Friendly Puppers Roam the Circle


Annie Fey '20

Ms. Marks with her dog Darcy

Whether energetic poodles or nervous Havanese, dogs are a familiar sight at Groton. Many Groton students have come to appreciate these on-campus dogs, since merely seeing them can be comforting during a tough day.

Paula Marks has always had dogs in her family, and Darcy is her third dog. She commented, “dogs are a part of our family and are always there to greet and give affection no matter what! I cannot imagine living without a dog or some type of pet. We even had parakeets for many years when my children were younger.” She believes that dogs remind students of home and their families: “When I was a dorm head, Darcy was an integral part of the dorm and helped the atmosphere. We would be less of a community without our dogs.”

Tim and Kristen Leroy’s dog is named Bruschi, after the former New England Patriot player Tedy Bruschi. Bruschi has just turned 11 and has been with the LeRoys ever since Mr. LeRoy started teaching over 12 years ago. Mr. LeRoy calls Bruschi a “prep school dog” and also mentioned how Bruschi used to be a rescue dog. He remarked, “He can be a bit skittish around kids and other dogs, but he’ll slowly warm up to you if you give him a treat!” You can often see either Mr. or Mrs. LeRoy taking Bruschi on his daily walk.

Señor Fernandez also has a dog named Athos, who shares his name with one of the Three Musketeers, as well as a Greek mountain. Señor and his wife rescued him from an animal shelter in Texas. Señor said, “He is my furry therapist; I talk to him or just pet him in silence when I’ve had a bad day. Dogs are great for students, especially when they don’t feel like talking about an issue that is bothering them but still need tender loving care. I usually tell my advisees that my dog has superpowers: he is able to absorb negative energy and then he pees it out in the backyard. My advisee Aileen Kauffman actually considers Athos her official advisor, and I’m just the assistant.” He also mentioned a funny anecdote that once made his day: “You know the saying: ‘you become what you eat.’ Well, Athos has always been good at not chewing furniture or shoes. However, one day, as I entered the house I saw he had torn apart and eaten most of a poetry book by Henry Walters. I guess Athos wants to become a poet!” Señor welcomes students to come and spend time with Athos whenever they want. Señor and his wife alternate walking the dog, but some students have walked Athos as well, including Ben Milliken ’18, Tom Steere ’18, and Liam Calder ’18 last year.

Randi Dumont’s dog is named Ada. She described Ada as being a great companion –– patient, loving and very attentive. Randi got her as a rescue over four years ago, and Ada very quickly became a big part of her life. She exclaimed, “Ada is super expressive and loves to be near or around me as well as anyone else who will pet her –– she’s such a love! Groton is a great place to have dogs given how helpful everyone is and how much space dogs have to be free.” Randi thinks that Ada brings comfort to students who are missing dogs at home, since she is often very willing to engage in a friendly exchange of affection. Randi normally walks Ada herself, but also gets help from the students in her dorm.

These dogs, along with the furry companions of other faculty members, are an integral part of campus. Grace Oh remarked, “I see Ollie, Ms. Macbride’s dog, a lot since I am in her dorm, and I’ve walked him a few times. I think the cutest dog on campus is Ari, Ms. Martin-Nelson’s new dog. I love campus dogs because whenever I see them it brightens my day.”

Many dogs provide comfort and can be a positive distraction from hectic student life at Groton, so the next time you see them be sure to give them a pat!