Sweet Miss Ming

Yesterday on campus I heard the sad news about the passing of Miss Ming, the beloved golden retriever of our Communication professor Allan Louden.  Ming was a fixture on campus, frequently seen in and around Carswell Hall and on the Magnolia (aka Manchester) quad and with the Debate team.  For those of us who are dog lovers, it was always a joy to see Ming.

And especially for students who miss their own dogs from home, Ming provided a wonderful set of ears to scratch or belly to rub.  While of course our students miss their parents and siblings, they can at least text or email or Skype with them – but there really is no good way to replicate interacting with your beloved dog from hundreds or thousands of miles away.  So even though Ming was Dr. Louden’s dog, she also felt a bit like everyone’s dog.  Much beloved.

Having grown up with dogs and as a passionate dog lover all my life, I also have to credit Dr. Louden for Ming’s immaculate behavior, a tribute to great dog training.  He could put Ming in a ‘down’ and ‘stay’ outside the Benson Center, go in and have a leisurely lunch, and good old Ming would be right where he left her, never moving.  Sometimes when I was eating lunch at a booth in Shorty’s and had a window view, I got to see her laying down on the grass, patient and serene.  Students would stop to pet her or say hello and she would greet them and be happy to see them, but she never moved until he came to get her.  I was always envious of Ming’s great manners.  I have had some wonderful, lively labs and goldens over the years, but never could get the kind of response to training that Ming had.

Dr. Louden said this of Ming on Facebook: “I’m indebted to one of my colleagues, Peter Gilbert, who humorously and appropriately offered this wonderful moniker “Ming Dynasty”, indeed she has a wonderful reign at Wake Forest. I don’t know that she ever had a bad day. As my farmer father counseled, there are seasons and all hers were good. ”

ming faceRIP, sweet Miss Ming.  You will be missed.

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