Pets of Tri-I

Pooja Viswanathan

For this issue, I interview Rudy, the dog who lives with Riccardo De Santis (Postdoc, Brivanlou lab, The Rockefeller University) and his wife, Dacia (Columbia University). 

Pooja Viswanathan: How old are you? In human years?

Rudy: I have 5 human years. 

PV: Is there a story behind your name?

R: My parents wanted to name me after a scientist, but not a pretentious one. The story goes that one day, one of my humans (the tall and hairy one) was in what you humans call a “meeting” and he met this very important scientist from Harvard. They were having a very formal discussion until a young Ph.D. student stopped by and interrupted the conversation, saying to his important supervisor in front of everyone “Hey Rudy, are you missing again your own talk?” I don’t really see the connection, but this is the reason why I am named Rudy.  

PV: How did you first meet your humans?

R: I arrived in New York from Puerto Rico and I was staying in small dog resort on 38th Street and First Avenue called “Bidawee.” The food was good and my room had a lot of toys (I love toys). Many humans were going around visiting and meeting dogs. The day after my arrival my humans stopped by, and we started to hang out over some treats and some new toys (have I mentioned that I love toys?). They convinced me to go with them to stay in their apartment, where I took the bigger room and I left them the small one.

Photo courtesy of Riccardo and Dacia

PV: Where do you live?

R: I live in Faculty House, close to my favorite dog park just across the street by the river and my small private backyard that by coincidence is the Rockefeller campus.

PV: What are your favorite neighborhoods in NYC?

R: My favorite neighborhood is Central Park. It is perfect to spend my Sunday walk where I have the chance to meet many friends from all over the New York canine world.

PV: If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you live?

R: I would live where it is always sunny and warm—someone told me that a place like that exists and it is called Sicily. I will go there at some point, just for a quick check, and I will let you know.

PV: What are your favorite foods?

R: Carrots and treats, of any kind, shape or flavor! 

PV: What is your favorite weekend activity in NYC?

R: I like to hang out with my humans and walk around to say “hello” to every dog I come across. I like to have humans around when I meet my fellow dogs. 

PV: Besides your human roomies, who is your favorite human in the Tri-I community?

R: I like everybody, but I like those humans more who have treats. 

PV: Do you have a funny story to share with us?

R: The first time I went to Brooklyn, my humans decided to go on this strange car that goes on water that they call a ferry. In the beginning I was super scared of the weird noise and the rocking, but at some point I met a beautiful human puppy…her name is Marina. She petted me and I gave her a huge kiss. Suddenly, I was not scared anymore and I enjoyed my sniffing around in this island called Brooklyn.  

PV: Is there some way we can see more pictures of you on the interwebs?

R: I don’t have an Instagram profile yet. My parents said that I am too young, but they promised me that I can have one when I turn seven human years. 

PV: If you could have any human ability, what would it be?

R: I would like to have the human ability to open the fridge. I am sure something good is hidden there. My humans always go there and don’t let me look or sniff inside.