Friday, March 16, 2012

Weighing in on Romney and his dog Seamus

Liam the pug riding in the back of a car
This is where Liam rides when he's on a car trip.
In general, I try to avoid politics on this blog. There are so many other blogs that handle those topics so much better than I ever could, and I have always pictured my readers as animal lovers who'd rather look at cute photos than read yet another diatribe about the state of affairs in Washington. I have had a few people ask me about the Romney situation, however. This may be one of the rare times that this blog and politics really do intersect.

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about (there must be at least one person out there who hasn't heard this story), I'll provide a quick summation. Decades ago, the Romneys went on a vacation in their station wagon. They had the car so packed with luggage and people that there was "no room" for the dog. So the eldest Romney allegedly strapped the dog on the roof of the car, surrounded by some sort of windbreak, and the family allegedly left the dog there on the 12-hour trip. At one point, the dog had diarrhea and down it dripped until one of the kids noticed. Romney allegedly responded by hosing off the dog and the crate, and then he kept driving.

As a result of this incident, some people are saying that Romney isn't qualified to be President of the United States. Santorum, Gingritch and President Obama have all used, or plan to use, this incident in their campaigns, claiming it is evidence of Romney's heartlessness and lack of compassion.

I'll admit that I find the whole episode distasteful, if it happened as it has been described.

No dog should be strapped to the top of a car for 12 hours. No dog should even be in a crate for 12 hours. It's not something that dog owners allow. In addition, dogs with diarrhea need more than a dance with a hose. It's a sign that something is wrong, and that the dog is either unhappy or unhealthy. A sick, wet dog hurtling down the freeway in a crate is not likely to get better. As a dog owner, I find this behavior pretty reprehensible.

But as a voter, I have so many more reasons not to like Romney. His attack on Planned Parenthood, his call to increase military spending and his apparent disregard for the working poor will cause me not to vote for him. So, this might be the one instance when I wish an animal cruelty issue would take up a bit less airtime. There are so many other things we should be attacking about Romney.