Board of Canine Ambassadors

There is near universal agreement that the human-canine relationship is the most unique in the animal kingdom. Today, researchers are investigating the amazing cognitive abilities of dogs and growing a body of clinical and empirical evidence of the benefits humans receive from dogs. Because dogs have always been ahead of us humans in understanding us versus us understanding them, the Center decided to establish the Board of Canine Ambassadors to promote the Animal Ownership Interaction Study and encourage participation. The Board’s motto is Fide canem—Trust the Dog.

Mr. Handsome Dan XVII, Chairman of the Board

August 12, 2016:  It is with sorrow that I share with you the untimely death of Yale University’s iconic mascot bulldog Handsome Dan XVII, aka “Sherman.”  Sherman died expectantly on Thursday August 11th in Quonochontaug, Rhode Island, while with his caretaker Christopher Getman

By all accounts Sherman was an exemplary mascot for Yale and no doubt earned his well deserved place on the Yale roster of the immortal Handsome Dans. That he passed so quickly is a blessing although no doubt it leaves a gaping hole in the hearts of everyone whom he entertained, helped and loved.  For the Center for Canine Behavior Studies, Sherman represented the best; not just as a much loved dog and mascot, but as a symbol of a great university and Connecticut.

Sherman never let any of his achievements and accolades go to his head as he went through his daily routine giving joy and support to everyone with whom he came in touch. I doubt that there are many canines across America who achieved as much in such a short time. From the board room to the parade ground as midshipman Captain in the Yale NROTC to the athletic fields of Yale, Sherman did his duty, served as best he could and was loyal to the end. He will be missed by all who knew him. RIP Sherman.

Mr. Dan is one of Yale University’s most recognized and sought after executives both on and off the athletic fields. Handsome Dan, who goes by the off-campus name Sherman, hails from an illustrious line of English Bulldogs that for more than 125 years have inspired some of America’s finest young men and women to positions of leadership in all fields of academics, business, science, medicine, entertainment, media and government.

As Chairman, Mr. Dan will be reaching out across America to other well heeled dogs and their companion humans to build his Board of Canine Ambassadors to help spread the word about the Center, its mission, its Animal Ownership Interaction Study, and to encourage participation in the study that will eventually help save the lives of millions of dogs.

Like Yale University, the Center is a Connecticut based institution and Mr. Dan epitomizes Connecticut’s great heritage in leading America in academics and scientific research. The Center is fortunate and pleased to be associated with Handsome Dan XVII and everything for which he stands.

Learn more about Handsome Dan

Miss Portia Moret-Salovey is Yale University’s First Canine Lady and in addition to a note worthy pedigree, brings a wealth of academic credentials to the Board of Canine Ambassadors. Portia is a Havanese, which is the national dog of Cuba that was originally developed from the now extinct Blanquito de la Habana (the "little white dog of Havana") that is also known as the "Havana Silk Dog” due to its luxurious silky hair.

Portia owns companion humans Peter Salovey, the 23rd president of Yale University and his wife Marta Elisa Moret who is a 1984 graduate of the Yale School of Public Health. Portia loves her Latina roots that she shares with her mom Marta who was born in the Bronx and whose family has roots in the mountains of Puerto Rico. Mom Marta is dedicated to improving and providing preventive oriented health to underserved, low-income children and families of color.

Portia’s dad isn’t your regular university president and in fact set a rather high bar that Portia is successfully chasing. Dad Peter earned three psychology degrees at Yale culminating in a Ph.D. in 1986.  


Learn more about Portia


Mr. Pilgrim Poulton

Mr. Pilgrim Poulton hails from Lyth, Scotland (census population - 163 humans), which lies about 12 miles southwest from John O’Groats, Scotland’s most northerly point. Mr. Poulton is the proud owner of companion human Carolyne Linda Poulton, BEM. Carolyne’s rescue work through Labrador Retriever Rescue Scotland Scio is so well known and respected throughout the United Kingdom, that in September 2014—on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen—Carolyne was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM), also known as the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service.

Pilgrim attended and played a prominent role at the award ceremony; quite likely the first time in the history of the British Empire a dog ever participated in an Investiture for the British Empire Medal.


Learn more about Pilgrim

Miss Tweety Goldfrank

Photos/1115-8gTxmXZRuY0M.jpgNovember 1, 2016: Due to the untimely passing away of the board's first Chairman, Yale University's Handsome Dan XVII, Miss Tweety Goldfrank has been chosen as the board's Interim Chairwoman.

Tweety will execute her responsibilities until such time as Yale University's new mascot has matured sufficiently to assume his predecessor's position.

Tweety, has affiliation with Yale through her owner Lionel Goldfrank, III (Yale class of 1965). Since initially joining the board in 2014, Tweety has matured and developed superb leadership qualities that will undoubtedly serve the Center well.

Join me in wishing Tweety best wishes in her interim position. 

What the youngest member of the Board of Canine Ambassadors— Miss Tweety Goldfrank—lacks in life experience is more than made up for with youthful exuberance and unstoppable infectious energy. A native of California, Tweety fell in love with the beautiful highlands of northwest Connecticut and decided to make the stunning farm she came to visit her permanent home.

California’s loss was Connecticut’s gain. A relative of Tweety’s, who lives in NYC with internationally acclaimed conductor and composer Maestro Steven Mecurio, contacted her and suggested that she consider an opening at Mole’s Hill Farm, which had just experienced a devastating and heartbreaking loss of a beautiful young poodle named Cherie to immune-mediated Hemolytic anemia. Relying upon her innate canine sense of human emotional need, Tweety literally jumped on a plane to Hartford—and the rest is history.

Learn more about Tweety

Mo Grigsby

The Center for Canine Behavior Studies (Salisbury, CT) is pleased to announce the mighty Mo Grigsby of Moravian College (Bethlehem, PA) will sit on the Center’s Board of Canine Ambassadors.

The Board’s chairman, Handsome Dan XVII (aka Sherman) of Yale University said, “Mo’s acceptance of our invitation to join our growing board is significant. Mo’s companion human is no less than Moravian College’s 16th president Bryon L. Grigsby, who is also a ‘90 alumnus returned to his alma mater. Mo is one of America’s collegiate top dogs who spends a good portion of each day in the president’s office making sure the college is on track and running smoothly.”

Learn more about Mo


Mr Dubs

Mr. Dubs representing the University of Washington Huskies has also joined Handsome Dan’s Board of Collegiate Canine Ambassadors. Dubs I (an Alaskan Malamute) is UW’s 13th live canine mascot He resides in Seattle with his companion humans, Jennifer McBride and Kelly Campbell, both graduates of the University of Washington. In 2008 it was decided that all future live mascots would bear the name Dubs and become an ongoing UW tradition. Dubs has his own team of UW students who handle him at all of his official events. Dubs can be followed on Facebook (DubsTheMascot), Twitter (@uwmascot) and Instagram (@uwhuskymascot).

Learn more about Mr Dubs