by Frances Edstrom
As I was picking up the newspapers Sunday night, I noticed strange holes poked through certaiin page one articles. They all seemed to be about the upcoming Iowa caucuses. It didn't seem to be the sort of thing the adults in our house would do, and it seemed too methodical for the granddaughter (although she is very smart and I'm sure follows national news). I puzzled on it for a while, and then forgot.
But as I went to fill the dog's dish, I found what appeared to be random shreds of newspaper next to his bowl. I bent to pick them up, and found that each one had a presidential candidate's name on it. A prickle went up my spine as I considered the meaning of this. The dog-who-must-not-be-written-about is a strange animal, but I don't think he's into voodoo or anything of that sort. What was the significance of this bizarre behavior? I've learned that with him, it's better to just bite the bullet and ask the hard question. I found him snoozing under the Christmas tree.
"Um, I hate to disturb your nap, but I wonder if I can throw away the newspaper"clippings" next to your dish?"
He opened one eye. "I guess."
"Can I ask why you did that?"
"I'm pursuing my interest in the welfare of this great country," he said.
"Oh. Okay, go back to sleep."
"By the way," he said when I was on my way back to the kitchen, "don't you have a cousin in New Hampshire?"
"Sure, my cousin Ann lives there."
"Does she like dogs?"
"Well, I have no idea, really. I only know about her children. She never mentioned a pet of any sort. Why do you care about my cousin in New Hampshire?"
"Oh, I've been toying with the idea of a trip out there this weekend."
"Really!" I said, wondering if irrational thoughts were normal for a seven-year-old Standard Poodle. "Why?'
"I'm just not happy with any of the candidates, and I'm going to announce my candidacy. I think New Hampshire is the perfect place to begin my campaign, and I thought I'd stay with your cousin for a few days."
"Um, I think you'll be too late for the New Hampshire Primary. Don't you have to have your name on the ballot already or something?"
"Oh, I know, I know. But I figure after Iowa and New Hampshire a lot of the riffraff will have dropped out and the people will be ready for a real challenger."
"You'll be a challenge, all right," I said. "How are you planning on getting to New Hampshire?"
"I'm flying. I was thinking I can use your frequent flyer miles."
"You do understand that they don't let dogs ride with passengers, don't you. You'd have to be shipped in a crate with the luggage?"
"Moi? I think not. Have the airlines heard the words ‘discrimination lawsuit'?"
"I think they may have, but as a dog, you don't really have legal rights."
"Which is exactly why this country needs me on the presidential ticket! Millions of selfless pets living in this country with no legal rights! We are treated worse than illegal aliens! This is an outrage! Get me the Supreme Court on the phone!"
"It's a holiday. I'm not sure they'll be there."
"Who's my representative? Who's my senator? They haven't heard the last of this! Wait until my blog readers get a load of this!"
"Just like the Queen of England, huh? Blogging the subjects""
He leaped up. "What a great idea! Will your frequent flyer miles get me to London? I'll become a British subject. The queen loves dogs! I'll go live with her and eat clotted cream and scones. To heck with U.S. democracy. Let it rot."
"So you aren't going to run for president?" I twitted him.
"Maybe prime minister is more up my alley," he said. "I think I'll sleep on it."
And he took a long winter's nap.