Puppies! I love puppies, you love puppies, and Swarthmore College loves puppies. They’re soft and cuddly and playful and cute, and college campuses are the perfect epicenter of a massive puppy-loving storm. Stressed out students make excellent playmates, in puppies’ opinions. I know this because I’ve interviewed several puppies myself about this issue. Swarthmore College is an extremely dog-friendly campus. People who live in the towns nearby bring their dogs to campus for walks in the woods, to meet other dogs, and to run around on our giant lawns. Professors and administrators bring their dogs to the office and let people come in to play with them. I was very glad when I thought of the idea for this blog post because it meant I could dedicate several hours of my day to petting dogs for “work-related” reasons.

*Note: photos are by me unless otherwise stated in the caption. All photos can be clicked on to view the full-size version.

First, the Admissions dogs!
Golden retriever in a harness sitting in the Admissions Office.
Taken by Kyle Leigh Carney.

The Admissions Office hires several Admissions Fellows each summer to conduct interviews and assist with information sessions. One of those fellows is Kyle Leigh Carney, who lives only five minutes away, so one afternoon when she did not have any interviews, she drove home and came back with Zoey the Golden Retriever in tow.

Person hugging Zoey the Golden Retriever.

I was delighted.

Regularly, Associate Dean of Admissions Martha Allen brings in her Norfolk Terrier, Brody.

Brody, the Norfolk Terrier, sitting in the Admissions Office.

Person hugging Brody, the Norfolk Terrier.
Taken by Zac Arestad.

He’s a happy, carefree little dog who almost never makes noise (except when the fire horn in town goes off). He falls asleep under the desk most of the time, and is always happy to be petted by visitors. Sometimes too happy: once, I accidentally let him escape and he ran into an Information Session, much to my chagrin.

Danny Wittels, another Assistant Dean of Admissions, owns a beautiful 3-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Pepper.

Pepper, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, sitting on the floor of the Admissions Office.

She has such a bright, calm temperament. I’ve never heard her bark, and she is extremely well-trained. It’s always a treat when she shows up.

Other than in the Admissions Office,

I’ve seen various dogs around Parrish and the campus in general. I went on a hunt to locate them for some photos and pettings.

In the Office of Financial Aid, I found Booker and Rookie, both owned by Kristin Moore. Kristin is a foster mom for rescued dogs; she helps them find a new home. Booker, a Chihuahua, was one she just had to keep.

Booker the Chihuahua, standing on the floor of the Financial Aid Office.

He has a broken jaw, no bottom teeth, and two replacement knees, but he is a playful, sweet dog who opened up very easily to me.

Rookie, a Chihuahua mix, was a therapy dog in his younger years, and still retains an endearing tendency to crawl into a person’s lap if they are sitting criss-cross on the floor.

Rookie, a Chihuahua mix, licking his nose and standing on the floor of the Financial Aid Office.
I couldn’t get a good picture of Rookie, but rest assured he is very cute!
The Campus Bookstore

is a haven for dog-lovers. As soon as you walk in, there are children’s books about dogs right in front of you (I’ve read all of them). Then, just behind the checkout counter, are George and Molly… two black labrador retrievers with nothing but love in their hearts.

Two black labrador retrievers, Molly (left) and George (right), wearing paper heart signs that say "Sweetheart" and "Be Mine" and sitting on the floor of the Bookstore.
Molly (left) and George (right) in the Bookstore. Taken by a Bookstore employee.

They bark occasionally, but for the most part are the sweetest, most gentle big dogs you could find. They are at the Bookstore almost every day and love to be visited.


the College will host a puppy party. During Reading Week, between the end of classes and the start of finals, Swat hosted a bunch of events. The puppy party, which was at the Women’s Resource Center, was one of these events. Some students were disgruntled that there were only adult dogs there, but I did not care. I petted them nonetheless. All the dogs were owned by Swarthmore residents. Check out a video taken by John Lim and Hannah Joo, two rising seniors at Swarthmore.

(The puppy party part of the video ends around 3:06.)

That’s just a quick introduction to the various dogs I’ve seen prowling the campus! I hope that wherever life takes you, there are always cute, friendly puppies ready to be petted. If life takes you to Swarthmore, that will almost certainly be the case.

One thought on “SwatDogs

Leave a Reply