There’s a rising star in the North Carolina legislature, and she has four legs.
A miniature Pomeranian named Diva comes to work every day at the General Assembly with her owners, Republican representative Nathan Ramsey and his wife, Robin Ramsey, a legislative assistant — and the fuzzy four-pound dog is said to be developing quite a following.
The Ramseys, who live on a farm in Fairview during the off-season, say they started bringing Diva to work in February, because they thought she’d be lonely staying at the condo they reside in while in Raleigh.
Since then, she’s shown herself to be a valuable asset, both a diplomat and a crowd-drawer.
“… In a short time, the taffy-colored rescue pup has arguably become the most chased after creature at the legislative building. Walk in on any given day and you’ll see a steady stream of bipartisan visitors knocking on the Ramseys’ office door,” North Carolina Public Radio station WUNC (91.5 FM) reported.
“It certainly opened the door to more visitors, which is good,” said Robin Ramsey.
On building tours for visiting schoolchildren, Diva’s office has become a regular stop — and, we’d guess, one of the more exciting ones.
“I make it a point to stop by,” said Democrat Rick Glazier of Fayetteville. “You can’t leave after playing with Diva and talking to the Ramseys unhappy or in a bad mood, and that is not always true around here.”
Ramsey, a former county commissioner, says Diva helps breaks the ice and cut through frosty exteriors. And he suspects she has helped him garner support for at least a couple of measures he has introduced.
“A lot of this is about relationships, and really, unless you’re a seat-mate with someone, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to reach across the aisle,” he said. “You don’t develop relationships by sitting in a committee meeting. You have to find out about other people’s lives and families and get to know them in more depth.”
Speaker of the House Thom Tillis recently stopped by Ramsey’s office with his boxer, Ike. A spokesman for the speaker reported the get-together was ”like many meetings in this building — more sniffing around than anything else.”
Back home on the family dairy farm, Diva likes to spend her time circling the baby calf pen.
She likes to round things up, Ramsey says, and those skills seem to have translated from barnyard to state house.
(Photo by Jessica Jones / WUNC)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, diva, dog, dogs, dogs and politics, fairview, fans, farm, general assembly, ice breaker, legislature, nathan ramsey, north carolina, pets, politics, pomeranian, raleigh, representative, republican, robin ramsey, state house, visitors, workplace
Back when he was the Republican candidate for governor of Florida, Rick Scott and his staff did their best to let the public know his family adopted a rescue dog.
They even held a contest to allow the public to name the dog, who would become “Reagan.”
So, to some, it seemed strange that the Labrador retriever hadn’t been seen again since Scott took office, in January of 2011.
The Tampa Bay Times, albeit it two years later, finally solved the mystery — but not until after getting quite a runaround.
The Times last week asked both Scott’s current and former communications directors what happened to Reagan, but both refused to answer.
Brian Burgess, communications director during the campaign and for more than a year after Scott took office, told two Times reporters he thought it was strange that they would ask, and declined to answer.
When pressed, he referred all questions about the dog to Melissa Sellers, the governor’s new communications director. Sellers told reporters she was too busy to find an answer to the question.
A spokesman for the governor’s wife also declined to respond to questions about Reagan, saying only that they have one dog — a rescued 7-year-old Lab named Tallee.
What was the governor’s office trying to hide, reporters wondered. Why weren’t the communications directors, uh, communicating? And where was Reagan, the dog the Scott family made such a big deal about when they rescued him?
Commenters at the time praised Scott for getting a rescue dog, instead of a purebred like Bo, the president’s Portuguese water dog.
“The Scott family is proud to announce that the name (chosen by you) for their newly adopted pup is Reagan!” read Scott’s announcement on his Facebook page. “Thanks to everyone who participated in the fun contest.”
But apparently they were less proud to announce what became of Reagan, and how they ended up with a dog named Tallee.
This week, Times reporters were able to ask the governor himself, and learned that Reagan, due to behavioral issues, had been returned to the grooming and boarding business they got him from.
