For this week’s edition of “Professor’s Pooches,” we took a walk with Robert Germany, Assistant Professor of Classics, and his pooches, Tank and Dash.
Tank is a mix of Anatolian shepherd and black lab. Believed to be descended from powerful hunting dogs from Mesopotamia, the strong and muscular Anatolian breed was originally developed to guide and protect livestock. Trained to be independent and commanding for this purpose, the Anatolian breed is sometimes not the most obedient.
“Tank loves to eat [our family’s] Christmas dinner and birthday cakes, when given the opportunity,” laughed Germany.
“He can even destroy the indestructible chew toys, but he’s pretty good about not chewing other stuff up–apart from the birthday cake.”
Dash, a terrier mix, is not as imposing a pooch. Despite outward appearances, however, terriers are characteristically active and fearless dogs. Indeed, the unlikely pooch pair loves to play with one another.
“It’s amazing to me how gentle [Tank] can be with such a tiny playmate,” Germany said about Dash, who weighs 10 pounds.
In addition to frolicking together, Tank and Dash enjoy playing in the snow and reading Latin poetry.
Germany joined Haverford’s Classics Department in 2008. Before moving to Pennsylvania, the Professor taught for two years at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
Germany received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. As stated in a news article from Haverford’s website, Germany’s current research and interests are an extension from what he studied for his dissertation, which he titled “Mimetic Contagion in Terence’s Eunuchus.”
“Romans were concerned about the possibility that theater would project itself onto an audience and they would absorb the ethical characteristics of what they were watching,” said Germany, whose dissertation focused on the comedy “Eunuchus” in exploring the phenomenon of audiences imitating art as depicted in Roman plays.
Some of Germany’s other interests include English poetry, European literature, philosophy, music, magic and law. However, the professor ultimately found that “all roads do lead to Rome” and he “jumped into Classics with both feet and found [himself] happily stuck.”