Editor’s note: This pup has a name! After a flurry of suggestions over the weekend, BUPD announced on Monday, February 12, that Boston University’s new campus comfort dog is named Bean. The name rose to the top over several rounds of voting, with “Copley” coming in at a close second. Follow Bean on Instagram to stay up-to-date on her progress and whereabouts on campus. Welcome to BU, Bean!
The newest member of Boston University’s campus community is young. Very young. Not even two months old. And frankly, she’s prone to falling asleep in class. But she doesn’t miss a beat, and she’s already popular, drawing adoring crowds wherever she goes.
And who can blame those cooing fans? After all, a golden retriever puppy is impossible to resist. This 10-week-old pup is BU’s new comfort dog, and she’s already excelling at the job.
On a recent Friday afternoon, she paused for selfies and drew double takes from students, faculty, and staff in the George Sherman Union, all of whom broke into smiles at the sight of her. Her handler, BUPD Officer Geovanni Chevere, beamed with pride as he invited passersby to meet their new colleague.
There’s one thing left to do: she needs a name, and you can help pick it. Boston University police officers are inviting members of the campus community to submit names for the young pup on BU’s Instagram Stories. Submissions will be open for 24 hours, then folks will have a chance to vote in a poll on Friday consisting of the top few name suggestions. BUPD Chief Robert Lowe will announce the winning name on Monday, February 12. For now, though, everyone’s just calling her Puppy.
“She’s the most lovable little thing,” Chevere says back at the BUPD station, where the pup has settled in for a nap on Deputy Chief Robert Molloy’s lap. “She loves getting attention, she loves being around people.”
Lowe says the comfort pup initiative started with Kelly Nee, former BUPD chief, now the University’s chief safety, security and preparedness officer. She got the ball rolling and handed the project off to Lowe when she started in her new role. “I’m so grateful to be part of the team bringing this to fruition,” Lowe says.
Four days a week, Chevere takes the pup to Golden Opportunities for Independence (GOFI), an organization in Walpole, Mass., for training alongside the puppy’s littermates, all of whom will also work as therapy dogs one day. Chevere and the other trainers have a window of about 30 to 45 minutes each afternoon when the puppies are focused on their lessons, he says. The rest of the time, they’re learning to socialize—or else just sleeping.
Chevere is teaching BU’s pup five core commands: sit, heel, stand, “watch me,” and “leave it.” He uses positive reinforcement (in the form of delicious dog treats) to reward her when she’s got it, and for a young dog, she gets it more often than not.
She’ll continue this training for several months, learning more complex tasks as she goes along. And she’ll have to pass a series of exams, administered by the American Kennel Club and by GOFI, along the way. When she’s not at puppy school, she lives with Chevere and his family, and for now, she comes to campus every Friday. By July, she’ll be on campus twice a week. And by fall 2025, once all her training is complete, she’ll be on campus full-time.
Her main job? Offering up affection and loving (if sloppy) kisses to anyone in the BU community who might need a little TLC. Chevere and Lowe anticipate that she’ll be in high demand during more stressful times of the year, such as during exams and around the holidays. But she’ll be around all year for a hug.
“The comfort dog will serve as an additional resource for students experiencing anxiety or stress,” Lowe says. “She’ll also be another way for us to connect with them and the larger campus community—and I think she’s going to be the most popular member of our police department.”
During her debut appearance at the GSU last Friday, she nuzzled up for petting while her BUPD colleagues chatted with students, staff, and faculty at their regular Coffee with a Cop event. “Ultimately, if there’s anything we can do to support student well-being and wellness, we want to participate,” Lowe says.
Students entering the busy space made a beeline for the puppy, giving her little head a good scratch while snapping a selfie or two.
Noting her pink harness, one student said, “It’s giving Barbie!” Then, paraphrasing last summer’s blockbuster movie, “‘This Barbie is a puppy.’”
The question now is: will this puppy be Barbie?
Weigh in with your suggestions for a name online at @bostonu on Instagram.