Max Meingarten could be the most recognizable face of Western Law. It helps that he's a dog. As the Faculty of Law’s “Canine Ambassador,” his duties include eating leftovers, going for walks and greeting people at the door. If it all sounds a bit unlikely, take a look at the Faculty of Law’s staff directory; a perfect headshot of Max will grace your screen.
Max is a five-year-old golden retriever. His owner, Corey Meingarten, is the IT administrator for the Faculty of Law. He started bringing Max to the office roughly three years ago, and what started as a weekly affair eventually turned into a daily occurrence.
“He has a great time [in the office]. He mooches everyone’s breakfast and lunch and when people’s kids come in they always have food and are covered in sticky things, so he loves it,” Meingarten said.
Not only is having Max in the office helpful for his owner, but he also provides some loving support for the other administrators in the office. Vera van Diepan, administrative assistant for the law office, has known Max his whole life.
“He used to come in [as a puppy] and he was just a little bit of a wild thing at the time, but he quickly learned some constraints," van Diepan said. "He also learned to love us very much because we always had cookies for him.”
Max had his big break last year when an associate dean gave Meingarten permission to add him to the staff directory on the Faculty of Law webpage. Now, Max also has his own email address where students can request to meet with him whenever they are in the building.
Alongside Meingarten’s co-workers, students and guests also enjoy Max’s presence. He’s even been trained to stand up at the front desk when someone says “greet.”
“The first-year students are slowly learning that there is a dog upstairs," Meingarten said. "Guests like it too, it’s not what you would expect walking into a law school. It’s fun! And usually he gets a lot of attention before anything else gets done.”
It's a dog's life for Max at Western. When on campus, he is constantly receiving treats and attention. The office even throws him an annual birthday party every year.
If you want to meet the Canine Ambassador himself, send him an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he might just surprise you with a visit.