This occurred after I posted last evening:
FIRST DOGS Major and Champ Biden @firstdogsusa have moved into the White House. There has not been a pet in the WH since the Obamas departed four years ago; fmr. President Trump was the first in 100+ years not to have a pet in office. Pics by WH/Adam Schultz pic.twitter.com/uzY7ksNvyg
— FIRST DOGS CHAMP & MAJOR BIDEN (@firstdogsusa) January 25, 2021
Now back to the show…
Along with Joe and Jill Biden taking-up residence in the White House, also for the first time in four years — dogs. The Bidens have two German shepherds, Champ and Major, but I couldn’t find any news about them arriving at the White House last week.
Champ and Major have their own Twitter account — @TheFirstDogs — and no notice there yet, either.
The dogs are another jagged-edge example of a semi-return to ‘normal,’ whatever that is, of having pets at the White House, something once considered ‘non-news,’ and usually a sweet, cutesy but mundane photo/op — T-Rump was the first president in 120 years not to have a pet (‘Was‘ fits wonderfully) — yet supposedly pets revealed an empathic ‘human‘ quality of whatever president.
Champ is 12-years old, and according to Joe: ‘“[He] thinks he’s Secret Service, and he is.”‘
Took Champ to the vet.
Vet: “He’s a little over weight.” @FLOTUS: “I want a second opinion.”
Vet: “He’s also pretty cute.”
— The First Dogs of the United States (@TheFirstDogs) January 24, 2021
First Familes always had pets they brought to the White House — the Obamas have Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny; the GW Bushs, an English springer spaniel, Spot; the Clintons, pet cat, Socks; the HW Bushs, a springer spaniel, Millie; the Reagans, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Rex; and on back to the mid-1800s before you’d find a president without a pet, James K. Polk.
And the T-Rump. Wonder why? Via The Washington Post from February 2019:
On Monday night, during his rally in El Paso, he finally explained that he doesn’t have a dog because the idea of getting one seems “phony” to him, and his base likes him just fine regardless.
Plus, he said, he doesn’t have time.
The explanation came amid an extended riff about the superior abilities of German shepherds to sniff out drugs being smuggled across the border.
“You do love your dogs, don’t you?” Trump said, as the crowd whistled and cheered.
“I wouldn’t mind having one, honestly, but I don’t have any time. How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?”
The supporters seated behind the riser apparently thought that he would look great with a hound or two because they stood up and clapped.
But Trump wasn’t having it.
“I don’t know, I don’t feel good,” he said.
“Feels a little phony to me.”
A lot of people had told him to get a dog because it would look good politically, he added, but he hadn’t felt the need because “that’s not the relationship I have with my people.”
Someone in the crowd shouted that President Barack Obama had a dog while in office.
“Yeah, Obama had a dog, you’re right,” Trump responded, before getting back to the topic at hand, border security.
He’s cruel and snarky even talking about dogs. An image of the T-Rump enjoying a pet, ‘walking a dog on the White House lawn,’ would be too frightfully surrealistic people would hyperventilate seeing it. Anti-Trump — he couldn’t ‘care‘ for a dog because it would require something he doesn’t have, kindness. He hasn’t a gram of an ounce of kindness in his enture fat ass.
And he hates dogs as the lowest of creatures — an insight via GQUK last March with T-Rump’s often reference, ‘like a dog,’ in describing people, as in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who ‘died like a dog,’ full of it:
If anyone was in any doubt about how a dog dies, Trump was happy to elaborate: al-Baghdadi had “whimpered, cried and screamed like a coward”, he chortled.
“[He] spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread!”
Trump observed that Republican senator Marco Rubio was “sweating like a dog” at a 2016 debate.
He compared former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman to a dog when she published her book Unhinged: An Insider’s Account Of The Trump White House.
Trump noted that Republican nominee Mitt Romney “choked like a dog” against Obama in the 2012 election.
At various times, NBC’s David Gregory, Fox News’ Glenn Beck and Ted Cruz’s communications directors were all, Trump leered, “fired like a dog.”
