Joe, Honey and Rose Lowndes

A UO professor has a passion for political science and dogs, too

“She’s very sweet, maybe a little neurotic,” UO professor Joe Lowndes says. “Very focused.”

He’s referring to his dog, Honey, who is a nine-and-a-half year old labradoodle. She’s one of two dogs in the Lowndes household — the other is Rose, a three-year-old labradoodle, who Lowndes says is “way more chill.”  

When he’s not wrangling two dogs at home, Lowndes is a professor of political science at the University of Oregon. He’s been teaching classes on the U.S. government, American political thought and racial politics since 2002. 

Lowndes was an activist and political organizer in his teens and 20s before attending graduate school. Now he teaches classes of politically active 20-somethings. And every once in a while, he’ll bring in Honey or Rose. 

Recent UO graduate Olivia Cleaveland reflects on attending Lowndes’ class the day after the 2016 election. “I remember he completely canceled normal lecture and just had a talk session about how the election had turned out,” she says. “But he also brought his dog [Honey] and she was running through all of the rows. People would have to move their backpacks to let her pass by. She was going on with her life even though Trump was elected, she had absolutely no clue. And that was nice.”