New Tricks
Getting a little snout time with DUBS, the UW’s 13th live mascot, a 4-year-old Alaskan Malamute who gets to move back into Husky Stadium beginning with the season opener Aug. 31 with Boise State.

Dubs
Photo by ALYSSA ROSE PHOTOGRAPHY
I always get asked whether Harry the Husky and I are blood relatives. And the answer is no. I am an Alaskan Malamute. Harry is a man in a Husky suit.

I also get asked whether I get too hot in the summer. No. I’m very well cared for by my owners and student handlers, and I cool off by panting. I can’t speak for Harry, though.

I’m super excited to show the other mascots our new stadium. But some of them aren’t so friendly. Like last year, I ran up to the Stanford mascot. But I was really barking up the wrong tree.

The new stadium is built to be loud, which is great for me. I love singing “Yowl Down to Washington” at the top of my lungs.

One of the things people love most about Husky Stadium is the view. But from my angle, I can’t even see it. Mostly, I look at people’s shoes, which is fine by me. I’ve always been into shoes. In fact, you could say I really enjoy chewing up the scenery.

You have to be an extrovert in this job. And you have to be nice to everybody. Even the squirrels. And boy, do they know it. Kind of frustrating to have them leap out of the trash cans at me. Best moment of my life, though, was when one of them climbed the Stanford Tree.

My handlers have trained me to speak on command. And when I do, I say, “Can I come to the stadium by boat like the fans do?” Unfortunately, my humans don’t seem to be as trainable as I am.

A common misconception is that dogs are colorblind. Oh yeah? Then how is it that I happen to know our jerseys are purple and gold? Except when they’re black. I have to admit, that freaked me out at first!

A lot of dogs like to howl when they hear a siren. I find that a bit pedestrian. So when the Huskies score and the siren goes off, I’m going to start shouting, “Bring me to the stadium by boat!” You know—a kind of subliminal, power-of-suggestion thing.

Everywhere I go, people love taking my picture! It’s lots of fun. If I had a Milk Bone for every shot I’ve posed for, well, let’s just say we’d need a bigger stadium.

Almost every game, some wiseacre cameraman has to find the one minute I’m yawning and put it on TV. How embarrassing! Actually, yawning is an involuntary response centered in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Scientists are still studying its evolutionary purpose, but theorize it’s a form of communication or brain cooling. Betcha didn’t know I read Psychology Today!

While I have you—can anyone explain to me why Stanford’s mascot is a tree?

When Karla Tofte, ’05, isn’t working at the UW English department, she does standup at comedy clubs in the Seattle area.


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