In Trump’s tiny mind, dogs are venal, treacherous creatures.
Vanity Fair suggested, “To the president, dogs are capable of many things, none of which are particularly dog-like. Begging for money, for example. Getting dumped. Feeling ungrateful… Trump never compared anything to a dog that draws on how the animal famously is. It’s never ‘He’s loyal like a dog’… The creatures have never done much good in the Trumpian universe.”
“Donald was not a dog fan,” ex-wife Ivana confirmed in her memoir Raising Trump, recalling his hostility to her poodle, Chappy, who would “bark at him territorially”.
Ivana never understood Trump’s hostility to dogs.
“How can you not love a dog that acts like he’s won the lottery for life just because he sees you walk through the door?” she wondered.
Now we’re in a different world, where dogs are once again man’s best friend — what got me interested in this about dogs, was an excerpt I read at the Guardian this morning from Simon Garfield‘s new book, “Dog’s Best Friend: A Brief History of an Unbreakable Bond,” an indepth look at our relationship with dogs.
Go read the whole extract, it’s funny and thoughtful — good snip, especially in contest to the T-Rump:
We increasingly use dogs to describe ourselves.
A tough radio interviewer is a rottweiler, a soft one a poodle (or a puppy).
Friendly, faithful characters in novels are cuddly labradors.
Venal men in the city are pit bulls.
A person who won’t let go fights like a terrier, while a detective pursues her prey like a bloodhound.
You get the idea.
You get the idea because you are as fleet as a whippet and smart as a sheepdog.
We have long used our canine friends to describe our actions and emotions.
After working like a dog we are dog-tired. We get drunk as a skunk, but we drink the hair of the dog.
Books containing doggerel get dog-eared.
We root for the underdog, we bark up the wrong tree and then we’re in the doghouse.
A depression is a black dog, and we’ll sport a hangdog countenance.
A dog’s breakfast is followed by a dog’s dinner, but the dog ate my homework so I’ve gone to the dogs.
These kinds of lists used to be the cat’s pyjamas, but now they’re the dog’s bollocks.
And we have sex in a position so popular among dogs that they have officially trademarked the style.
And on and on — if you want to smile go read the whole piece.
And Leroy from out front:
He’s my daughter’s 9-year-old Basset Hound/Grayhound mix I take for a walk just about every day. Leroy became famous last spring and early summer when I did a series of ‘Walking Leroy in the Valley’ posts — see the first one here, the last one here.
We usually take our daily hikes on the Rascal Bike Path here in Merced, about an hour north of Fresno in California’s Central Valley, but with the COVID pandemic the walk can get a bit weird and I found the era is the culprit, as from this report at The Washington Post last August — the message, stay masked and distant:
Just as the novel coronavirus pandemic has upended our daily lives, it has also changed those of our pets, many of which are getting a lot more attention and a lot more walks.
But for many dogs and their owners, those walks have also changed: They are imbued with new anxieties, altered routines and carefully modified routes.
Where once there might have been sociable butt-sniffs between canines, now there are sometimes awkward interactions between strangers who don’t share the same protocols on social distancing for dogs.
Passersby are offering fewer caresses, and dog owners are more often turning down other people’s requests to pet for fear of unfamiliar hands depositing the virus on fur.
Leashes are helping keep people six feet apart, but more of them on the sidewalks present new entangling hazards.
But Damato Migdal, the CEO of a company that provides online education for people who work in pet services, said she knows the mother was sticking to best practices.
Her firm, FetchFind, offers a course for professional dog-walkers on handling a job that now involves what it calls “a very complicated dance” of masks, hand-scrubbing and distance.
It may be tempting to smooch the doggy client, but “stick with rubs and butt scratches,” the course advises.
When crossing paths with another dog-walker, step off and turn around, to avoid engaging and sharing airspace.
Keep a short leash in crowded areas, it says, “so that your dog is effectively part of your own mobile quarantine bubble.”
Most of the people Leroy and I meet on the Rascal are maskless. Outdoors, but still: Wear A Fucking Mask!
Anway, a post about dogs, dogs in the White House is better than most…