Speaking to reporters outside of Petco, owner Rex Masterson seemed taken aback by his French bulldog’s meteoric rise through the ranks of the local literary scene. “This all started when I forced him to wear a pair of reading glasses for a cute Instagram photo,” he explained, adding, “The little fella must’ve really enjoyed the feeling, because from then on he just couldn’t stop sniffing around the local library.” Independent sources confirmed the dog had first experimented with 101 Dalmatians, followed by a brief Lassie phase before moving on to The Call of the Wild.

An exclusive Diamondback report discovered the adorable literature lover then joined a community book club, and has been ascending ever since. At first, several members were suspicious, and kept the bespectacled canine’s activity on a short leash. However, the rest of the club soon grew fond of the pooch, noting he was always willing to retrieve refreshments, with some even venturing so far as to call him a “good boy.” One anonymous reader heralded the bulldog’s contributions to the club, gushing, “These meetings used to be bone-dry, but now that he’s in charge, the club has really shed its old image.”

“All of our neighbors think he’s barking up the wrong tree,” Masterson mused. “He used to enjoy ruff-housing with the neighborhood terriers, but these days he’s always fetching something new to read.

“We’re not really that concerned,” the owner continued. “Although he has looked a bit mangy ever since he finished the tail-end of Old Yeller.

Editor’s note: In the year since this story was first published, the bulldog has been hired as an English professor at a local university. While he has been lapping up attention as the college’s first four-legged instructor, many students were outraged. When asked why the canine was still employed by his institution, the university president shrugged, replying, “There’s nothing we can do. It’s been seven dog years since we hired him, and now he’s got tenure.”

Reuven Bank, Opinion Editor and canine literature enthusiast, is a sophomore Biology; ecology and evolution major. He can be reached at opinionumdbk@gmail.com.