Thursday's Child ... has far to go ... (0nm10wn2feet) wrote,
Thursday's Child ... has far to go ...

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A repost from MyBASE... a 'blog-versary' of sorts...

As the title implies, this is reposted from my MyBASE blog.  Myspace has a cute little feature that tracks your blog statistics.  In the relatively short time I've been 'blogging' on Myspace, I've posted 174 entries.  That's since February 2006.  Also in that time, I've had over 5,000 views of my blogs.  Which works out to about 29 views per blog.  I don't think I even KNOW 29 people on Myspace.  Well, yeah, I have 53 "friends," but most of them are bands or organizations; and I'm sure THEY don't have the time to read the rantings of some silly old woman in the hinterlands!

Anyway, I sorta wanted to commemorate the occasion with a relatively current-type topic and, while surfing through the morning news stuff, I hit the perfect theme.  Be warned, it's wordy, as always!

Having hit the somewhat unbelievable (for me) number of over 5,000 blog views in the relatively short time I've had this blog, I've thought long and hard about the topic for my 'celebratory' blog.  Owing to the ingenuity of the press and the incongruity of people's daily lives, versus their political aspirations, I've found it.

Mitt Romney's Dog

It seems that, back in 1983, Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts and current Republican candidate for President, took his family on a summer vacation to his parents' cabin on Lake Huron, in Ontario, Canada.  At the time, he, his wife, Ann, and 5 sons, were living in Boston, making the trip to the cabin about a 12 hour drive.  Like most men of his ilk, Romney was a planner, having carefully mapped out the length of the trip, the route, the mileage he could expect from his vehicle, ad nauseum.  What he hadn't seemed to plan too well for was the accommodations for the family dog, an Irish Setter named Seamus.

I know that, back in 1983, there were such things as kennels.  Places where you could board your dog for an extended period of time, like vacations.  I remember, only too well, as that was the year my hubby and I were married.  We 'acquired' two cats that summer and, having been invited to share Thanksgiving with my husband's sister in Traverse City, were faced with the problem of what to do with them during our absence.  I tried to find someplace that boarded cats, like kennels for dogs.

No such luck back then; only dog kennels.  The cats had to travel with us and my husband's father, a confirmed cat-hater who was also staying with my sister-in-law, had a hissy-fit.  It never occurred to us, though, that we should have the cats travel OUTSIDE our crowded car.  Nope, we wedged our belongings around the over-sized pet carrier and made a couple stops on our 6 hour trip, just to see if the cats wanted to use the 'travel' litter box I had rigged, or get some food and water.  But, I digress.

Back to our intrepid Presidential candidate who, with his wife, 5 boys, and all their assorted gear, had filled the family station wagon, a white Chevy nicknamed "The White Whale," to the gills.  Where to put Seamus?  In a stroke of what might then have seemed brilliance, Mr. Romney strapped the dog's kennel to the luggage rack on top of the wagon.  He fashioned, by all accounts, some sort of 'windshield' to try to ease the possible discomfort the poor dog might feel on such a grueling trip.  He informed the wife and kids that there would ONLY be predetermined stops for refueling... 'potty' breaks had better take place then!  Now, those of you who might be old enough to remember family trips like this, think about it.  Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

It sure does to me!!  My father was the veritable KING of "no unauthorized stopping."  That 'long-suffering' soul, however, was blessed with a wife and THREE GIRLS.  The complaints, as I recall, were numerous.  In addition, I remember my father's method of "packing" the vehicles.  If I recall correctly, and I'm sure my mom and sisters could back me up, my mother could always find twice as much room for stuff once she rearranged dad's "packing" job.

My husband tells me that HIS mother always did the packing, but that they were limited to what they could bring in ONE bag... often for the entire summer... which my husband's family spent in Grand Marias, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Superior.  Indeed, when my husband and I started making the annual pilgrimage to Grand Marais, I found that I could ALWAYS find more room for things if *I* packed the vehicle.  Which leads me to believe that, perhaps, Mitt might have been able to 'jigger' things a little better with regard to traveling with the dog.

