Quincy House residents have been feeling a little lonely this week after losing their dog-in-residence, Albert, a Bull Terrier who lived with Master Robert P. Kirshner ’70 and Co-Master Jayne Loader.
Albert died on Halloween night in Angell Memorial Hospital after a very brief infection. He was 11 years old—a senior citizen by canine standards.
“He was romping around until a week before he died,” Loader said. “Unfortunately, after a brief illness, the doctors’ finest antibiotic cocktail couldn’t save him.”
Although bred from a long line of champions, Albert’s personality was deemed too “feisty” to be in show.
He was sold and resold under the classification “pet quality.”
Albert and Loader traveled across the U.S. from New York City to California before joining Kirshner in Cambridge.
Albert also had his brush with stardom, appearing on the “Stupid Pet Tricks” segment of Late Night with David Letterman.
Students remember Albert as a full-fledged member of the Quincy House community.
“We always saw Master Kirshner walking Albert around the House,” said Monique C. James ’03. “He hung out in the Grille area like any other student.”
Albert lived a seemingly leisurely existence, serving as surrogate pet to students who miss their dogs at home, and helping with sanitation at the dining hall.
“Albert was truly interested in trash-removal,” Loader said. “He was like a vacuum cleaner snarfing up french fries at the Grille and things dropped in the Courtyard.”
Loader recalled a dog-sitter finding Albert with a whole lobster in his mouth after a clambake.
Albert spent two years at Harvard, where he reveled in the attention he got from workers and students, according to his owner.
Loader said his only vice was his distaste for members of the same species.
“He didn’t like other dogs, so a house full of 475 students was the perfect place for him,” she said.
Loader said she has received many letters of condolence since last Thursday that demonstrated students’ affection for Albert.
Dara L. Sosulski ’03, a student who was particularly fond of Albert, recalled his stint on Late Night with David Letterman.
“He was supposed to play catch with his master by hitting a ball repeatedly off his nose,” Sosulski wrote in an e-mail. “He ran off the main stage and started trying to, shall we say, ‘make love’ to Paul Schaffer, the keyboardist.”
Like many members of the Harvard community, Albert’s talents were not limited to one field. His other claim to fame was his “online blog” and his “poetry,” written under the name Prince Albert von Schwaab, as told to Loader.
“Albert had a lot of friends here,” Loader said. “He had a good little life for himself at Harvard.”