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Handsome Dan XVIII

Handsome Dan XVIII Fijian people greet each other by saying,”Boola, Boola, Boola,” which means, “We're happy you're here; welcome–we love you.”

Yale students know the word well and are singing it every time Walter (a.k.a. Handsome Dan XVIII) leaves his Ray Tompkins House Office to go for a walk. There has never been more interest in Yale’s school mascot.

His reign as the new Dan began a day before the Elis beat their football archrival in November of 2016, and he has continued to have a positive effect on the Yale campus.

Walter, an Olde English Bulldogge born Sept. 23, 2016, can’t wag his tail for more than a minute around New Haven without being stopped for a “selfie” or a petting.

His daily workouts in the athletic department are an event to behold. Student-athletes could gain much inspiration by watching the fast, nimble and aggressive canine leap off stairs and chase balls to the point of exhaustion. He is more than likely the first Yale mascot that can lick a standing adult’s face. Yale rowers, swimmers, divers and sailors are happy to hear that Walter is probably the first Handsome Dan that can do the doggie paddle. Most of his predecessors were English Bulldogs, a less athletic breed that was not comfortable in the water.

Many who wear the Blue and White aspire to grunt and growl with his ferocity when scooping a ground ball, pouncing on a fumble or grabbing a rebound. Walter, who graduated with high honors from obedience school, is a good role model for all student-athletes.

Nobody shows off for cameras and adoring fans more than Dan XVIII, who has mostly a light brown color with a streak of white from his forehead to his belly. Walter also has big teeth, a little pink in his face and a set of ears that are begging to be rubbed.

He was the definition of cute when he arrived in New Haven three months after birth, and that charming quality has grown along with his maturation as the most famous (and the first) mascot in college sports.

For more information on Walter, who has already been featured in Sports Illustrated and the Yale Alumni Magazine, follow him on Instagram (handsomedanxviii) or on Twitter (handsomedan18).