Readers’ pick: Lola the miniature goldendoodle
Lola is a self-described feminist with a “bend for philosophy, global health and chicken,” according to her Facebook profile.
But she isn’t your average resident on the Mount Vernon Campus. Lola’s a 1-year-old miniature goldendoodle who currently resides in West Hall with Mark Ralkowski, an associate professor of philosophy. This pup outshines the competition for her friendly attitude and popularity on the Vern.
“She grew up in West Hall,” Ralkowski said. “I like to think that part of what makes her such a fun, happy presence is where she grew up.”
Lola ventures off campus for walks, but she is often confused as she anticipates everyone she passes to be a student who wants to stop and pet her, he said. When Lola is not strolling across campus, she can occasionally be found romping around the professor’s honors classes in Ames Hall – a welcome escape from the chaos of college life.
Freshman Alex Gunnerson, who is in Ralkowski’s honors Origins & Evolution Modern Thought class, said the dog “de-stresses the environment” as Lola winds through the tangle of students’ legs under the Ames classroom conference table.
Several students have the pleasure of dog-sitting Lola and take her on long walks around the Vern, including Kyla Percival, sophomore and West Hall resident.
“We like to take long walks, watch deer, collect sticks and watch classic movies together,” Percival said. “She has effectively managed to become the most important pet in my life – even though she’s not mine.”
Another honors student, Morgan Patrick, said Lola brings a sense of home to the Vern.
“I feel like she helps strengthen our sense of community, not only in the honors program but just in West Hall and also in general on campus,” she said. “It’s really nice having a dog as a unifying factor that we can all pet and hang out with.”