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Archive for November 17th, 2008

Biting political commentary: Barney bit before

Whether George W. Bush is leaving the White House in disgrace is a matter best left for the political pundits — a group I am proud to say I don’t belong to — but as for his dog Barney, it seems he is definitely going out on a low note.

In addition to nipping a television journalist (good boy, Barney) this month, it has been revealed that, back in September, there was another biting incident — this one involving a public relations director (attaboy!).

Heather Walker, the public relations director for the Boston Celtics basketball team, has revealed how America’s First Dog bit her wrist and drew blood after she tried to pat him during a White House ceremony honoring the team’s 17th NBA championship.

“I walked into the White House and in the first area you walk into, there are Miss Beazley and Barney,”  Walker said. “They were sitting on this Oriental rug, and I just reached down to pat Barney and he attacked me.”

Both Miss Beazley and Barney are Scottish terriers.

Walker, who had her wrist wrapped with a bandage by a Boston Celtics trainer, spoke about her ordeal on Friday, just days after Barney bit Reuters television reporter John Decker’s finger when he reached down to pat the seemingly docile hound.

Walker said she had wanted to keep the Sept. 19 incident under wraps, but her hometown newspaper, The Salem (Mass.) News, reported it Friday, according to the Associated Press

Barney, despite starring in several White House Christmas videos and having his own official website, isn’t likely to go down as one of the most beloved first pets.

Karl Rove once described him as “a lump,” while former Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who owns a black labrador called Koni, is said to have remarked that such a small dog was unfitting for a world leader, the London Telegraph reports.

(Photo from www.barney.gov)

Santa Claus is coming to South Baltimore

Not only will Santa Claus be in South Baltimore’s Riverside Park this Saturday — but you and/or your pet can have your photo taken with him.

How do I know this? Because I was roped into filling the Santa suit — either because of my joviality, my sprouting white beard, or, more likely, a certain part of my anatomy that is increasingly shaking like a bowlful of jelly.

From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, your pooch, or cat, or pet of any sort (no highly poisonous snakes, please) can have their photo taken with Santa for the low, low price of $5.

The photo will then be made available to you online, where you can download it, or upload it, or whatever it is you do to get it. You can also turn it into a Christmas card. Your options, like the joys of the season, are limitless.

In addition to the photos with Santa, the event will included raffles, gift sale, free gift wrapping, dog and cat treats, and stuff to eat and drink.

The theme of the day is a South Baltimore Christmas (old school), so don’t be surprised if you see a pink flamingo or two, some highly tacky decorations, or Santa himself sneaking in a smoke between photo shoots. We also guarantee that somebody, at some point, will call you “hon.”

If  South Baltimore kitsch is not your bag, you can wait two weeks for the more traditional Photos with Santa event — to be held at Federal Hill Park, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 6. That will be staffed by a Santa to be named later.

Both events are fundraisers for the Franky Fund at BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter), which provides emergency medical care for sick and injured animals that might otherwise be euthanized.

The event’s sponsors include ohmidog!, Camp Bow Wow, Dogma, Lucky Lucy’s Canine Cafe, Chesapeake Veterinary Surgical Specialists, K-9 Kraving Raw Diet Dog Food, Bill’s Portable Welding, Baltimore Guide,  Firehouse Coffee Co. at the Canton Firehouse, Austin Grill, The Sweet Shop, UTZ, Steve’s Lunch, Amy’s Boutique, Federal Hill Wine & Spirits, M&L Discount Liquors, and Susan Harrington Designs.

For more information, click here.

For information about other dog-friendly events, including Locust Point Dog Park’s pet photo with Santa event (featuring city council member Ed Reisinger as St. Nick), visit the ohmidog! “doggie doings” page.