He’s got silky blonde hair, adorable brown eyes and an endless supply of puppy love. But there’s one thing this new Northeastern police department recruit is missing—a name.
The 6-month-old golden retriever recently joined the Boston campus police, tasked with showering stressed students and weary staffers with kisses and affection, and now they’re looking to the Northeastern community to brainstorm the best moniker for the pooch.
Suggestions so far include Hunter, a reference to Northeastern’s address on Huntington Ave.; Cooper, in honor of the university’s co-op program; North; and Fenway, among others. Once the names are collected, Northeastern community members will be asked to vote, bracket-style, to reach a winner.
You can share your ideas in the comments on Northeastern’s Instagram.
Ruben Galindo, director of public safety at the police department, also hopes the puppy will help officers forge friendships and new connections with students on the Boston campus.
The department originally looked for a Siberian husky for the new role, considering the university’s classic mascot, Paws, is a husky. But the hard-working, independent breed doesn’t really make the best service animal, so they went with an affable golden retriever.
Officer Joseph Mathews, who is working with the enthusiastic pup, currently trains the dog with the help of the organization it came from called Golden Opportunities for Independence. The Walpole, Mass. company provides service dogs and community resource dogs for the handicapped and other organizations.
“He’s going to be perfect,” says Mathews. “He’s adorable, for one, so it’s pretty hard to resist him. He’s very goofy, and he just loves that social interaction.”
The wriggly canine will continue training for up to one year, but the department hopes to bring the pup on campus patrol fairly soon so he can get acclimated to city sights and sounds.
“An example would be something like the T going by. Right now that’s something [he’s] not familiar with,” says Galindo. “More and more the dog will be allowed to go outside of Walpole and be introduced to the community.”
The puppy will also receive some training in scent detection, which means he can potentially help track down missing persons, says John Farrell, staff sergeant at the Northeastern Police Department.
“We do our best to do that, but we all know that dogs can be a great common denominator, so we just think this will be a great thing for the community and we’re really excited about it,” says Farrell.
So if you see a loveable golden retriever walking alongside a Northeastern police officer on the Boston campus, go on over and introduce yourself. But first, let’s give this dog a name.
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