Reed Dogs

reed dogs

Reed dogs are an essential part of the Reed community. They are so integral that a drinking fountain for both people and dogs has been installed next to the library. The fountain was funded by the will of Marion Patullo, who worked at the college and often used to stroll across the campus with her terrier, Angus. She left money to Reed with the requirement that some of it be spent on a dog fountain. It was, to the great joy of dogs and humans alike. Some Reed dogs spend more time on campus than most students. Some come with faculty and staff members, but most are associated with students. Some are Busterrestrained and well behaved, but others aren't. They play, they frolic, they chase joggers, and they may even eat your food when you aren't looking. For years now it's been commonly accepted that when alumni die they return to Reed as Reed dogs. This theory of reincarnation is, however, difficult to prove, and, until now, definitive proof has never been offered to the Reed community. However, in a recent interview conducted with Buster, the official dog of Reed's computing and information services, we finally have a firsthand account of the process and an authoritative source confirming what for so many years we held as true.

Admission: Buster, first of all I'd just like to thank you on behalf of the Reed community; we all know how vital a part you play sitting here on the lawn in front of Greywood, and we all appreciate the service you're doing by giving your time to this interview. We'll try to keep it brief.

Buster: Thank you. It's good to be here.

A: The question everyone is dying to know (forgive the pun), is do Reed alumni return to this campus as Reed dogs?

B: Oh, certainly they do.

A: And can you remember the life you led as a human?

B: Yes. My name was Henry Shields, and I died in World War II.

A: What were your years like here as a student?

B: I can remember that life, but I'd rather not talk about it. It's rather personal, and, besides, I've been granted the life of a Reed dog to some extent to make up for a short and difficult life as a human.

A: Of course. My apologies.

B: No offense taken.

A: So is it necessary to have a difficult life to come back as a Reed dog?

B: No. Like most organizations at Reed, it's something you can do if you want, but no one forces you, and there are no try-outs. A lot of people who spend too much time on their thesis opt to come back and have some of the fun they missed when they were students.

A: Are there Reed dogs who are not deceased alumni?

B: Well, some were faculty and staff members: all Reed dogs belonged to the Reed community in one of their past lives.

A: One of their past lives?

B: Yes. You see, there is a certain amount of limited omniscience granted with being a Reed dog -- which is why you'll sometimes see students holding in-depth conversations with us -- we do remember more than just the one previous life.

A: So do all people have past lives? Is this evidence of a certain spiritual outlook being correct?

B: That falls under the realm of questions I can't answer for you, and, really, with the stipulations agreed to before we began this interview, you should know better than to even ask. As a human, you cannot have certain knowledge. But as a Reed dog. . . .

A: Again, my apologies. So tell me this: can you prove what you say?

B: What do you mean?

A: Well, there will be people out there, certain skeptics, who will probably not believe that Reed dogs talk.

B: I hadn't thought that this interview might not be believed, that doesn't fall under my limited omniscience. But it's simple, really, to prove. A Reed dog sees many, many things in his life, things that would terrorize and confuse a normal dog. Without a certain understanding, gained in this case through reincarnation, a normal dog would go mad, probably turn dangerous. And with Reed's leash laws so rarely enforced -- no, I can't believe the Reed community won't see how obvious it is that Reed dogs have a special knowledge. And whether they believe what I know from experience to be true, that Reed dogs are reincarnated alumni and Reed community members, is really up to them. But I can't believe that if they stop to have a conversation with me or one of my colleagues they will be able to remain skeptical. I'm afraid that's all the time I have.

A: Well, we thank you, Buster.

So there is the first documentation confirming the belief that Reed dogs are, in fact, reincarnated alumni and past community members. Here we see a side of Buster not normally seen, a more somber, yet idealistic side. But as you walk by him, look deep into his eyes, and you'll see the sparkle of laughter and knowledge.

NOTE: We are sad to report Buster's passing after a brief illness. He lived a long and happy life. Who knows? Perhaps in 18 years you will see his sparkle in the eyes of a new Reedie.

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