By Alison Perelman, Assistant Culture Editor
Edgar likes soft, fluffy rugs, frozen peanut butter and leaves. He always drinks water too fast, causing the hiccups, and gets excited when bikes whiz by on the sidewalk.
Only four months old, Edgar arrived at Miami a little over a week ago. He’s a different kind of student, a part of the 4 Paws for Ability program.
The 4 Paws dogs are working toward becoming service dogs and are currently in the socialization part of their training. They wear special red vests (or temporary bandanas) and must follow certain rules, so students should ask the foster parents before petting these adorable pups.
Four of Edgar’s sisters are in training on campus as well. Together, they are considered the “Aristocats” litter, all named after characters from the animated Disney movie — Edgar, Frou Frou, Duchess, Adelaide and Amelia.
While some make fun of it, Edgar’s foster moms think his name suits him well because he acts like an old man.
“He’s like an old soul in a little puppy body,” senior Lauren Martyn said.
He enjoys sleeping all day — especially on his back during class — drools everywhere and lets out embarrassing, smelly farts.
But Edgar is still just like any other curious, sly, clumsy puppy.
While playing, he occasionally catches himself in the mirror and barks at the reflection. He scarfs down his food and rolls in the grass on the way to class.
Martyn and junior Kelcey McDevitt were in class in a Benton lecture hall when Edgar started sliding down the rows of seats because of the sloping tiled floor.
“The girl in front of him jumped because I think he finally kicked her and she was like, ‘oh my god,’” McDevitt said, laughing.
“And we’re trying to pay attention in class, but at the same time we’re bending down, scooping him, trying to pull him toward us,” Martyn added.
Edgar slides on the tile in Martyn’s house too while playing ball — another favorite activity.
“He is not very coordinated,” McDevitt said.
But he’s not the only one. One of his sisters, Frou Frou, isn’t scared of anything and is always eager to try new things. When she went down stairs for the first time, she got excited and went so fast that she did a somersault.
Unlike Edgar, Frou prefers tile over carpet.
“Our apartment is carpet with some tiling in the kitchen and by the front door, and she chooses to only sleep on the cool tile,” senior Annie Schulz said. “Even if it means getting hit with the front door every time someone comes home.”
Frou also loves to play fetch with a tennis ball, and she’s been known to steal slippers from her foster moms’ (Schulz and junior Rachel Rumpke) roommate. She doesn’t have a long attention span — always sniffing and looking around. And she loves to be around people.
“Anytime someone leaves the living room area, she follows them to make sure she isn’t missing out on something better,” Annie said.
That is one thing all the puppies have in common — wanting to be the center of attention.
Seniors Brandon Fogel and Madeline Burke’s foster dog, Adelaide, thinks her tail is the enemy. During a serious conversation at Brandon’s musical rehearsal, Addi ran into the middle of the circle and began chasing her tail.
“No one in this group cares about me right now because they are all watching the cute dog,” Brandon thought in that moment.
Addi shares Edgar’s love for sleeping on her back with legs in the air, as well as rolling in the grass. She has even divided Brandon’s lawn up for her own personal use — one side for the potty, the other for grass-rolling.
She enjoys collecting acorns, leaves and sticks in her mouth during the walk to class. Addi also loves giving kisses and has been branded the sweetest of the siblings.
No matter how much puppy-fun they have, though, they all know it’s business when the vest goes on.
Check out two of the 4 Paws pups’ Instagram: @edgarallenpup2 and @FrouFrou_4paws