November 30, 2023

There’s a lot of excitement over one of Witt’s most recent arrivals: Thea, a 14-week-old golden retriever, born Dec. 23, last year. Thea is the newest pet of President Michael Frandsen and his wife, Sharon Frandsen.

Thea certainly gets a lot of attention when walking around our 114 acre campus. Thea also assists with meeting and interacting with students in a relaxed and casual way.

While Thea is small now, her somewhat giant paws and recent weight gain — two pounds in the last week — are good indications that she is going to be a healthy size when fully grown.

During a short campus walk with Thea and Sharon, Thea introduced herself to no less than 17 Witt students. Everyone was thrilled to meet her. Even with all the distractions, including 4-Paws dogs, rocks, sticks, geese and a motorcycle, she kept all four paws on the ground about 99 percent of the time. This is something she has been working on in puppy class. She does have a little motivation; she gets a treat every time she recognizes her name, which helps keep her on track and helps to avoid establishing any bad habits.

“She [Thea] loves everybody,” Sharon said.

“When our beloved 14-year old Golden Retriever, Libbie, died in October, we knew right away that we wanted another Golden in our family, and on campus. Like Libbie, Thea loves people and is eager to greet anyone she meets,” President Frandsen said.

Thea has a pal at home, Baxter, a four-year-old rescue dog, a mix breed of Australian Cattle Dog and Terrier, among others. Baxter has now advanced to the position of “first dog,” Thea is now the “second dog.” They seem to be doing fine, although, when Baxter saw Thea going out on this day while he stayed at home, he was not pleased. Baxter is getting extra attention to help with balancing out the time being put forth to assist his new sibling, so hopefully he can appreciate this process which he also went though with Libbie four years ago.

Thea is a great ambassador for Wittenberg and will no doubt enjoy the many informal meet and greets she has ahead of her.

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