Titus the Chemistry Lab lab has swiftly become the Department of Chemistry’s unofficial mascot during his stay in the Foster Science Building.
Titus’ owner, laboratory manager Amber Brokaw, brought the nine-year-old chocolate labrador retriever to work to watch over him while he battles an auto-immune disease.
“His own immune system is attacking his blood,” Brokaw said. “The side-effects from the drugs he’s on demand a little attention. We have to keep an eye on him for certain things, and we can’t do that if he’s at home all day.”
The lab has had no shortage of attention since his arrival to the science building around Labor Day. In fact, Brokaw said Titus gets a large number of visitors every day.
“The students just love him,” she said. “I think a lot of them miss their pets back home, so they get a kick out of seeing him.”
Faculty in the Foster Science Building also seem to enjoy having the dog around.
Dr. Eric Hardegree, professor of chemistry, said he visits the lab everyday.
“Titus and I are good friends,” Hardegree said. “I can scratch his ears, and he can lick my beard.”
Titus participated in the Homecoming Parade this year alongside the Chemistry Club float, wearing a customized lab coat. It was his second Homecoming appearance, the first being in 2010.
“He’s kind of the department mascot,” Hardegree said. “We all really love him – he’s a real treat for us.”
As for his recovery, Titus received a blood transfusion at an emergency veterinary clinic in September because his blood cell count was too low.
“He’s on steroids that will hopefully kick his body back into gear,” Brokaw said. “We’ll start weaning him off the medication in a couple weeks and see if his body can maintain the blood count he’s got right now.”
“He’s really getting better,” Hardegree said. “He’s almost back to his old self. I’ve even heard he’s getting a little frisky, wandering around a bit.”
Titus himself declined to comment on his situation.