A Dog’s Eye View: Dan Kelley & Zizou

Courtesy of Morgan Grether
Courtesy of Morgan Grether

By Katie Naphas /// Features Editor and Julie Oatfield /// Staff Writer

Coming back from a relaxing spring break is hard to do, but dogs make it a bit easier and a whole lot fluffier. So, the Pioneer Log met up with Watzek librarian Dan Kelley and his Belgian  sheepdog, Zizou, to spend a warm afternoon catching up and playing catch.

Pioneer Log: How did you two first meet?
Dan Kelley: It was a long-distance relationship. He was born in California and then got flown up here when, I think, he was 11 weeks old. So we picked him up at the Portland airport. And it was love at first sight. We didn’t actually get to pick him out — the breeder picked him for us. We said, “Oh, what kind of dog is he?” and it was like, “He’s the kinda dog that’ll follow you wherever you go in the house.” And that’s definitely true.

PL: Wherever you go on campus, too, it seems like! Any favorite spots on or off campus?

DK: He loves the fountains, when there’s water in ’em in particular. He’ll get hot and go swimming either in this one or that one [points to the reflecting pools]. Like I’ll throw the ball right there [in the middle] and he’ll jump in and swim over to it. We also go to Powell Butte a lot, which is a great dog place we go to. We go up there to watch the sun go down and then hike out at night, stuff like that.

PL: Any crushes on dogs he’s run into? Or celebrity crushes?

DK: I know he has a crush on Ben David’s dog, over in the art building. Who wouldn’t have a crush on Ben David’s dog? He used to hang out with Heather Smith’s dog a lot, but she’s been kinda — I don’t know — Buster hasn’t been returning his calls. He’s moved on.

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PL: Are there any favorite non-pet foods that Zizou likes to eat?

DK: He likes cheese. And actually, he likes to drink beer. If you leave him, yeah, you have to watch. If you have like an open glass of beer and you leave the room, he’ll go over and have a little bit. I don’t know if that’s cause he’s a Belgian or not ….

PL: Oh, wow! So, do you have a favorite memory together?

DK: When my kids were first learning how to ride bikes together, we went over to Laurelhurst Park and there’s a little dog area there. I brought Zizou and my kids brought their bikes, and they went in different directions around the pond. I was just sitting there with the dog, and the dog sees the kids taking off, and just tries to herd both of them. So, my kids were going in two different directions and Zizou was chasing after them and it was actually pretty stressful, but it ended up making a pretty good story. Oh! I should tell you how he got his name, too. Zizou’s named after Zinedine Zidane, who’s a famous soccer player who played for France and he’s kinda most famous (in America, anyway) for headbutting an Italian, who thoroughly deserved it.

PL: At least he doesn’t headbutt you! Anything else you want to share about Zizou?

DK: He’s a great dog. The best thing about my job is I can bring him to work. It’s just really delightful when students see him and they’re like, “Oh, I miss my dog!” and just having so many people really appreciate him. I also have gotten to know the groundskeepers, and they all know me and Zizou and that’s really cool as well.

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