It’s a dog’s life in chemistry

When I first arrived at Reed in 1989 there was one dog in the department, a very large, friendly-in-a-curmudgeonly sort of way, German Shepherd named Mercy who shared Tom Dunne’s office. Mercy could be forward, but she could also keep a low profile.

One colleague told me that, on the occasion of his first meeting with Tom, he sat down too fast in the large rocking chair that Tom kept for visitors, and plunged backwards, falling through the large palm fronds of Tom’s office plant. Just as Tom’s face disappeared behind the palm, he heard a deep rumble coming from the floor right next to him. Mercy wanted to say “hello,” or perhaps, “watch out for my tail.”

Times change. Dogs, like students and faculty, come and go. The highest-energy member of the Chemistry Dog department is Prof. Rebecca LaLonde‘s German shorthaired pointer, Izzy, the d-orbital dog.

Unlike Mercy, Izzy is fully prepared to greet you right at the office door, demand a game of tug-of-war, and gobble whatever treats you provide. Here’s a photo from last year of Izzy saying hello sans orbital lobes.

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