Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's Dogs in Politics Day!

Today is Dogs in Politics Day, and we thought we'd share some interesting information and facts about dogs in the political arena. Because, one wise man once said...

"If you want
a friend in Washington, get a dog."
President Harry S Truman

Dogs have been around politics, probably as long as there have been politics, which is forever, right? You may remember this famous shot of President Franklin D. Roosevelt with his dog Fala, taking a quick ride around Hyde Park. (Photo by George Skadding, Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images)

Roosevelt owned at least 7 dogs: a German Shepherd (Major), 2 Scotch Terriers (Meggie and Fala), Llewellyn Setter (Winks), English Sheepdog (Tiny), Great Dane (President), and Mastiff (Blaze).

But the most famous of the pup class was Fala, given to the President by his cousin, Margaret Suckley, the star of an MGM Hollywood movie about the typical day of a dog in the White House. Fala also became an honorary army private, and received this honor by contributing one dollar to the war effort setting a trend for the rest of the US. Fala is depicted in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Meggie, the Roosevelt's other Terrier, was infamous as she once bit a senator!

Throughout history dogs have played a very important role in the lives of Presidents. In Annapolis, Maryland is the Presidential Pet Museum, entirely dedicated to showcasing the lives and history of pets in the White House. It's a fun and educational site with interesting stories about how these Presidential pets played a role in the history of the US.

And much has written about the role that dogs (and other pets) play in the lives of our Nation's leaders. Recently ABCNews published an article speculating on what pets would be taking over the Oval Office in 2009. The Time Tube blog recently asked, "How well do these five Presidential figures relate to their pet dogs?" Jake Tapper, a senior political correspondent for ABC News wrote not too long ago in the LATimes, "pets say something about our leaders -- just ask those on both sides of the debate over Mitt Romney's Irish setter."

Recently, a woman who faced up to 90 days in jail for registering her dog to vote has agreed to a deal that could remove the charge from her record. Balogh registered her Australian shepherd-terrier mix, Duncan M. McDonald, to vote in April 2006. Read more!

To keep up on information about voting for dogs rights and the laws that govern our pups, here is an interesting blog providing a wealth of information. Dog Politics provides news, commentary and opinion on anti-dog law and policy. Download their guide to see if your candidate is dog friendly!

If you want to test your knowledge about dogs in politics, here's an interesting site! And what if our pets could vote? Who would they elect President in 2008? Would they vote Democrat? Republican? Or Independent? Well now they can!! Registration is free, fun, and easy. Register your pet today!

There are many interesting books available on the topic of 'Dogs in Politics'. Here is just a sampling:
Wackiest White House Pets

My Senator And Me: A Dog's Eye View Of Washington, D.C.

Us pups, throughout the ages, have played very important roles in the history of the US. Here is a good example; a very historic speech, given by then Senator Richard Nixon. The "Checkers speech," as it has come to be known, was given by Richard Nixon on September 23, 1952, when he was the Republican candidate for the Vice Presidency.

The speech was broadcast nationwide from the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, and was one of the first political uses of television to appeal directly to the populace. Nixon, having been accused of accepting $18,000 in illegal campaign contributions, gave the live address to the nation in which he revealed the results of an independent audit that was conducted on his finances, exonerating him of any malfeasance.

The one contribution he admitted receiving was from a Texas traveling salesman named Lou Carrol who gave his family an American Cocker Spaniel, which his daughter named Checkers. Nixon admitted that this gift could be made into an issue by some, but maintained that he didn't care, stating "the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it."

We hope you enjoy Dogs in Politics Day!

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