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Dogs @ Cornell

  Charles Milhauser  

From Charles Milhauser's upcoming book "Cornell College: 150 Years from A-Z":

As Francis Macmillen began his 1915 May Music Festival recital, Buddy, a large collie, bounded on stage and enthusiastically expressed canine affection for the violinist. Macmillen had made friends with the dog while rehearsing in the home of Buddy's owners. The stagehands tried frantically to entice Buddy away. Finally his mortified mistress, herself a violinist, succeeded. At the 1949 Festival, Metropolitan Opera baritone Mack Harrell was singing "Trottin' to the Fair" when a brown mastiff trotted onto the stage. The terrified accompanist kept his foot on the pedal, his hands on the keyboard, but lifted his body off the piano bench in awkward readiness to flee. After a few minutes, the dog, apparently not liking the song, disdainfully trotted off.

President Updegraff had a German shepherd named Thor, who daily accompanied him to his office in College Hall. Before going home, Updegraff would roll up his personal mail in a newspaper, tie the bundle, and give it to Thor, who would proudly trot home with it. The students routinely tried to snatch the bundle from Thor but never could catch him.

English Professor Clyde "Toppy" Tull's dog, Gaberlunzi, a name Tull said meant "beggar," amazed visitors to the Tull home between 1928 and 1941 because, whenever asked, he would remove a particular book--Mike Flannery on duty and off by Ellis Parker Butler--from the shelf. If the book was not in its usual place, Gaber would search until he found it. Perhaps the dog favored this book because it contained the stories "Just Like A Cat" and "Fleas Will Be Fleas."

Education Professor Dorothy June "DJ" Newbury doted on her dachshund named Sagebrush Jane, part of whose tail was missing. On one of their walks across campus in the 1960s, Sagebrush was proudly sporting a new knitted red sweater that seemed to DJ the epitome of canine haute couture. Along came French Professor Eugene Elkins with his miniature poodle, Babette, tarted up in a mink coat and rhinestone collar. DJ got her revenge by issuing invitations in French to Mlle Sagebrush Jane's next birthday party and not including Elkins.

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