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A 1st birthday bash for Cooper the campus dog

Cooper celebrates his birthday with a candle and cupcake in Carter Park. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

He’s one of the many friendly new faces weaving his way through Northeastern’s Boston campus this fall, and he’s quickly attracting a growing fan base and comforting pandemic-weary members of the university’s pack—all before he turns one.

Now Cooper, an affable golden retriever who’s Northeastern’s first community resource dog, will be feted at his first birthday party on the Boston campus Monday. The 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. celebration, held at the Rainbow Tent on 40 Leon Street, is bound to be a well-attended bash given the crowd that Cooper draws every time he goes for a stroll.

Physical therapy majors Annie Chiang and Lauren Tang, left, and Victoria Brenneck, right, a Northeastern computer science major, take a break with Cooper in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex on Friday, Sept. 17. 2021. Photos by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

“Oh my god! I’ve been wanting to meet him forever,” gushed Victoria Brenneck, a second-year computer science major, as she patted Cooper during one of his recent walks. “I see him all over Instagram.”

A group of admirers congregated around Cooper. The dog leaned against one of his new friends, grateful for the back scratches.

“He looks like a cloud,” said Andrew Levine, a Northeastern program manager, as he patted the pooch’s light blonde fur.

Cooper, who has been trained to be a comfort dog since birth, has been wrapping up his training and acclimating to Boston’s city noises during his first semester on the job. The community resource pup joins the Boston campus with his special and very welcome deliveries of spontaneous and unconditional love.

A candle it lit for Cooper's first birthday in Carter Playground. Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

His skills have been on display over the last few months as Cooper interacts with his adoring public.

“He does hugs,” said Northeastern police officer Rachel Joliffe as a student stopped to say hello. Joliffe patted her own shoulders to show the command.

Erik Zilber, left, a computer engineering and computer science major, and Andrew Levine, right, a program manager at Northeastern, get some dog therapy from Cooper in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex on Friday, Sept. 17. 2021. Photos by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

“Here. Cooper…c’mere buddy! No. No…wrong way,” Joliffe again pats her shoulders. “Hugs!! Oh, good boy, Cooper! Oh. Hugs and kisses, eh? Wow. All right. Just one hug’s enough.”

Although Cooper is not literally a Husky, the goofball golden continues a long tradition of Husky birthday celebrations at Northeastern University. One such party is recorded in the university’s 1927 yearbook, showing a mascot named “Husky I” receiving a meat pie for his March 17 birthday.

Cooper is more likely to be celebrating with a Starbucks’ puppuccino Monday, but don’t worry if you don’t have a gift. Just bring lots of belly rubs. 

For media inquiries, please contact media@northeastern.edu. 

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