Archive for December 5th, 2012
Five days before she made history in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren put down the golden retriever whose dignity and grace helped her cope with the often nasty senatorial campaign, and much more.
The emotional mix that the first female senator in Massachusetts was faced with in the final days of her campaign — seeing one’s political star rising while one’s dog is dying – was recounted last week in column by Brian McGrory in the Boston Globe.
Otis, Warren’s cancer-stricken golden retriever, was loyal, true, non-judgmental, honest, dignified and simple — in other words (and this is our opinion) everything politics is not.
Based on her description, quiet moments with her ailing dog brought her solace during the rough and tumble campaign.
“It’s the lack of complication,” Warren said. “I could spend time just running my hands through Otis’s coat, drawing circles in his short fur, and thumping him on the side, his big hollow chest, you know that sound. It’s possible to get lost in there. And that’s what I needed.”
Otis is described as an inseparable companion, who often accompanied Warren and her husband, Bruce Mann, to their jobs at Harvard University.
“He was with Warren in fall 2011 when she declared her campaign for the Senate. He was there as controversies flared, as accusations were leveled, as attack ads filled the airwaves. Polls rose and fell, criticisms alternated with compliments, but always there was Otis, blinking excitedly as Warren came through the door at the end of the day and always ready for a walk.”
Otis was diagnosed with lymphoma in the spring. He was undergoing chemotherapy. The treatments, which at first appeared to be working, later lost their effectiveness.
On Halloween night, Otis watched trick or treaters come and go, too weak to get up off the floor. By the end of the night, Warren and Mann were convinced it was time to let Otis go.
“I called Warren after her victory to see if she wanted to talk about this quiet loss in the final days of a very public campaign. It hurt her to talk about, but in an hour-long phone call this week, one filled with her laughter and her tears, she did.
“She described ‘the white fur ball with big feet’ that arrived at her house 7½ years ago, the casual way he would approach his many admirers, how the ground used to all but shake from his heavy gait.”
On Oct. 28, Warren posted the photo above on Facebook. On Nov. 1, Otis was euthanized at Angell Memorial Hospital. On Nov. 6, Warren was elected as the first female senator from Massachusetts.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, cancer, chemotherapy, death, died, dog, dogs, election, elizabeth warren, euthanasia, euthanized, female, first, golden retriever, lymphoma, massachusetts, otis, pets, politics, senate, senator
Last time we checked in on Ricochet, she was riding the waves, teaching the disabled to surf, and raising gobs of money for good causes in the process.
Now Surf Dog Ricochet, as she’s still known, is involved with a program that allows individuals with speech disabilities to communicate with their dogs by using an electronic voice, via an iPad.
Ricochet, who’s also a therapy dog, is shown here reacting to commands given from an iPad electronic voice through the TouchChat app without any cues from her handler.
The app allows people who have verbal disabilities as a result of Autism, Downs Syndrome, stroke, or other causes to communicate directly with a dog, giving them a sense of independence, self confidence and control.
Ricochet’s working with the Poway Unified School District Transition Program, through the therapy dog organizations she belongs to — Paws’itive Teams
Paws’itive Teams trains service dogs to assist mobility-limited persons in achieving greater independence and, through educational presentations and animal assisted therapy, enhances the lives of persons living in San Diego County.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, commands, communication, disabilities, dogs, electronic, ipad, obey, pawsitive teams, pets, poway, ricochet, schools, speech, surf dog, surf dog ricochet, therapy dogs, touchchat, video, voice