Does your dog celebrate St Patrick’s Day (a.k.a. St Pawtrick’s Day)?
Most dogs don’t really enjoy being dressed in costume. However, there are breeds that have Irish roots. Let’s honor these breeds on St Patrick’s Day and simply include our dogs in the celebrations rather than dressing them up!
Grab a Guinness and let’s toast:
The Irish Setter, pictured here are Daisy Sheridan and family at her birthday in 2010
The Irish Terrier
The Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Wolfhound
The Glen of Imaal Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier
The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand
The philosopher Immanuel Kant once said, “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” If dogs were allowed to vote in the upcoming US presidential election, I believe that this would be their main criteria for voting.
US President Barack Obama kept his promise to his daughters when he was elected to the US presidency and the family adopted Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog. Bo currently features in the President’s commemorative photo issued by the Democratic National Committee:
The official photo issued by the Democratic National Committee
In stark contrast is presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s reputation for caring for the family’s dog, Seamus. Romney placed Seamus into a dog crate on top of the family’s car in 1983 for a long car trip from Boston to Ontario, Canada. Romney defended his actions by saying that he outfitted the crate with a ‘modified’ windshield. When Seamus soiled the crate and the rear window of the car, Romney calmly stopped the car and used a hose on Seamus. (Romney’s team has commended his approach, citing it as an example of his emotion-free crisis management.) (You can read more about Romney’s treatment of Seamus and others in this Vanity Fair article.)
When interviewed by ABC’s Diane Sawyer, she asked Romney if he would do it again. He replied, “Certainly not with the attention it’s received.” (No comment about the appropriateness of his actions, just the attention).
This act of cruelty has been described by Scott Crider as a ‘deal-breaker’ for Romney’s candidacy. Crider has started the Dogs Against Romney movement which includes a Facebook page.
Supporters can also buy various Dogs Against Romney merchandise from the movement’s website. For example, your dog can wear a bandana that says “I ride inside” or you can use a coffee mug at the office “Dogs aren’t luggage”
So, who would your dog vote for? Romney or Obama?
I leave you with the words of Mahatma Gandhi:
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.”
This week, the world will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s maiden voyage and sinking in the North Atlantic. As with many moments in history, dogs were part of this event.
Dogs were among the passengers of the Titanic and the ship had dedicated kennel facilities. A dog show had been planned on board the ship for Monday 15th April. When the ship was sinking, it was reported that a passenger went to the kennels and released the dogs to save them from drowning in their cages.
According to (mixed) records, between 10 and 12 dogs were on board the ship. The Astors (perhaps the richest passengers on board) were traveling with their Airedale named Kitty. Each day a member of Titanic’s crew would exercise the dogs on deck.
The Astors with their dog
A photo (unattributed) reported to be staff of the Titanic taking dogs for a walk on deck.
Three dogs survived the sinking. There was a Pomeranian owned by Miss Margaret Hays of New York; the pair escaped in lifeboat Number 7. Elizabeth Rothschild escaped in lifeboat Number 6 with her Pomeranian. The other dog was Pekingese named Sun Yat Sen owned by Henry Sleeper; owner and dog escaped in lifeboat Number 3.
The Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri has established the world’s first tribute to dogs of the Titanic. Mascots Molly and Carter greet guests each day from Wednesday to Sunday and show them the kennel facilities of the ship, along with stories of dogs aboard. This creative commercial for the exhibit is found on YouTube:
Not to be confused with actual history, a book by Marty Crisp for young adults tells the story of White Star: A Dog on The Titanic. In this fictional story, a 12-year old named Sam Harris is traveling from England to America. Sam volunteers to help out in the Titanic’s kennels and meets Star, an Irish Setter. The boy and dog live through the sinking.