By Katie Naphas /// Features Editor
Rhetoric and Media Studies Professor Bryan Sebok has a very special relationship with his dog, Luna. Although she’s only on campus once in a blue moon, Luna (and Bryan Sebok) graced the Pioneer Log with an interview that showed us why they call dogs man’s best friend.
PioLog: So, how did you two meet?
Bryan Sebok: [laughs] How did us two meet? So, she was rescued from Eastern Oregon from an animal shelter out there three years ago. She was just a wee pup, just a few weeks old, and I found her on Pet Finder, actually. So, I called the animal shelter in mid-November and they said, “She’s still here,” and I said, “Can I drive out?” and they said, “Sure,” so I took her right then. She came back with me.
PL: Seems to be working out. She’s really amped up right now, but what does she do after a long day to relax?
BS: She, uh, enjoys… she enjoys snuggling for one. Martinis. She enjoys martinis. [laughs] I don’t give my dog alcohol, but, uh, yeah, she’s very affectionate, as you can see and she loves people. So, yeah, she enjoys a good cuddle session. She thinks she’s a lap dog, which is why she’s constantly trying to climb up like that. She loves to be affectionate so…. You know, the more exercise she gets, the more likely she is to crash, but she loves to be around people.
PL: [laughs] Does she have any favorite music that you’ve noticed?
BS: Lemme think. Music. She likes it when I play reggae. I would say she likes to watch television. She likes to watch in particular nature shows. She’s got a fascination with big cats, which I don’t think she realizes are cats, but she kinda has a fascination with lions and tigers, so when it’s on she’ll just sort of stop and stare at the screen.
PL: Does Luna have any pet peeves?
BS: Pet peeves, huh? Interesting pun. She does not like it when [laughs]… pet peeves. She hates squirrels.
PL: Traditional dog.
BS: Yeah. This morning I think she stopped and stared at a squirrel for 10 consecutive minutes. Uh, so definitely squirrels. She also doesn’t like cats. Particularly exterior cats. I think she can distinguish between cats inside as pets, but when they’re on the outside they’re a nuisance and she likes to chase after them. [Luna barks]
PL: She’s very talkative.
BS: She is very talkative. She’s very verbal.
PL: Does she have any political affiliations? She’s an opinionated dog.
BS: Yeah, she’s definitely a progressive liberal. So, she voted for Obama twice and she is more or less upset about the two-party system and the political corporatism.
PL: Do you have a favorite memory with her?
BS: That’s interesting. So many good hikes with her and stuff. It’s hard to distinguish. There is a photo I have of her playing with my colleague, Peter Christenson, whose office is next door — playing with his dog. And I have this picture where she’s, like, in the air attacking him. So that one kind of stands out. It’s really cute. He’s kind of looking up at her as she’s jumping above him.
PL: So, I see that she’s wearing a collar and a collar alone. Does she have any fashion faux-pas? Another pun.
BS: She likes how her kind of faun coloring complements the green of the collar. I think that’s important for her. She also has a hiking pack that’s also color-coordinated. That’s green. So, when we go backpacking she can carry her own food and water. She really likes it because it means we’re going outdoors. Similarly, when we go in the car, she gets excited because I always take her to fun places. I do have little booties for her for the snow. She’s got mixed opinions about those. I think she’d prefer not to have them on but if we’re going for a long icy walk, she’s gotta have them on. But, I don’t really dress her up in costumes or anything like that. Try to keep it simple, functional and all that.
PL: And does she have any favorite non-pet foods?
BS: I don’t feed her human food, uh, at all. Whatever human food is. So, she eats salmon-flavored dog food that she really loves and she’s a treat hound. She’s obsessed with treats. Terry Moore, our departmental admin, always has treats, so when Luna’s around she’s happy. When she’s on campus, she knows that she’s gonna get treats and lots of attention, so she really likes coming.
PL: What’s her favorite spot on campus?
BS: Well, she likes the lawn out here [between John R. Howard Hall and BoDine] because it’s a good place to just run back and forth, but I also like to take her on the hill on the side of the Manor House because I can stand at the top of the hill and throw the ball down and she gets more exercise that way. There’re so many great places on this campus, for humans and for dogs. She loves the tiered lawns over by the Manor House. Just the opportunity to run and be free.
PL: Does she have any best friends on campus?
BS: She, for a while, was having a great time playing with Zizou. They’re a good match. They like to sort of romp. They’re about the same size and weight. Uh, their schedules haven’t coincided lately so they haven’t played for a while. She has also recently befriended Rhubarb. She likes Rhubarb. They’ve only had one playdate so far, so we’ll see how that goes.
PL: Does she have any human or non-human crushes?
BS: I think she’s a daddy’s girl, so she just loves being around. She’s very affectionate with everyone. I think she’s polyamorous. She loves everyone.
PL: What about the big cats?
BS: She loves everyone. I think she just wants to snuggle with everyone. That’s her M.O. Everyone’s a potential snuggler.
PL: Is there anything particular to her that you’ve noticed?
BS: Uh, she has this thing where when she gets too much exercise, she gets a second wind. You’d think the exhaustion would work the other way, but she gets a second wave of energy. She’s very vocal. She’s very demanding. She thinks she can boss people around, I think. Trying to break her of that. She’s got a little bit of a masochistic tendency. Sometimes I think she acts out just to be disciplined. I think she really enjoys getting in trouble.
PL: So she’s a polyamorous, masochistic liberal? And she sticks to mainly organic things. She’s not stealing anything or wearing any clothes, so she’s pretty Oregonian.
BS: Pretty much. That sums her up. Totally. I think so, yeah. She’s a native Oregonian. Born in eastern Oregon. She loves the mountains and, politically, she’s very much in line with the state — or at least Portland.