The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Dash Dog: WSU’s most paws-itive supporter

From one hot dog to hundreds of thousands of dollars raised
Dash Dog at a Seattle Mariners game.

A perfect hot dog, wrapped in a bun and topped with ketchup and mustard, in the jaw of a perfectly posed golden retriever at T-Mobile Park, formerly Safeco Field. It was not the first time he had held a hot dog, rather the fifth or sixth time.

Then Ande Edlund, WSU ‘94 Hotel and Restaurant Administration, snapped a picture. The picture of now-12-year-old Dash quickly gained traction online. In the half-decade since, Dash has raised over six figures for charities since gaining popularity. His Instagram account, where Edlund posts the photos, is the main form of contact between Dash and his fans. 

“He went from 1,200 followers to 2,500 followers. At the end of the week, he was at 10,000 followers. By the month, he was at 20,000 followers,” Edlund said. “At the end of that, like three weeks after that happened, I needed to get out of town just to decompress a little bit because the phone kept ringing.”

Edlund did not expect Dash ever to reach these heights, but with his newfound fame, Dash quickly had the opportunity to reach a brand new audience and do a lot of good in terms of charity work.

“It was very surreal like that first month and a half, two months, you know? I was like, ‘I can’t believe this happening,’ but it never became overwhelming. It was kind of just like, I was so focused on choosing the right thing projects to get involved with, supporting the right things and telling his story the right way,” Edlund said.

Originally, Edlund started the Instagram account for fun, posting photos from his dog’s perspective he could share with friends and family.

“I created it with the idea that the account was in like Dash’s voice. The pictures will be kind of dog-level, seeing what he sees. Then the captions will be what he would be thinking,” Edlund said.

However, charitable work is and has been a focal point of the golden retriever’s energy. The day after Edlund got Dash, he brought him to a triathlon practice, where the team quickly embraced him and made him their mascot. Through Team in Training, a group raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Edlund has a platform that enhances Dash.

At the end of that campaign, Edlund and Dash’s team raised over $113,000. Since then, Dash has raised around $150,000 total for a number of charitable causes, primarily those that impact shelter animals. 

Dash has been a part of numerous campaigns as a WSU ambassador, making around four or five trips to Pullman every year. With Edlund being a WSU alumnus, Dash has become a huge Coug fan and supporter of the university.

“We decided to get him into the Coug mug club. He’s the only nonhuman member of the mug club,” Edlund said. “I really started leaning into promoting because he got he had all those followers and I felt like he could do something with his newfound celebrity. We thought a lot about WSU.”

Dash has spent time with several different WSU athletics programs, most consistently with the volleyball team, Edlund said.

But Dash has met more than just WSU athletes popular on campus; he has also met different mascots and professional athletes over the years.

“We’ve definitely met celebrities. The one that really sticks out recently is a fundraiser for an animal charity last month. It was sponsored by the Seattle Mariners and Ty France came over and was like, ‘Is this the Dash dog?’ Kind of cool,” Edlund said.

But still, memories at WSU remain at the forefront of Edlund’s favorites.

WSU’s Alumni Association adopted him as an honorary tutor, but one of the coolest things happened last year, Edlund said.

“He was given an honorary dog-torate in veterinary medicine and his little brother Chase got his Bachelor of barks,” he said.

Chase, the 9-month-old golden retriever named after the fact he is “chasing” Dash’s footsteps, is the newest addition to Edlund’s family. With Dash getting older, Edlund looked for a way where he thought he could get Dash some youthful spark. While he was worried it may backfire and Dash would get jealous, Edlund said Dash rather seems two or three years younger when he is around Chase.

Working with the two dogs has not been a problem, despite being dogs that may get distracted easily, Edlund said.

“[Dash is] actually very well-behaved and very patient. He’s usually very focused on me. Both of my guys are daddy’s boys. Chase is only nine months, so he’s not as focused, but even for a puppy he is pretty well-behaved,” Edlund said.

While Dash has used his celebrity status to raise six-figure dollar amounts for charity, he found himself on the other end of needing fundraising recently.

In late August, Edlund said Dash had an optical operation on his eye where they found a potential irregular heartbeat. The next month, he went to his normal doctor and had an echocardiogram and ultrasound of his heart. That is where they detected an arrhythmia and significant growth in his spleen.

With the option to remove it, they had the surgery done Nov. 7 at WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. While they await tests to determine whether or not the growth is benign or malignant, Dash recovers at home.

“I can’t say enough great things about, you know, the experience that we had at that center. Everybody that we talked to there, from start to finish, was amazing,” Edlund said.

To help cover the cost of the operation, Edlund started a GoFundMe campaign, where he said the goal was fully funded within three hours.

Now that his goal has been reached, additional funds will be donated to the 15/10 Foundation, which is an organization that meets the medical needs of shelter animals, Edlund said.

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About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.