How one very special dog’s legacy is living on Twitter
By Katie Neitz
There is a new resident in Pardee Hall. Jack, an 11-week-old rescued Labradoodle, has found a new home—and family—within the math department.
Jack is putting forth all his puppy energy into a very important role: He’s helping to heal the hearts of students, faculty, and staff who are mourning the loss of Maggie, Jack’s beloved predecessor. Maggie, who was affectionally known as Maggie the Math Hound and Maggie the Math Mascot, passed away in June. The 17-year-old border collie was a cherished member of the math department. Maggie’s sweet demeanor and soulful eyes had a way of calming nerves before exams, erasing the stresses of a bad day, and making the math lounge even more of a welcoming home away from home for students.
Maggie became a fixture in Pardee through her original owner, Professor Art Gorman, who brought her to his office each day. When Gorman passed away in December 2014, Jayne Trent, the department’s administrative assistant, took Maggie in, ensuring she would continue to have an active presence in the building—and in students, faculty, and staff’s lives.
“Maggie was not doing well at the end, but she was determined to hang on to see the students through finals,” Trent says.
As they grieved Maggie over the summer, Trent and her husband talked about getting another dog in time. Once the fall semester started and students were back on campus, Trent fully realized the void Maggie had left.
“I was so used to students coming to visit Maggie throughout the day, and suddenly, my office was so quiet,” she says. “I missed the visitors, and the students definitely missed Maggie. They loved her, and she loved them. She played an important role in our department.”
Trent and her husband had plans to visit a one-year-old border collie in early September. When the appointment was postponed, Trent decided to revisit a local shelter’s website just in case there were any new arrivals. There was Jack.
“I feel like it was meant to be,” Trent says. “I feel like Maggie sent Jack to us. He’s such a good boy. I feel so lucky.”
On a visit to meet Jack, Trent’s office is bustling with students and faculty members stopping in to give belly rubs to the good boy. Jack has a spacious pen aside Trent’s desk, outfitted with a cozy bed and a variety of toys to help satisfy his puppy teeth.
Out on the Quad, several students make a beeline for Trent when they see the scruffy brown pup romp across the grass. Two are first-year students. They ask Trent if they can pet Jack while sharing that they are missing their family dogs. Trent encourages them to visit the second floor of Pardee whenever they need a puppy pick me up.
The young women never got to meet Maggie. But her legacy now lives on through Jack.