Pets of Tri-I

Audrey Goldfarb

Happy 2021! 2020 saw a surge in pet adoption and foster care, emptying shelters across the country. You may have noticed new furry faces around campus, or maybe you yourself are enjoying the company of a recently adopted companion. We at Natural Selections are eager to meet the new kids on the block this year, and we hope you enjoy reading about them, too! Pet owners who would like their furry, feathered, or scaly companions to be featured should direct their correspondence to

For this issue, I interviewed Yofi the dog, the best bud of Dani Keahi (Rockefeller University Ph.D. Candidate). Every encounter I’ve had with Yofi in the three years that I’ve known him has centered around fetch. Although this is always a treat—his athleticism is remarkable—I was curious to delve into more serious topics. Yofi is a tough nut to crack but at his core is a tranquil and thoughtful soul.

Photo courtesy of Dani Keahi

Audrey Goldfarb: How old are you? In human years?

Yofi: 4 years old!

AG: How did you first meet Dani?

Y: We met in Hawai’i where both of us were born. I was the size of a guinea pig when I met mom, she bought me my first ball, and I knew I’d follow her anywhere! I was also very good and quiet on the long flight to NYC at only 12 weeks old. 

AG: Is there a story behind your name?

Y: Yofi means beautiful or good in Hebrew, so you could say that Yofi is yofi.

AG: If I promise to play fetch after this, can you sit still for 10 minutes?

Y: I will TRY. But please hide the ball for the duration or I will go nuts.

AG: Do you have a favorite ball?

Y: ALL balls are my favorite and ball is life!

AG: What are your favorite foods?

Y: WET FOOD. But also, mom and dad give me a bit of filet mignon on my birthday.

AG: I hear you’re moving soon. How do you feel about that?

Y: I’m excited to try new and exotic balls in Seattle. What will it be like to fetch in the rain? 

AG: What will you miss most about NYC?

Y: So many friends who indulge me by throwing the ball! Shoutout to Uncle Isaac, Uncle Samer, and Uncle Phil for taking such good care of me when mom and dad travel.

AG: What are your top three favorite things to do/places to go in the city?

Y: 1) Outdoor dining, 2) Fetching the ball at Carl Schurz dog park, 3) long walks around Central Park.  

AG: Do you ever get tired?

Y: Not really. I’m actually a very capable hiker and have summited Mt. Marcy, Mt. Algonquin, and Big Slide in the Adirondacks.

AG: What is your biggest responsibility?

Y: Letting people know if there is an idle ball present in any room I enter. 

AG: What is your biggest weakness?

Y: I do not like music. I do not like anything with violins, “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey, big band, jazz, or orchestral movie soundtracks. Makes me howl.

AG: What is your favorite thing about yourself?

Y: My passion for ball! It makes mom more motivated to pursue her favorite things in life with a dogged determination. Hopefully this means more balls for me in the future. 

AG: What is your favorite thing about Dani?

Y: We go together like peas and carrots.  

 AG: How do you feel about other humans? How about other non-human animals?

Y: I love all people and very much miss when many humans can gather around me indoors and take turns throwing the ball. I like most other dogs, but puppies sometimes freak me out. I tolerate my guinea pig sister, Bernadette.

AG: What would Dani do without you?

Y: She wouldn’t know what to do with herself!