A grand throne for a Great Pyrenees

dog with students on campus
Harlan with students in 2018. Photo by Annika Miller.

Published on Show Me Mizzou Sept. 4, 2023
Story by Jack Wax, BS Ed ’73, MS ’76, MA ’87 

More than just a pleasant place to sit and reminisce, a new white bench in Peace Park serves as an official memorial to Mizzou’s unofficial mascot, a Great Pyrenees named Harlan, who died this past February. For about a decade, Harlan and his owner, Cris Wood, frequently hung out at Speakers Circle, where Harlan became an instant friend, beloved companion and 170 pounds of tail-wagging comfort to anyone who petted him. “He had this way of looking at people with a ‘Don’t you just want to come over and pet me?’ expression in his eyes,” Wood says.

Two married MU teachers, Jason Furrer, PhD ’06, and Jennifer Furrer, MSN ’18, are continuing Harlan’s legacy by offering comfort from an heir. This past spring, they started bringing their own 2-year-old Great Pyrenees, Luna, to Speakers Circle for weekly visits with students. Dressed in a new vest that sports student organization pins, Luna immediately endeared herself to campus friends. That stands to reason. By coincidence (or fate?), she’s Harlan’s dog niece. Looking for Luna? Check her Instagram account
@ms.luna.at.mizzou for her schedule. Want to sit on Harlan’s new throne? It’s on the north side of Peace Park.

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