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Puppy paw-ty: Archer community celebrates Alfie’s third birthday

Photo credit: Francie Wallack
Head of School Elizabeth English’s golden retriever, Alfie, sits wearing his party hat and bandana. Alfie’s birthday “paw-ty” took place Monday, Nov. 13, in the courtyard, and the Archer community celebrated with cupcakes, music and a dog agility performance.

On Monday Nov. 13, students and faculty members were invited to the courtyard at lunch to celebrate an important birthday in the Archer community. However, the guest of honor did not look like your typical birthday celebrant: He has four legs, a tail and is covered head-to-paw in fur.

You guessed it — this wasn’t a traditional birthday party, but rather a birthday “paw-ty.” Alfie, one of Head of School Elizabeth English’s golden retrievers, celebrated his third birthday surrounded by students, faculty members and fellow dog friends.

Students wrote birthday messages to Alfie on a giant card while enjoying mini cupcakes. Beside the custom Alfie stickers, there were puppy-friendly treats and a bone-shaped birthday cake for Alfie.

The main event during the “paw-ty” was a performance by Archer’s Dog Agility Club, in which student trainers led Archer dogs through hurdles, tunnels and platforms.

Sixth grader Scarlett Templeton, a member of the club, said she was excited to participate in the event with an Archer dog. Although Templeton said the club did not specifically prepare for this event, the club practices each schedule rotation.

“Basically, we have a dog that we work the most well with, and we get to run them through all the obstacles using communication,” Templeton said. “It’s really exciting.”

Tara Gohill (’30) said she enjoyed attending Alfie’s birthday celebration because of the music, cupcakes and dogs. Gohill also said she was amused by the agility performance.

“My favorite part was watching all the dogs do their agility course,” Gohill said. “It’s really cool to watch, and meeting all of the dogs is always so fun.”

Alfie’s birthday cake lays on top of sticker pads made for his “paw-ty” Nov. 13. “You are such a golden dog in color and in spirit,” junior Bryce Collis said. (Photo credit: Francie Wallack)

Associate Head of School Karen Pavliscak is the faculty adviser of the Dog Agility Club and narrated the performances.

Sixth grader Harper Cox said she enjoyed eating her lunch in the courtyard during the celebration because of the fun music and because she was able to meet and connect with many members of the community.

“We can all come together and celebrate Alfie — one of the main dogs on campus — and we get to talk with friends and people we haven’t talked to before,” Cox said. “It’s fun to meet people we don’t know that well.”

After each dog had a chance to run through the agility course, Alfie and Remy, math teacher Jillian Faucett’s dog, went head-to-head in the final race. Remy finished the course in 7 seconds, and Alfie in 6, making Alfie the winner of the race.

After being declared the winner, students and faculty members gathered around Alfie as they sang him “Happy Birthday.” English closed out the event with a speech in which she communicated her appreciation and love for her dog.

Junior Bryce Collis said she enjoyed seeing the school’s whimsical side during Alfie’s birthday. She said she believes it is events like these that make the Archer community so special.

“This event just celebrates Archer’s love of dogs in such an adorable way,” Collis said. “All of it is just so much fun, and it definitely added lots of joy to my Monday.”

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About the Contributor
Francie Wallack, Multimedia Editor
Francie Wallack joined the oracle in 2022 and returned as multimedia editor in 2023. Francie is a representative on Student Council, she is on the Ambassador Leadership Team advisory board, and is a member of the Jewish Student Union executive board. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her friends, volunteering at Teen Line and playing tennis.

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