Meet the Dogs of NYU Res Life

Bobby Wagner

Alma and Walter

About the Dog

Age: One year old, adopted October, 2015 from Unleashed NY

Breed: Golden Retriever/Australian Shepherd Mix

Favorite treat: Blue Buffalo Treats

About the Owner

Alma Buljina is a Residence Hall Assistant Director at Lipton Hall. She named Walter after the main character from Breaking Bad, her favorite TV show. She rescued Walter from Unleashed NY, a program that helps educate young women through the use of animal therapy.

“His favorite thing to do is run around and get other dogs to chase him, and once he’s worn out, he’ll find a human and sit on their feet,” Buljina said. “He’s also a built-in Rumba. He eats anything that falls on the floor.”

Ashley, Adam and Bubba

About the Dog

Age: 20 months old, adopted February of 2015

Breed: Pitbull/Weimaraner

Favorite treat: Cabbage

About the Owner

Ashley Nickelsen is the Residence Hall Director at Broome Street. Her partner, Adam, helped to take care of Bubba, who had a broken femur when they first adopted him. The day before her interview, Nickelsen completed her third New York City marathon.

“He’s goofy and needy,” Nickelsen said. “He loves people and he thinks every dog wants to play with him too.”

Ben and Theo

About the Dog

Age: Two years old, got him from a cattle farm that also does corgi breeding

Breed: Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Favorite treat: Carrots

Instagram: @theodorablecorgi

About the Owner

Ben Jones is the Residence Hall Director at Lipton Hall. He became obsessed with corgis a few years ago, right around the time they became an internet sensation. He vowed then that once he got his first dog, he had to make good on that obsession.

“He’ll do anything for a treat or food,” Jones said. “One time he ate a whole bag of Greenies — they’re like these treats that clean dogs’ teeth and you’re supposed to give them one a day. He ate a bag of 32.”

In the time Ben has had him, Theo has amassed quite the following on Instagram, with just over 4,000 followers.

“He’s sort of a C-list celebrity on Instagram.”

Briana and Wrigley

About the Dog

 Age: Four years old, adopted from a shelter in Oklahoma

Breed: Shih Tzu

Favorite treat: Greenies

Instagram: @wrigleywayne

About the Owner

Briana Mathew is the Residence Hall Director at Senior House and Greenwich Village. She is a native of Chicago, beholden to her beloved Cubs — so much so, in fact, that she named her dog after their famed stadium. Wrigley’s middle name, Wayne, is to honor her devotion to Bruce Wayne, or Batman.

“He’s such a little ham. He knows he’s cute. A lot of my students say he has perpetual sad face,” Mathew said. “It’s sort of cheesy to say, but the thing he’s most respondent to is me. He absolutely loves me.”

Francisco, Mandy and Mona Lisa

Age: Three years old, rescued September, 2015 from Petco in Union Square

Breed: Pekapoo

Favorite treat: Mona has a strict diet, so doesn’t get many treats. She prefers squeaky toys as a guilty pleasure.

Instagram: @monathepeekapoo

About the Owner

Francisco Cordero is a Residence Hall Assistant Director in Coral Tower. Him and his partner Mandy were struck with love at first site when they first saw Mona.

“We were looking at other dogs — a beagle — and we saw Mona,” Cordero said. “She actually had 10 times the amount of hair. She was not groomed properly when she was taken over before. When she came out of the truck she just plopped down.”

Cordero moved into Coral a month ahead of Mandy, but says their relationships are all about equal.

“It was love at first belly rub.”

Jonathan and King

Age: 2 years old, adopted in January of 2015

Breed: Pug

Favorite treat: “The smellier the treats are, the more he wants it.”

About the Owner

Jonathan Wiggins is a Residence Hall Assistant Director at Second Street. King spends most of his time with Wiggins’ girlfriend, who adopted him, at Pace University, where she is a Residence Director.

“He still needs some work on listening,” Wiggins said. “But if you have food in your hand, he’ll do anything you want.”

Luisa and Brady

Age: Four years old, adopted from Wapato, Washington

Breed: Border Collie/Shepherd mix

Instagram: @bradyboy_12

About the Owner

Luisa Lora is a Resident Hall Assistant Director at Founders. She adopted Brady when she was still living in Washington and attending graduate school at Seattle University.

“I was moving from Los Angeles to Washington and wanted a dog before I started school,” Lora said. “He grew up on a reservation and the house that I lived in was on an apple orchard, so he grew up with a lot of space. It was a big transition moving to Seattle, but that was a good stepping stone to New York.”

Lora, a diehard Patriots fan, made it a point to mention that Brady was named after New England’s golden boy, Tom Brady.

Lynne, Tristan and Bela

Age: Five years old, adopted him from a breeder in Connecticut

Breed: Vizsla

Favorite treat: Anything he can sniff out

About the Owner

Lynne Haney is a Faculty Fellow in Residence at Lafayette Hall. She is a sociology professor in the College of Arts and Science. Haney knew, specifically, that she wanted a Hungarian Vizsla, and looked high and low for rescue centers for them but couldn’t find one. So, she ended up going to a breeder in Connecticut.

