Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Campus Celebrity: Gordo

Hometown: Williamsburg

Favorite food: BBQ potato chips

Worst habit: Stealing said BBQ potato chips off the kitchen counter

I had the chance to catch up with our campus celebrity and his owner Donna, a local engraver in Colonial Williamsburg, and find out a bit more about William and Mary’s favorite therapy dog (and the only part of Swem people actually like):

How long have you had Gordo?

I adopted him in 2008.

How did you and Gordo get into canine therapy?

I’d been fostering rescue goldens for years through the Grreat Golden Retriever Rescue group. In 2009 I went to the Heritage Humane Society’s annual “Bark in the Park” event where they host dog and reptile rescue groups, and heard about K-9 Connection. They have a six-week training course every fall from September through October, and I decided to get involved.

What did he have to do to get certified?

He had to undergo obedience training, and pass his AKC Canine Good Citizen test. Then there’s more training, where you practice control and awareness of your dog. You need to get them used to hospital equipment, IV poles, loud noises, crowds, people bumping into them etc. I realized he liked to jump too much to work with the elderly, but that he’d be great with students.

How did you guys end up at Swem?

We just came in one time during finals, and saw how much everyone loved him. We’ve been coming back ever since!

What makes a dog suited for this kind of work?

75% of a good therapy dog is just the dog’s personality.

What’s your favorite part about Gordo?

He’s very outgoing. He amazes me some days. We came in over the summer, and met a woman who was severely handicapped and in a wheelchair. She went past us a few times, and on the third time he went right up next to her and just waited. I said, “I think he wants you to pat him!”

When can students come see Gordo?

We’re here most Mondays from 4-6!

*This interview has been paraphrased

Similar Reads👯‍♀️