All dogs go to heaven: W. P. Carey says goodbye to beloved friend

Walter P. Carey served as the school's official dog, and now his little sister will likely take over

Earlier this month, the W. P. Carey School of Business said goodbye to a beloved member of its community.

Walter P. Carey, a Bernese Mountain dog and the college's official dog, died on Feb. 12 from a cancer common to the breed known as histiocytic sarcoma. His younger sister, Peppa, will most likely become the college's next official dog. 

Amy Hillman, the dean of W. P. Carey and Walter's owner, announced his death on his Instagram page

Hillman said she started bringing Walter onto campus to help reduce student anxiety, especially for freshmen during their first semester finals. Walter was at his happiest when he was on campus, she said, and he was “the definition of a dog well-loved.” 

“He was never more excited than when he was coming up here to campus because he just knew that he was in for hours of loving,” she said. "It was kind of funny because the day after I would bring him to campus, he would look to look at me like, ‘Well, don't I get to go again?’"

Hillman said she got Walter when he was nine months old, adding that he would have been seven in June.

She described Walter as a "funny dog" and said that he loved getting fed and used to dance before his meals. When Walter lost interest in his food, they knew something was wrong. After he visited the veterinarian and received a sonogram, Hillman was told that they found tumors.

After that visit, Hillman said Walter's health quickly went downhill, but he was not in pain and was still regularly taking walks during the two weeks before he died.

Sara Rodriguez, coordinator at W. P. Carey, said that Walter would visit campus twice during the academic year, and in the spring, he would typically come on Valentine’s Day.

“He likes to be everybody’s Valentine, so he comes and gives everybody pets for their Valentine's Day,” Rodriguez said. 

Hillman said that Walter loved Valentine’s Day, and she was sad he didn’t make it to see students and give them “free love” this year. 

Rodriguez said Walter was very involved in school events. He attended Camp Carey with Hillman and appeared in various homecoming parades as well. 

Michele Pfund, associate dean for W. P. Carey, said that Walter had a significant impact on students and they really looked forward to seeing him. 

“He also had his own business cards, so when Amy would walk around with him, she would hand out his business cards to encourage students to follow him (on Instagram)," she said. "He always gave really good welcoming messages at the beginning of the school year ... so he was really engaging, and he did have quite a following before he passed."

Liz Schaefer, coordinator senior for W. P. Carey, said that Walter enjoyed lots of love and attention.

“If students were around talking to Amy and they weren't paying attention to him, he would go over and sit on their foot and look up at them,” she said. “So he loved, loved attention.”

Walter’s sister Peppa is 9 months old and will most likely take over Walter’s position as the official dog. Hillman said that since Peppa is still a puppy, she will have to wait and see if Peppa will be open to receiving high amounts of attention from people. 

There isn’t a set date for Peppa to start her new gig, but Hillman said that she may bring her onto campus within the next month to see how she does. 

Pfund said she thinks Hillman will do a great job in preparing Peppa to take over Walter’s position.

“I think Walter showed us that there's such a special place for him within our community,” she said. "And I know that Dean Hillman and (her husband) will do just an amazing job making sure that Peppa is ready to serve the role in such an amazing way as Walter did."


Reach the reporter at bstoshne@asu.edu and follow @itsbrennaaaa on Twitter. 

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