Pets of UBC Psych: Digby

Digby, or commonly known as “Digger,” “Floofer,” or “Bud,” is a Golden Retriever belonging to human Gabriel Smith, a graduate student in the department of psychology.  He can occasionally be found in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Thought lab on the third floor of the Kenny building—or doing laps around the building because he’s too energetic to stay in one place for long!

He can be quite the excitable dog as he absolutely loves kids! However, sometimes he gets too excited when he sees a child and becomes too rambunctious to pet. Gabriel recounts this story about one of their encounters, “One poor girl tried to pet him and he was so frantic for her attention that he ate her My Little Pony toy straight out of her hand (without hurting her, mind you). He threw it up 3 months later, completely intact.”

Where did this love for children come from? Gabriel talks about Digby’s time as a puppy, “the granddaughters of the woman we got him from used to sneak into the pen with the puppies to sleep with them, so we believe that he considers human children to be dogs since he grew up snuggling them alongside his siblings.”

One of Digby’s quirky behaviours is that when he wants or is getting affection, he makes a sound like snoring while fully conscious. Gabriel says it almost sounds aggressive unless you realize what he means. Strangely, it’s hereditary—his mother and aunts do the same thing!