Northeastern’s campus comfort puppy gets a name

A golden retriever puppy.
Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University

A 6-month-old golden retriever puppy set to serve as Northeastern’s waggly-tailed cuddle bug now has a name, thanks to an outpouring of creative suggestions from hundreds of fans. Call him Cooper.

A reference to the university’s cooperative learning program, the name Cooper was an instant hit and quickly rose through the ranks amid more than 400 submissions on the university’s Instagram.

“I love the name Cooper! We almost named our first dog Cooper, so it’s a great choice,” Eunseo Kwak wrote in an Instagram post. Kwak, an incoming first-year student who plans to major in business and computer science, had proposed the name Huck Finn.

Kwak says she hopes to befriend Cooper in the fall because her family and mini goldendoodle will be at home in Seattle.

“I’ll miss my dog so much,” says Kwak.

Cooper will be on the Boston campus and ready to offer a soft paw or a warm snout as a community resource dog in the fall. He’s training with his handler, Northeastern University Police Department officer Joseph Matthews, at a company called Golden Opportunities for Independence in Walpole, Mass., that provides service dogs and community resource dogs.

“Cooper is a wonderful name for a new campus puppy. The name references our ‘Cooper’ative Education program,” Steve Wynne, associate director of financial counseling services at Northeastern, wrote in an Instagram message. Wynne was one of many who suggested the name over the last week.

 “Like Cooper, Northeastern co-op is unique, fun and engaging. It offers students opportunities to enhance their learning experience and prepare for a competitive job market,” Wynne wrote.

Commenters gushed over the bright-eyed puppy as soon as his photos hit Instagram last week, posting compliments along with other suggested names like North, Fenway, Gus and Hunter.

“Omg, he is a handsome golden retriever!” posted Anna Yang. “I really expect to see this recruit on the main campus.”

Sujay SankaraPandian, who starts classes for his master’s degree in information systems this fall, suggested the name Stark after a character in the fantasy-fiction series Game of Thrones. The character, Ned Stark, rules over northern territories.

“King of the north!” posted SankaraPandian. He admits he’s pretty happy with the name Cooper, too.

“Cooper is a great name! It’s one of my favorites from the comment list,” said SankaraPandian, who is from India and plans to attend classes in Boston this fall. The loveable pooch means he’ll already have a pal on campus.

“I love puppies! I never thought there would be one on campus. He will definitely be one of my best friends,” he said.

For media inquiries, please contact