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 ‘honorary mascot,’ recovers after two surgeries

One dog captures the hearts of students, supporters worldwide
Dash Dog at a Seattle Mariners game.

A golden retriever puppy was born on January 9, 2011, in Snohomish. Little did that puppy know, he would later have 65,800 followers on Instagram, receive a Dog-torate in Veterinary Medicine and be a worldwide celebrity, especially to those in the small town of Pullman.

Ande Edlund, 1994 hospitality management graduate, never expected to be the dad of a celebrity; it just happened. March 11, 2011, was Dash’s Gotcha Day, the day he found his forever home with Edlund. Ever since then, he and Edlund have been inseparable.

“I think the gal that I got Dash from matched me with the best possible dog for me,” Edlund said.

Dash has a big, goofy personality, and he loves swimming and running with his athlete dad.

When describing Dash’s personality traits, Edlund’s first response was, “he loves pizza.” Dash may be inseparable from his dad, but not when there is pizza around.

“At the dog park, he always finds the people that have treats in their pockets and goes and sits right by them,” Edlund said.

His love of treats makes the trick that sent him viral even more impressive.

Eight years ago, Edlund made an Instagram for Dash. He used it to post photos of Dash and captioned them from Dash’s perspective. After three years, he had accumulated approximately 1,200 followers.

It all changed at a Mariners game in 2018. Despite his love for snacks, Dash had learned to pose perfectly with a hotdog in his mouth for his Instagram pictures. While Edlund was taking his photo at the game to post, a girl behind them took a video of the sweet scene and posted it as well.

Both posts went viral.

“By the end of a week, he had 10,000 followers,” Edlund said. “By the end of the month he was at 20,000.”

Soon after, Edlund and Dash visited Pullman, where students recognized Dash as the “hotdog dog.” Edlund said he started bringing Dash to Pullman more often, where he soon became adopted as an honorary mascot.

He became the only non-human member of the Mug Club at The Coug, became best friends with WSU mascot Butch T. Cougar, received his Dog-torate in Veterinary Medicine and had the opportunity to meet athletes and Butch on several occasions.

Dash loves Pullman. Edlund said his tail wags when he approaches his favorite things: The Coug and Butch.

Greg Stolte, former Butch for four years, said that he met Dash about 20 times in his career.

“Some dogs are like, defensive around mascots or Butch … but Dash is really, really calm, chill,” Stolte said. “I think he knows what to do, he’s well-trained in general.”

Dash is always excited to see his best friend. Stolte said his favorite memory between Dash and Butch is when Dash was so excited to see him, they ended up rolling on the floor together.

Cheer team member Cassidy Collins said she has had the opportunity to meet Dash five or six times. The team usually does not know when Dash will come around, but they love it when he does.

“When we see Dash, we get super excited. Everyone kind of will gather around and pet him,” Collins said.

The team usually sees Dash at the tailgate before football games, or when he is being pulled in his wagon at volleyball games.

Collins said Dash is always very well-behaved, and though he is getting older, he still loves the attention and what he does.

“He’s very, very excited,” Collins said. “But he’s also … very mellow and down to earth at the same time.”

She said everyone loves dogs, so it was natural for students to adopt Dash as their “honorary mascot.”

Edlund added to the family and got another golden retriever, Chase, in 2023. Coincidently, Chase and Dash share the same Gotcha Day. Though jealous for a couple of days, Dash soon became comfortable with his new family member. The duo travels together on most occasions, with Chase keeping Dash on his toes and Dash imparting his years of wisdom to Chase, Edlund said.

With age increasing, health problems are likely to follow. At 13, Dash is no stranger to them.

When his vet detected an irregular heartbeat, Edlund took him to WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital for scans, where they also found a tumor on his spleen. Just a few weeks ago after the tumor was removed and Dash had started chemotherapy for the cancer, Edlund found a bump on Dash’s chest, later revealed to be a spindle cell tumor. 

Dash’s most recent visit to Pullman was last week when they removed the spindle cell tumor. Though Dash does not like to be separated from Edlund during his surgeries, he walks into the vet’s office with his tail wagging.

“All his doctors say he’s the ideal patient,” Edlund said.

Dash plants his feet and will not walk back to the surgery room unless his dad accompanies him. But once he makes it to the back with all his doctors, he is fine. Edlund said he feels comfortable leaving Dash in the care of WSU.

“I have the utmost faith in their ability,” he said.

Although there was concern about his irregular heartbeat and being under anesthesia, Dash made it through the surgery without complications.

Many people have been supporting Dash throughout his procedures after Edlund made a GoFundMe. As of last week, over 300 people donated almost $14,000, Edlund said. 

Edlund is grateful for the support.

“It’s great to know that people love your dog and want to support him and want him to be around as long as possible,” he said.

Dash is now recovering in the care of Edlund and Chase.

Both Edlund and the WSU community hope that Dash has many more visits to Pullman.

“Everybody that meets Dash love him,” he said. “So, it’s kind of like an honor to be his dad.”

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About the Contributor
ANNA ADAMS, Managing editor
Anna Adams started at The Daily Evergreen her senior year in October 2023 as a life reporter and multimedia editor. Currently, in the spring 2024 semester, she is the managing editor. Anna is a Pullman native and is studying multimedia journalism. In her free time she enjoys reality tv, traveling and trying new coffee shops.