Is Harvard Going to the Dogs?

Mutts. They're everywhere nowadays: Playing catch near Sever, sunning in front of the Science Center and even roaming the government department office--which leaves us to wonder:

He eats dining hall food, comforts homesick students, and likes to watch Homeward Bound.

A Room 13 Counselor? Not quite.

Jasper is a fun, friendly and furry character that lives in Mather with his owners, Tutors David J. Ellison and Jill Dalby Ellison.

"We received our dog as an anniversary present," Mr. Ellison said. "We knew if Jasper was problematic, we would have to part with him."

Resident tutors and house masters alike have enjoyed the company of their favorite canine friends at Harvard for years.


Dogs have had historical significance at Harvard, according to Arnold Professor of Science William H. Bossert '59, master of Lowell House. President A. Lawrence Lowell, class of 1877, was often seen walking his dog. Bossert named his previous dog Abbott, in honor of Lowell.

While they may not be allowed to have pets of their own, many students say they enjoy having the canines around despite the occasional barking.

Lowell House resident Dave T. Nuscher '94 says the Bosserts' dog has become a mascot of sorts for the house.

"Having Rusty around is definitely good," he says. "Even though some say he is a nuisance, he's great to have as a mascot--even the faculty thought he was."

Associate Dean of Freshmen W.C. Burriss Young 55 obtained his English cocker, Tizzy, as an abandoned pet seven years ago. Young says he has no idea exactly how old Tizzy is but knows she is "ancient and has a great deal of trouble seeing,"

Young said that in the past seven years Tizzy has comforted several students who have missed their own furry canines at home.

"The thing your leave behind when you come to college," Young says, "is a pet that perhaps you have confidence in."

Virginia L. Mackay-Smith 78, assistant dean of the College, also says her dogs added a home-like touch to dorm life.

"A lot of people had dogs at home, and people would come in to say hi' to the dog," she says. "They would love to have a dog to pet."

Mather resident Douglas J. Sutton '94 says he takes care of the Ellisons' dog because he misses his dog at home.