Paws Worth Applause

For some faculty, staff and students, having a four-legged friend around the office or classroom is a real treat.


Students coming into Kerry Rouhier’s office looking to talk science can expect a warm reception from the associate professor of chemistry — and maybe a gentle lick from her frequent officemate, Lewis. 

An 8-year-old Labrador-shepherd mix, Lewis happily splits time between her office in Tomsich Hall and the nearby one belonging to her spouse, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Chemistry Instrumentation Coordinator Matthew Rouhier.

“He’s a super chill dog. He doesn’t bark or anything,” Rouhier said. “He gets a lot of attention.”

For those students who may have allergies or simply prefer to meet in a dog-free zone, a sign on her door offers the opportunity to meet elsewhere on the days Lewis is with her.

“Most people actually request him,” she said. “They ask, ‘Do you have Lewis today?’”

Named for the chemist Gilbert Lewis, the calm canine is one of a number of four-legged friends who can be found hanging out in Kenyon offices and classrooms.

Across the Science Quad at Hayes Hall, Tau and Boo often can be found in the office of Professor of Physics Paula Turner. (If they’re not there, try Ransom Hall, where they might be spending the day with Turner’s daughter, Sam Turner ’10, assistant director of academic and ceremonial events.)

The two black Mountain Curs, who have a bed in the corner of the room, are named for the constellations Taurus and Boötes. 

Turner said they’re popular with students, who often drop by after class just to see them. A note of caution is taped to the slot at the bottom of her door, though, suggesting that using it to drop off assignments may not be the best idea for those wanting to avoid the “dog ate my homework” excuse.

In Storer Hall, Professor of Music Dane Heuchemer has been known to arrive for class or rehearsal with multiple dogs in tow. During a recent music history class, three pets quietly joined the group, wandering around the room collecting pats on the head from students and stopping to listen in on the discussion.

And, of course, one of the highest-profile pets to join the Kenyon community is Milo, the miniature poodle that the family of President Julie Kornfield adopted during the pandemic. A fan of tennis balls and belly rubs, Milo is a frequent celebrity on Middle Path.

In honor of National Pet Day this Thursday — and Epsilon Delta Mu’s Dog Parade along Middle Path on Friday at 4:30 p.m. — here are a few photos of these pets and a few others who can be found around campus.