At any rate, Seamus ended up on the roof of the car, tooling down the highways and byways.  Evidently, poor Seamus wasn't too happy about his accommodations either.  According to the Boston Globe account, at some point during the trip, son Tagg noticed a "brown liquid dripping down the back window" of the vehicle.  To which, he dutifully alerted dad by hollering, "Dad!  Gross!"  With the rest of the family echoing the sentiment, our intrepid politico coolly pulled off the highway into the nearest gas station, borrowed a hose, and proceeded to hose off both car and dog.  After which, he stuffed the poor, wet animal back into the kennel and went on his merry way.  There has been no mention made in the press or by the Romney campaign as to how the dog fared during the rest of the trip, nor where the dog rode on the return.

Anyone, who knows anything about dogs, knows that a dog absolutely WILL NOT soil his bed unless he has no other choice.  That's why 'crate training' works so well as a housebreaking method.  Thus, I think we can conclude that Seamus was either badly in need of an "unauthorized" 'potty' break, or TERRIFIED.  Like, out of his mind?  Aside from illness, that's usually the only time a previously housebroken animal will soil either himself OR his bedding.  Also, there has been speculation in the press about the amount of wind buffeting that the animal may have sustained.  I have yet to see, however, any mention made of the possible temperatures that the dog might have been exposed to.  Even a white car, in the summer, will tend to absorb a certain amount of solar gain... makes me wonder how the poor pooch survived without getting burns!

Now, I don't know about you, but I can EASILY see the whole 'dog being strapped to the top of the car' scene happening.  Especially being raised by, as well as married to, the same sort of 'analytical' male mind that the Boston Globe article paints Romney as being.  There is no doubt, whatsoever, in my mind that my father would have done something similar if we had taken our dogs with us on vacation and he had been faced with a lack of space inside the vehicle.  In addition, I can recall one very memorable conversation with my own husband regarding the family Samoyed, Hobbes.  MSK was firmly of the opinion that the dog would be "just fine," riding in his kennel, in the open boat that we were towing with us to Grand Marais that year.  Or, better yet, in the uncovered back of my pick-up truck.  In my recollection, my husband, when reminded that there was a chance of rain along the way, said "He's a sled dog, he'll be FINE."  When reminded of the heat, he said, "Then the rain will cool him off, won't it?"

Fortunately, for both Hobbes and my hubby, he finally agreed to put the dog's kennel in the back of his Durango, with water available, AND to stop for regular 'potty' breaks for the poor beast.  So, Hobbes Sterling Honey rode in air-conditioned comfort in the back of the Durango for the 6 hour trip to the Upper Peninsula.  Still, even before they left, I made my son promise to keep an eye on dad... and MAKE him stop for the dog.

I can only wonder what the heck went through Ann Romney's mind, watching her husband strap that poor dog to the roof of the car.  Anything?  Nothing??  Or, dealing with 5 boys, maybe the poor woman had simply lost what mind she had.  This is the sort of thing that boggles my brain.  If I could come up with strategies, even as uneducated and inept as I might be at times, to see to the animal's comfort, EVEN back in 1983, when this incident was reported to have taken place, why couldn't two college-educated, supposedly bright, incisive minds come up with something similar?  This is the type of thing that makes me fear for the future of our country.

We've already dealt with over 6 years of a President who, by all accounts, is a "terrific family man."  I don't want a "family man" in the White House.  Not your average, every-day "family man."  I want someone who's going to look at all the angles and find the options that best BALANCE everyone's interests.  I want someone who can put himself in the place of those whose lives haven't been as privileged as his own.  I want someone who can, at the least, CONSIDER the well-being of the LEAST of us.  Mitt Romney, with this seemingly innocent episode, has graphically shown me that the LEAST of us do not matter as much in his eyes.  That we are not entitled to ride ANYWHERE on the 'bus,' but the roof.  What do YOU think?
Kinda makes me wonder what Molly Ivins would have had to say about this one!!

Currently reading:
Who Let the Dogs In?: Incredible Political Animals I Have Known
By Molly Ivins

See?  I warned you it was my usual LONG essay-style post!  Next time, maybe you'll pay attention, huh?  *snicker*

Tags: animal rights, dogs, pets, politics, republicans, romney
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