“We were at the breeder and they had all these tests to predict what the dog was going to be like — its disposition, its health, etc.,” Haney said. “I just basically said give me the cutest one.”

Haney lives in Lafayette with her fifth grade son, Tristan and their two cats. Bela, at the moment, is incredibly hyper as he adjusts to Lafayette from their old home in Brooklyn.

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Bela is conditioned to sprint to and from the elevator as soon as their apartment door opens, and can regularly be found slipping and sliding through the tile floors in Laf.

Melissa and Pettitte

About the Dog

Age: Two years old, adopted from a friend who breeds beagles

Breed: Lemon Beagle

Favorite treat: Peanut butter

Instagram: @pettittethebeagle

About the Owner

Melissa Giovinazzo is the Residence Hall Director at Coral Tower. She grew up with an American Cocker Spaniel, who she says was much more eager to please than Pettitte, who is independent and a little more self-motivated.

“He’s a total hound dog, which makes him a little different than some of the other dogs in the department that are total lap dogs,” Davison said. “He’s high-energy, curious. He is really friendly, but he likes to sniff everything before he’ll roll over and let you pet him.”

He is named after beloved Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte.

Olga and Fluffy

About the Dog

Age: Two years old, adopted when he was three months old

Breed: Pomeranian/Poodle mix

Favorite treat: Not picky

About the Owner

Olga Sanchez-Eltell is the Residence Hall Resource Manager for NYU graduate housing. Fluffy can often be found flitting around her office in Washington Square Village, standing up on his hind legs looking for a treat.

“He’s a little quiet and shy and he doesn’t like a lot of commotion,” Sanchez-Eltell said. “When we hold puppy gatherings, he runs away and comes back to my office and hides by me.”

Peter and “Granny” Shirley

About the Dog

Age: Eight years old, rescued her this past July

Breed: Schnorgi (Schnauzer/Corgi Mix)

Favorite treat: Food off the street

Instagram: @ShirleyTheSchnorgi

About the Owner

Peter Huu Tran is a Residence Hall Assistant Director at Third North. He had been wanting a dog for quite a bit, but his job at Stony Brook did not allow pets. When he came to NYU he made it a priority and rescued Shirley — his dream breed, a combination of a schnauzer and a corgi.

“She’s no nonsense,” Tran said. “Whenever I take her to the dog park she doesn’t care for other dogs. She basically goes about her day, sniffs around and silently judges other dogs. Whenever energetic dogs come up to her, she snaps at them just like a grandma.”

Tran says that Shirley, who sheds a ridiculous amount, actually doesn’t mind when he takes the vacuum to her coat to keep the hair from taking over his apartment.

“She’s a street rescue, so she’s not really afraid of the vacuum,” Tran said. “I think she’s seen some things on the streets.”

Phil, Will and Stover

About the Dog

Age: Two years old, rescued from Nayak, Pennsylvania

Breed: Ba-Shar (Basset Hound/Shar-Pei mix)

Favorite treat: Ambivalent toward food

About the Owners

Philip Kain is a Faculty Fellow in Residence at Gramercy, where he lives with his partner William Crow and their dog Stover. Kain is a professor at GLS and Crow teaches in the graduate school in Museum Studies and also in Gallatin, in addition to working at the MoMa.

“We were driving through Pennsylvania, not able to find the dog we had wanted, when we came across this place that had a couple dogs left that was three hours away,” Kain said. “So we made the drive because we were interested in this Ba-Shar mix, and when we walked in, Stover came right up to us and was basically like, ‘Here I am! I’m your dog!’”

Stover has a very stoic expression, but remains even-keeled, calm and loving. He loves to interact with the residents in the elevator and the halls, but Kain and Crow acknowledge he has a bit of a jealous streak — centered on their laptops — as well as a stubborn streak.

“He’s very stubborn,” Crow said. “He’ll lie down in the middle of 23rd street if he wants. Or on the marble floor in Gram in the summer, because it’s cold.”

Susan and Milo

About the Dog

Age: One and a half years old, adopted from a breeder in New Jersey

Breed: West Highland White Terrier

Favorite treat: Jerky

Instagram: @milothenycwestie

About the Owner

Susan Huynh is a Residence Hall Assistant Director at Broome Street. Her desire to have a dog began with her migration from California to New York. That desire grew into an adoration for Westies that was eventually shared with her partner. After looking through breeders in the area, they settled on one in Jersey.

“My partner always said that he wanted the Westie that was going to be chasing the other dogs,” Huynh said. “So when we got there, there were two dogs running in a circle together and we both pointed to the one doing the chasing and said, ‘That’s the one!’”

Huynh says that Milo is as playful, energetic and loving as they come — especially with the residents, who he approaches constantly expecting pets. But she acknowledges he definitely has a bit of an ego.

“He’s a little Napoleon, he likes to kind of rule things,” Huynh said. “He’s very alpha, he likes attention from people.”

Email Bobby Wagner at [email protected]

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