I’ve written several times about Gov. Mitt Romney strapping his dog to the roof of the car when the family drove for 12 hours from Boston to a vacation spot in Canada. Other writers, pundits and personalities, from New York Times columnist Gail Collins to TV’s David Letterman, just can’t leave it alone, either.
But while comedians continue to have a field day with the story, it took this photo to bring home the true horror of what it must have been like for Seamus, the Romney’s Irish setter, to have been on the roof of a car on the highway all day.
On Tuesday in Littleton, Colorado, where Romney was campaigning, a member of the group Dogs Against Romney strapped a crate to the roof of a car and drove around town. Labeled the “Seamus Express,” the stunt attracted attention from Littleton Police, who pulled the car over.
The driver/protester, who didn’t give his name in later interviews, said the police officer had stopped him “for suspected animal abuse.”
A spokesperson for the city of Littleton confirmed the traffic stop happened because of canine concerns.
“Our 911 center received a call from a motorist who saw the car in the photo drive past, and she said the door to the animal carrier was open and a large white dog was in it,” Littleton city spokeswoman Kelli Narde said. (In fact, there was no live dog – just a stuffed toy.)
When he interviewed Romney on Fox News last December, Chris Wallace told him that Massachusetts law prohibits carrying animals on top of cars, Romney, the former governor of that state, said, “I wasn’t familiar with that.”
Imagine being Seamus on the roof of the car like that – at highway speeds for 12 hours. We can assume, from the fact that the dog had severe diarrhea during the journey, that he was plainly terrified – not to mention in danger himself and a danger to others.
In a blog post, Dogs Against Romney said the fact that police pulled over the protest car on Tuesday “clearly illustrates how blatantly awful, incredibly dangerous, outrageously insensitive, and even illegal Mitt Romney’s decision to transport his own dog on the roof of his car was.”