Of the stray dogs that oftentimes wander the BMC campus, a particular pitbull mix had caught the eye of many last semester. The young mutt has a short white coat with large black splotches as well as a rare case of heterochromia—the medical term for two different colored eyes—and some students had nicknamed him Bink. Despite being shy as most strays tend to be, he still appreciated head pats from any who beckoned him over.
The fate of strays, however, is uncertain, lonely, and challenging. The snowfall last semester, for example, presented a risk to the strays without a place to stay. Other times regular visitors to campus, such as a floppy-eared hound nicknamed Bingo by students and Lucy by security guards, get hit by cars. Concern continually builds up regarding the safety of the strays on campus, and even the relation between their presence and the safety of the people they are continuously around. This is why Dean Ritchey advised during Resident Assistant (RA) training before the semester started that students not feed anything, particularly human food, to the dogs. Not only does this limit contact with the strays, but also gives them a better chance of staying healthy.
For Bink, though, there’s a happy ending. He has been adopted by a family living in the neighborhood behind the college and renamed Meatballs. Although he still shows some quirks of being a stray, he’s adapted well to living indoors according to Taylor, the daughter of the family and a former student of BMC. “He sleeps in the bed next to me and likes to go for walks.” True to his love for being outdoors, Meatballs can now be seen with his new family—Kent, his daughter and son, Taylor and Will, and his fellow house dog, a large attention-seeking canine named Max—walking around campus from time to time. Taylor also remarked, “He’s surprisingly good to the cats… We have an elderly cat and he hasn’t hurt her, which was the biggest concern since she’s frail. I wouldn’t want her to get scared of him, but it’s been okay.”
“We thought we were going to have to re-home him,” Kent said, “because we didn’t think he’d adapt to being indoors, but he’s actually pretty gentle and affectionate and funny.”
Regardless, Meatballs does love to chase squirrels a bit more than the average dog, which is why he wears a harness, Taylor stated. “Even [with the harness] he pulls the leash, but he’s learning.”