Campus celebrity Glacier, a golden retriever owned by communication professor and communication department chair Allan Louden, is often seen on the lower quad with other canine cohorts, frolicking about with a tennis ball.
Glacier agreed to grant the Old Gold & Black an exclusive, behind the scenes interview detailing his life at Wake Forest University.
Louden brings Glacier to campus with him most days, and students are free to come by his office and take Glacier out on walks. Louden translated Glacier’s responses to interview questions.
Where are some of your favorite spots around campus to play?
Wherever people are. The lower quad is mine, that’s my turf. I watch it from the patio of Carswell. Cooling off in the creek next to Reynolda Village is pretty special. If I get away, the food court is attractive.
What are your favorite things to do here?
Shame students into walking me, chasing the ball at super high speeds and playing with other dogs.
What does your day to day schedule usually look like?
Sleep, eat, entertainment, sleep, entertainment, sleep, entertainment, eat and sleep. The entertainment is the student walks. My life is filled with so much excitement, or hurry up and wait.
What, in your opinion, is your role here at Wake Forest?
My job is to civilize the community and to remind people there’s a light beyond the ivy. It’s to emphasize people’s shared humanity and to anchor as a common denominator.
My presence gives students perspective on what really matters. My job is to be friendly. In the mornings it’s to be the Walmart dog outside Carswell and greet people coming into class. My job in the evening is to say goodnight and get people the heck out of there. My job during the day is to get people to take me for walks and throw the ball for me on the quad.
How does it feel to be a campus celebrity?
It’s sort of like being the new head of a monarchy, because I’m following two other Golden Retrievers that occupied the campus for 20 years before my time. I take advantage of the fact that people stay the same and automatically think that dogs are their best friend.
Being a celebrity allows me to go everywhere on campus and it allows me to have meetings with the dean, provost, and others high in power. Being a celebrity, everyone knows my name and says “hi” to me when they see me.Campus is sort of like the show Cheers for me; everybody knows my name.
How do you stay humble?
Humble, what’s humble? I’m always ready to go, rock and roll.
Why do you think it’s important for students to play with you often?
I remind the students of their own humanity. I cut across socioeconomic divisions, ethnic divisions — essentially every division you can name. I cut across them all to everyone and connect to their humanness. I’m a dog, it’s what I do.
Why should students participate in stress relief with animals?
Because I get attention. Stress, what’s stress?
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you?
People think I’m a Golden Retriever, but I’m secretly not. I’m a Nova Scotia Duck Toller. Which means, see any ducks recently I’d like to toll? Or it means I’m much more independent and stubborn and high-energy than you’d originally expect.
What is your pet peeve?
Sometimes I get bothered because the humans forget who’s calling the shots. Sometimes they think they can actually decide for me. Sometimes you forget you’re just a dog and people are able to go places that you can’t go. I really hate that. Also, they don’t let me in the food court.