studying. On the way home (to 921 Mitchell St.), he’d get tired and meow to be carried (sitting on my shoulder). A fine cat, who sadly met his end on the road next to our house on Mitchell St.

  57. Robert Baime

    We, at Tau Delta Phi had a house dog-big old sleepy St. Bernard that roamed free. I best remember Tripod hanging around the Straight. He seemed almost regal, leading a pack of dogs. Dogs were a wonderful tradition at Cornell-sorry they’re banned.

  58. Henry Grillo, Class of 1974

    In the early ’70s, Dublin, an Irish Setter, spent many hours behind the Straight desk while his owner, Jim, was on duty. Dublin was often sighted with a hard-boiled egg that he meticulously peeled in his mouth. The egg, sans shell, eventually emerged unscathed.

  59. Lucrezia Herman, Class of 1976

    I don’t know about other parts of campus, but dogs definitely ruled the Arts Quad in the 70s. I have two particular memories involving dogs in the Straight. One of the frats had a St. Bernard or similar large mountain dog, generally well-behaved, but on one occasion it got into a fight in the entrance lobby with another large dog. There were about a dozen of us spectators pressed up against the benches, trying to keep out of the way. (I remember writing to a friend later that it was like having a ringside seat to the fight between King Kong and Godzilla.) Later, in June ’76, I was working at the Steakaroma on College Ave. as a cook/cashier, and I had an hour and a half to kill every day between my lunch and dinner shifts. It wasn’t worth walking back to Acacia on Highland Road, so I’d go to the Memorial Room and read. Invariably, I’d find myself being looked – and sniffed – at adoringly by 2 or 3 dogs. I felt badly about disappointing them, but did enjoy the opportunity to pet so many waggy wannabe friends.

  60. One snowy day, the kind with big snowflakes gently falling, picture-perfect, I was startled when I entered the ag cafeteria up near the vet school. A gigantic Newfoundland had been lying next to the door long enough to be completely covered, so it looked like just another mound of snow. Just as entered, it suddenly shook off the snow and gave me a good scare. Then I remembered where I was — Cornell.

  61. Austin Bowman, Class of 1967

    Cornell will never be the same. Austin Bowman Ph.D.’67

  62. Mindy Gardner, Class of 1992

    My dog, Bella, adopted from Thompkins County SPCA my first week back Senior year, came everywhere with me. I learned she was welcome in most lecture halls as long as she stayed in her seat next to mine (she was about 50 lbs) or at my feet. She spent evenings at the Palms fetching the electronic darts that bounced off the board, or grazing popcorn off the floor of The Chapter House. A favorite pastime was stalking squirrels on the ag quad, a slow-motion sport so engrossing that students hurrying to class would stop and watch, cheering her on as she broke into a mad sprint for the last few feet. The squirrels always got away (I’m pretty sure they were on to her the whole time) but she loved it anyway. I knew a couple other people with dogs back then but only a few. Sad to hear they are all but gone from campus life.

  63. Jonathan Turetsky, Class of 1977

    It is a great loss that the dogs are gone. The campus is diminished.

    My best friend, Winter (a husky mix, born and bred at Cornell, and returned to Ithaca a few years later when I was a student) was my constant companion in the mid-late 70’s. I can’t say he never got into trouble (there were a couple of minor scuffles with that big St Bernard from the frat), but in lectures he curled up near my feet and slept. When he wasn’t allowed inside, he wandered the campus and socialized with friends human and canine (thinking of you, Addie and Pooh Bear), and we’d later meet up at the Straight. On a few occasions that we got our signals crossed and didn’t find each other, he would be waiting by my car, wherever it was parked that day, for the drive home to Brooktondale.

    He knew the woods by the reservoir, as I did, by smell as well as sight and sound, and we spent many magical days exploring. I miss him and those times.

    And I am sad, when visiting Cornell in recent years, that there are no dogs, anymore.

  64. Lyn Foster, Class of 1960

    Lyn Comans Vet’60. In the Tripod era there was also a stunning German shepherd named Rocky, he loved to carry around rocks. I heard he belonged to a fraternity but he fell in love with me. I lived in the cottage transfer dorms by BailyHall (now gone). and he would lurk on the porch and follow me every and anywhere, he would sit quietly through a lecture,wait outside Balch where our meals were, and although he wasn’t allowed inside I can remember coming down the aisle from communion and noting the tip of 2 skulking ears in the back pew!!
    I went home for Easter and when I returned he was gone. A Campus Patrol guy told me he had been banished to a farm where he spent his days following the stone boat loade withhisfavorite item. I hope so!!

Leave a Comment

Once your comment is approved, your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other stories You may like