May 19, 2024

Paws and Fame: the rise of canine celebrities

Two dogs have made the university their home and have reached celebrity status among students, faculty and administration. The addition of these dogs has enhanced the university’s culture and has been a positive influence on campus. 


In the midst of the busy college routine, where stress and deadlines tend to dominate the day, colleges have begun bringing four-legged celebrities to cheer up students. These campus celebrities captivate students with their endearing personalities and effortlessly draw a lot of attention. From heart-warming Instagram posts to occasional meet-and-greets, these dogs have wiggled themselves into students’ hearts. 

In the age of social media, these dogs now have Instagram accounts, where students at the university can view photos and videos of these pets. Turning to Instagram to watch an adorable video of the campus dogs can serve as a stress-reliever or study break for students who need temporary relief. 

Beyond their online presence, these two celebrities are often seen on campus providing emotional support to students. The university, as well as many other universities nation-wide, have recognized the positive impact campus dogs have on students’ mental health. Many schools, including the university, have incorporated dogs into campus events and into daily campus life. 

The university is home to two celebrity pups. 

Arguably the most famous campus dog is Archer. Archer is a black English lab who was born and raised in Michigan. The three-year-old is owned by the university, but Meredith Fine is his caregiver. 

Archer came from an organization called “Paws with a Cause.” Once Archer reached 18 months old, he was assigned to a prison inmate for training to become a legal service animal. Following his training, Archer had trouble responding to his trainer and developed hip dysplasia, causing him to fail his test to become a certified service dog. 

Hope was not lost, though. Archer then became a certified facility dog.  Archer arrived at the university in June of 2022, and has been loving his life ever since. 


“Archer is so much happier here, I can’t imagine him standing next to someone all day being calm and quiet,” Fine said. “He is right where he belongs.” 

The majority of students at the university share Fine’s sentiment.  Archer has found his place at the university and has positively impacted the students and staff members around him.

The second celebrity dog, Biscuit, joined campus this past August. He was rescued from the Humane Society of Connecticut by university interim Pastor Dan Hille. Biscuit is a chihuahua-terrier mix. Because Biscuit was rescued, Hille is uncertain about Biscuit’s age, but Hille assumes he is around eight years old. Hille can be seen carrying Biscuit from building to building and around campus.

Because Biscuit came from a shelter, he has had an interesting past. Biscuit lived with two other families prior to coming to campus, but no one saw what Hille found in him. Biscuit had been traumatized switching from home to home, but he has found his place in the world on the university’s campus. He was rescued not only by Hille himself, but by the students and faculty at the university as well. 

These campus celebrities aren’t shy about making public appearances. Whether it’s attending campus events, walking across campus or having special events hosted for them, these dogs have become stars in their own right. 

The presence of these two dogs has not only provided entertainment and comfort to the people on campus, but has also contributed to a positive shift in the campus’s culture. The simple act of petting a dog between classes fosters a sense of community and reduces stress levels among students. 

Both Archer and Biscuit offer a breath of fresh air, reminding students that sometimes the simplest joys can make a big difference. As the celebrity dogs on campus continue to make pawprints on everyday life, it’s clear they have found their home within the university.  

Chimes mascot!


  • Maddie Dougoud

    Maddie is a fourth-year emerging media journalism major along with public relations and minoring in film and media. She is a member of the Capital Women’s Basketball team, and in her free time she loves to watch documentaries.

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