Get to know the pups of Yale on National Dog Day

Sasha isn’t the only canine on campus

While the campus mourns the loss of Handsome Dan XVII, Yale remains home to dozens of dogs, including campus celebrity Sasha Pup. To celebrate National Dog Day, we’ve interviewed some of the lesser-known but just as well-loved dogs of the Yale community from the courtyard of TD to the Dean’s Office in Branford.

Nathan “Nate” Hale

Breed: Brittany Spaniel.

Human: Yale alum Capt. John Swisher, USAF.

Occupation: Therapy puppy in training at Air Force Puppies, Inc.

Favorite Activities: “Swimming, chasing birds, sunbathing, being a hero, and playing with Air Force cadets.”

Follow Nate on Instagram.

Napoleon “Poe” Bonabark

Breed: Schnauzer/Maltese mix.

Human: Hannah Peck, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs.

Occupation: Little Emperor of Old Campus.

Favorite Activities: Foot wrestling, eating Claire’s cake, playing with Benjamin of Calhoun, and hanging around the Vanderbilt Hall courtyard.

Poe and his human regularly update their friends on Facebook.

Bertie Insley-Say

Breed: Cairn Terrier.

Humans: Sarah Insley, Dean of Branford, and Ozan Say, Adviser at Yale Office of International Students and Scholars.

Occupation: Self-proclaimed “Official Canine of Branford”, Bertie is responsible for maintaining high cuteness factor, moral support and an endless supply of cuddles.

Favorite Activities: “Chasing squirrels and cuddling with humans!”

Become friends with Bertie on Facebook.

Deacon Darby

Breed: Yorkshire Terrier.

Human: Jen DellaCamera, Senior Administrative Assistant in Branford College Dean’s Office.

Occupation: “I’m a certified Therapy Dog. I can usually be found in the Dean’s office waiting to hang out with the students. Can you believe that’s my job? It’s awesome!”

Favorite Activities: “Cuddling with people, getting my belly rubbed and eating treats. I can usually be found in the Dean’s office waiting to hang out with the students.”

Keep up with Deacon on his Facebook page

Benjamin Westerbrook, Esq. 

Breed: Cavalier King Charles/Beagle/Aussie Shepherd mix.

Human: April Ruiz, Dean of Calhoun College.

Occupation: Dog lawyer, spokesdog and dog scientist at the Canine Cognition Center at Yale.

Favorite Activities: Finding sandwiches in the bushes and collecting sticks.

Ben is active on both Instagram and Facebook.


Breed: Chocolate Labrador.

Human: Sarah Mahurin, Dean of Timothy Dwight College.

Occupation: Young hotshot of TD.

Favorite Activities: Rolling on the ground, sniffing people and things, eating leftovers from Dean Mahurin’s daughter, and bouncing on his older brother Dash.

Yale University