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Austin Peay State University’s first dog, Yahtzee


Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – A sock recently went missing inside Archwood, the historic house where Austin Peay State University’s president lives.

The missing garment belonged to Elliott Herzlich, husband of APSU President Alisa White, and the couple decided not to call campus police because they immediately identified a suspect – Yahtzee, the first dog of Austin Peay.

Yahtzee chases a ball.

Yahtzee chases a ball.

“She is a sock stealer,” White said. “She can’t wait for Elliott to remove his socks before bed. She immediately grabs one and takes it to the family room.”

For years, first dogs have nabbed socks, scampered across hardwood floors and whined during baths inside the Archwood home. One former president even installed a doggy door off the kitchen to accommodate his pooch.

Three years ago, White and Herzlich continued APSU’s presidential canine tradition when they adopted an 11-week-old Morkie (a Maltese/Yorkie mix) from Texas. The small dog with an underbite resembling a smile quickly made the University her home.

“She is not a froufrou dog,” White said. “She’s tough. She’s a cutie, and is fluffy, but as soon as she goes outside, she looks for worms so she can roll around in them.”

On a recent summer afternoon, before students returned to campus, Yahtzee spent a few energetic moments outside, playing and showing off for visitors to Archwood. She sprinted across the lawn, wound her way through flowerbeds and demanded that a small ball be thrown for her enjoyment.

“Her favorite games are with a dog toy ball similar to a tennis ball,” White said. “She tosses it around. She rolls it toward us with her paw, and waits for us to roll it back. She looks at us and pushes it under the furniture (while maintaining our gaze), and then waits for us (Elliott) to get it out. When people come to Archwood to fix anything, she brings out her ball and drops it at their feet.”

Yahtzee, the first dog at APSU, plays in the yard at Archwood.

Yahtzee, the first dog at APSU, plays in the yard at Archwood.

Morkies, according to the website, are “affectionate, playful, happy-go-lucky, stubborn” animals, but White said Austin Peay’s first dog is primarily a “cuddler,” spending evenings “going from lap to lap.”

Yahtzee is sprinkled with flower petals.

Yahtzee is sprinkled with flower petals.

And at the end of a long day, if she hasn’t already put herself to bed or stolen one of Herzlich’s socks, she likes to unwind with her family in front of the television.

“If Elliott puts on a dog show on TV, Yahtzee will watch it for several minutes,” White said.




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