44°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Dogcelo provides therapy to students

Dogcelo+sticks+his+tongue+out+awaiting+pets.+Illustration+by+Bianca+Oppedisano+%2F+Mass+Media+Staff.
Bianca Oppedisano
Dogcelo sticks his tongue out awaiting pets. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff.

Do you know that feeling when you order a life-sized cardboard cutout of Tom Hanks on the internet only to receive a four-foot Thomas Jefferson blow-up doll? Or that feeling when you pay $44 to experience a realistic interpretation of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory only to show up to an abandoned warehouse and a shirtless, orange-painted man screaming at you, “Oombo, doombo, dompety, domp,” before chasing you around with a plastic spork? The point is that looks can be deceiving, a lesson that UMass Boston students who recently scheduled time with community resource dog, Beacon, learned firsthand.

Instead of the beloved black labrador, students seeking therapy were treated to an old man in a shaggy-looking, used-on-eBay dog onesie. Even more baffling was that this old man happened to be Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco. But what would possess a man of such an esteemed position to go around pretending he was a dog? According to the administration:

“Due to Beacon’s high demand, our ever-caring Chancellor has opened up his heart to fill the gaps, providing the student body with the therapy and relief they need during such a difficult time.” 

Many were quick to label this as another one of the Chancellor’s eccentric ploys to gain attention; however, he seemed to take his role as a support dog very seriously. In his first week alone, he visited numerous classrooms and provided single therapy sessions to 37 students. While the disturbing sight of him walking on all fours, licking people’s faces and rolling over for belly rubs was a bit odd, according to the Chancellor’s head of public relations, Jimmy Alibi, the Chancellor actually believed he was a dog.  

“Look, it’s no secret that the guy likes to get himself into trouble,” said Alibi. “This time, though, he’s gone off the deep end. Bought himself a one-way ticket to Cuckoo Town! He refuses to answer to anything but ‘Dogcelo,’ and when he does, he just lets out this dry bark that doesn’t even sound like a dog, it sounds like a lung infection. The guy literally thinks he’s a f—ing dog!” 

It would be one thing if the newly christened Dogcelo was a good boy, but as accounts of his poor behavior increase, it appears he is a bad one. One group of students claimed that Dogcelo walked up to them—on all fours—in the food court, pulled out a chair at their table, sat down across from them and whimpered for food while maintaining direct eye contact. 

Dogcelo’s actions have only grown worse with notable incidents including camping outside the Campus Center 1st-floor bathrooms to sniff people’s butts; University Health Services finding an expensive silver necklace lodged inside his intestinal tract; and of course, the night he broke out of his office, linked up with a wild pack of coyotes and returned a few days later with a nasty scar on his right cheek and his fake tail torn off. Forget therapy; Dogcelo had become a hellhound, and when Alibi discovered brown streaks on his office carpet, it was the last straw. 

Accepting that it was time to bring out the big guns, the administration immediately cut the Cinema Studies program to afford a consultation with famous television dog whisperer, Cesar Millan. However, upon spending two minutes alone with the beast formerly known as the Chancellor, Millan declared him a lost cause saying, “I believe this dog is possessed by the Devil.” 

Not wanting to admit they spent money on Millan for nothing, the administration cut the entire Classics and Religious Studies Department to fly out the Chancellor’s long-time friend and stair brother, Pope Francis, to perform an exorcism. This was when the unthinkable happened.     

“Holy Mother Mary and Joseph f—ing in a Blockbuster’s bathroom with Peter, Paul and Gabriel watching through the glory hole!” The Pope screamed in agony as Dogcelo sunk his chompers deep into his divine flesh. Demonic possession or not, Dogcelo had just crossed a line that not even the Devil would. Francis had come to fix the broken soul of his old friend, but in the end, it was he who had been “fixed.”

Now, Massachusetts is not one of the cruel states that enforces a “one-bite” rule for naughty dogs; however, you gnaw off the Pope’s testicles and the courts are a little less forgiving. Due to the strange nature of the case and the general disregard for animal rights, the judge gave Dogcelo two choices: He could be sentenced as a dog and Old Yeller-ed faster than he could say, “Ruh-Roh, Raggy!” or, he could be sentenced as a human and receive a slap on the wrist. Unzipping the rear flap of his onesie and dragging his ass across the courtroom floor, it appeared the stubborn Chancellor had made his decision.

With a thunderous hammering of the gavel, Dogcelo was condemned to death. Letting out a sigh of disappointment, the judge took a moment to air his personal grievances, saying, “You know, I never understood you furries, but…” He wasn’t able to finish his thought before the Chancellor, having finally crawled out of the dog house of his mind, jolted to attention. 

“What did you just call me?” the Chancellor asked nervously. “I am not a furry! Is that what you all thought was going on? Geez, you know what, I’m not a dog anymore. The dog days are over. For those of you who were creeped out by my actions, I am genuinely sorry. Alibi, I love you, and I know you’ll do a stellar job sweeping this all under the rug. Frankie, if you’re watching, I’m sorry about your boys, but hey, it’s not like you were allowed to use them anyway.”

With that, the reborn Chancellor removed his onesie and strode confidently out of the courtroom, feeling the pride of having taken responsibility for his actions. And for those wondering, he wasn’t wearing anything underneath the onesie. Ironically, after this ordeal, UMass Boston is going to need a lot more therapy dogs.

About the Contributors
Joe DiPersio, Humor Editor
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator