Professors and their Pets: Massimo Riva

Meet Pip, the snuggliest looking piano player we’ve ever seen! Massimo Riva, a professor in the Italian Studies department, gives us all the details on his furry friend. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Pip comes to campus in the very near future (hopefully with his stuffed Rat).

Name: Pip

Age: One year old. Not much more than a puppy.

Do you have a story behind your pet’s name? My daughter named her Pippi Longstocking, because she has red curly ears.

home-schooling at its finest.

Home-schooling at its finest.

Do you ever bring your pet on campus? If so, when?  No, I don’t take her to campus — she is home-schooled.

What reaction would you hope to receive if you brought your pet to campus? Students would ask her for help on their papers, because she is one smart pup. She is also a good study aid (see photo with book).

If your pet were a class at Brown, what would it be? My class on Pinocchio (Pip and Pinocchio share some qualities; namely, they can both run very fast). Otherwise, she might be “advanced musicianship,” since she plays piano on command.

Pip and her Rat(ty)

Pip and her Rat(ty)

Would your pet prefer the Ratty of V-Dub? The Ratty, definitely. She has a stuffed rat at home she enjoys chewing.

Do you have any funny stories you can share about your pet? Pip doesn’t bark much — except at boats. We live by the water, and if a ship goes by and blows its fog horn, she takes that as a personal affront —”a monster is mooing!” — and races out of the house barking to make the tanker back down.


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