Margaret Cook, LA’64, returned to campus on Tuesday with King, her Siberian Husky who has doubled as the University’s mascot for the last seven years.
The duo regularly attends campus events during Welcome Week and throughout the year. Today, Cook and her furry companion will be on hand at the President’s Convocation and the ensuing barbecue in Cabot Cage. Last weekend, they greeted students as they moved into the dorms.
Touring campus with King, Cook says, is her way of giving back to the Northeastern community. As she puts it, “It portrays a special relationship between the real live mascot with the University, and it means a lot to the new students.”
Cook gets a kick out of watching students’ faces light up upon seeing the husky, who, she says, reminds many of the freshman of their own pets back home.
“Around move-in there are a lot of smiles on students’ faces when they see the dog, which makes me very happy,” Cook says.
In 2005, as part of an effort to restore several of Northeastern traditions from years past, the University’s Office of Student Affairs contacted Cook about having one of her Siberian Huskies become the latest mascot. She was honored by the request, and has since brought King — who was seven months old, at the time — to campus.
Cook’s fondness for Siberian Huskies began when she bonded with a colleague’s dog while teaching at Rockland High School, her first teaching job after graduating from Northeastern. Since then, she has bred and cared for huskies of her own.
Over the years, Cook’s dogs have participated in numerous American Kennel Club (AKC) shows as well as sled dog races. In 1975, Cook started a recreational sled dog club on Massachusetts’ South Shore and is currently a proud member of the Yankee Siberian Husky Club.
“I have finished more than 50 AKC show champions in the United States and Canada, and I ran a competitive sled dog team for five years on the New England Sled Dog racing circuit in the 1980s. A lot of my champion show dogs have also attained sled dog degrees through the Siberian Husky Club of America,” Cook said.