A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Dogs and the Other Pres. Candidates


Speaking of Mitt Romney tying Seamus the dog to the top of the car for a 12-hour drive, there’s more about dogs and the presidential candidates from Leslie Bennetts at The Daily Beast.

Bennetts spends the first page discussing the Seamus story. We’ve covered that quite a bit, so we’ll move on to page two, where she comments on Herman Cain:

Herman Cain “suspended” his campaign in the nick of time—only hours before Ginger White, the woman who claims they had a 13-year affair, revealed exclusively to The Daily Beast that the Herminator told his financially-strapped friend to get rid of her Yorkshire terrier, Barry White, as a cost-saving measure.

Sparing himself the inevitable public uproar about his callous disregard for the emotional welfare of Barry White, not to mention that of Ginger’s children (who were delivered from such heartbreak when their mother lied to Herman and pretended that she’d given the dog to a relative), Cain did everyone a favor by withdrawing from the GOP race.

Rick Santorum gets a better review:

Rick Santorum—who owns a German shepherd named Schatzie—won PETA’s praise for pushing legislation aimed at shutting down puppy mills, the mass dog-breeding facilities that often operate under sub-standard conditions. “He’s a man with a heart,” a PETA spokesperson said approvingly. (Take that, Mitt!)

When I interviewed Santorum myself a few years ago, he was clearly uninformed about the major animal issues of the day, but he certainly cared about his dog and was concerned to protect all pets from cruelty.

Bennetts moves on to Rick Perry’s boast about killing a coyote:

According to Perry, he went out for a jog and ended up shooting a coyote that “laser-locked” its gaze on his daughter’s Labrador Retriever. Doubters subsequently raised questions about this story, ranging from “Who jogs with a gun?” (Perry claimed he was packing because he’s afraid of snakes) to the nature of the alleged weapon, a Ruger .380 —a lightweight compact pistol that gun enthusiasts describe as a “pea-shooter” fit only for metrosexuals, not macho cowboys from Texas.

Perry’s only relationship to animals is his desire to prove how good he is at killing then. This from the blog of a member of one of his hunting parties:

“A few minutes after daybreak, a gobbler came in with several hens. When the gobbler was only a few yards away, Chuck smoked him. It was about as cut and dry as is gets.”

On to Newt Gingrich. Bennetts writes:

Although Gingrich stubbornly maintains his dogless status—always a mistake when running for office, given the image enhancement potential when adorable puppies are used with strategic finesse—one can still wonder about how he behaves around other canines. Does he have a good rep among his neighbors’ pets? Was he nice to dogs when he was growing up, or was he the kind of kid who pulled their tails and tied their ears together?

In fact, Newt is probably top of the Republican pack when it comes to animals. He’s fascinated by them, wanted to be a zookeeper when he was growing up, and has a particular passion for dinosaurs. Again, he’s somewhat uninformed when it comes to animal issues (like thinking that zoos are good for wildlife), but I’d say his heart is in the right place. And he’s worked on behalf of conserving local ecosystems. More on this in a future post.