Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September 23: National Dogs in Politics Day

Think about it…what qualities would you like to see in your politicians?  Honesty?  Plays well with others?  Dedication?  Lots of energy? Don’t we wish that our politicians displayed the best traits of our dogs?   Dog don’t lie (well, maybe about that accident on the rug).  You know right away if they like you.   They generally are polite to other dogs and people (Congress would do well to mimic); and when they work, they work hard.
Perhaps the two things dogs have in common with politicians are greed and a tendency to sit and yip about nothing.  Dogs are ethical–you don’t bite the person who feeds you, you don’t tear up the house (puppies aside), you don’t let the “bad guys” in; not even for a treat.   They do make positive contributions to political situations, however. President Truman once said that if you wanted a friend in Washington you should get a dog.
So what do you think?  Let’s allow politics to “go to the dogs” on September 23.  We might be surprised at how well they do!!
Fun Facts About First Dogs
Presidential dogs have often endeared themselves to the electorate.  In honor of Dogs in Politics Day, here are a few facts about first dogs:
George Washington’s Foxhounds
The first President had 36 dogs.  George Washington’s favorite breeds were hounds used extensively for fox hunting.  The Father of Our Country is also considered the Father of the American Foxhound.  Washington bred his hounds with the French variety, creating a new breed that survives into today.
James Buchanan’s Newfoundland
Ever wonder why  our 15th president remained a bachelor?  Perhaps it was because of Lara the Newfy, who weighed in at close to 170 pounds.  Lara is reported to be the heaviest dog to occupy the White House.
FDR’s Scotty
Who hasn’t heard about the Scottish Terrier who set the standard for First Dog?  A famously funny story: Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency was being criticized heavily; and the criticism spread to the family.  No response from FDR until Fala was attacked.  To quote The Fala Speech…
“I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself – such as that old, worm-eaten chestnut that I have represented myself as indispensable. But I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog.”
The only dog to have a statue in a national monument is Fala, FDR’s Scottish Terrier. The statue of Fala is a fixture in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.
George W. Bush  & the Internet Stars
Barney and Miss Beazley, First dogs of George W. Bush, were the first presidential dogs to have their own website.
The First Fido–Thank You Mr. Lincoln
We all know at least one dog named Fido. Why is it so common?   Fido has a Latin base meaning “I trust” or faithful one.  The president who came up with that name for his dog was none other than Abraham Lincoln. If it was good enough for Lincoln, it’s good enough for us.

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