Scott said Reagan never bit anyone, but that he “scared the living daylights” out of people at the mansion. One kitchen employee threatened to quit because of the dog, he said, and photographer Eric Tournay was frightened when the dog “barked like crazy” every time he saw him with a camera.
“He was a rescue dog,” Scott said, “and he couldn’t be around anybody that was carrying anything.”
About a month after the family moved to the governor’s mansion, they gave the dog back to his prior owner, the governor said.
Tallee, he said, has a much different personality.
Based on his description, Tallee sounds more needy, submissive and controllable.
(Photo: Reagan, from Facebook)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 16th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, answers, avoidance, candidate, communications, contest, directors, disappeared, dog, facebook, florida, governor, labrador, naming, news media, politics, reagan, republican, rescue, retriever, rick scott, tallee, tampa bay times, whatever happened
Christie termed the proposal ”stupid,” Bloomberg reports.
He also said the proposed law was an example of how Democrats, who control the state Senate and General Assembly, are wasting time with trivial issues when there are bigger ones to be solved.
“This will tell you everything you need to know about how New Jersey runs under the Democrats,” Christie said in his monthly “Ask the Governor” broadcast on Ewing-based WKXW-FM radio. “They’re actually spending their time on this.”
If the bill makes it through the legislature for him to sign into law, Christie said, he wouldn’t put his name “near something that stupid.”
Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer, a Newark Democrat who owns a Pomeranian , introduced the bill to require harnesses for animals not being transported in cages. Violators would be fined $25.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bill, cars, cats, chris christie, christie, democrat, dogs, governor, grace spencer, harnesses, law, legislature, pets, proposed, republican, restraints, seat belts, signature, stupid, transporting
A state representative in Tennessee has removed a video from her YouTube channel that showed her holding her dog outside the window of a moving car and laughing as it went “air swimming.”
State Rep. Julia Hurley took the video down two days after posting it, but insisted — sounding a little like Mitt Romney talking about Seamus — that Pepper, a Chinese crested, enjoys being held out into the wind, outside of a fast moving car.
Hurley, who’s seeking a second term, said she removed the video because she “didn’t want to deal with” criticism she calls politically motivated. “I think it’s a liberal ploy to take the attention off the bills and the legislation I’ve passed and the positive things I’ve done, to make me look like a bad person,” the Lenoir City Republican said.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that Hurley’s short video titled “Pepper Air Swims” was pulled two days after being posted on YouTube.
The newspaper wrote about the video after being contacted by the Rev. Peggy Blanchard, who criticized the video in an email. “I find Ms. Hurley’s behavior to be extremely unkind and irresponsible. While Ms. Hurley and her friend are laughing and having fun, the dog is clearly terrified.”
“This sort of behavior exhibited by a person who has a position of leadership sets a very poor example of behavior for both adults and children,” Blanchard wrote.
Hurley countered, “My dog obviously enjoys it. She’s very happy.” Still, she said, the backlash could lead her to stop posting social media updates.
“People say they want a legislator they can relate to, they want an open-door policy and know everything that’s going on,” she said. “But you try to give them that, and they use it against you to try to make you look like a bad person.”
Pepper was the subject of previous media attention when the lawmaker was thrown out of the Roane County courthouse for bringing her dog along in March. She argued that the 11-pound dog is classified as a service animal, though she brought the pet along as a companion.
Upon her election to the House in 2010, Hurley drew national attention for crediting her success to the time she spent working at Hooters restaurants, in a two-page article for the chain’s magazine.
She was the subject of another embarassing video, as well, when a state trooper pulled her over in 2011 for speeding, and a dashboard camera recorded the hard time she gave the officer about the ticket she received. Here’s that video:
(Photo: Erik Schelzig / Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: air swimming, animals, car, car surfing, chinese crested, criticism, cruelty, dog, dogs, held, highway, highway patrol, hooters, hurley, julia, pepper, pets, representative, republican, road, romney, roof, seamus, speeding, state, tennessee, ticket, traffic, window
But now a Republican pundit — tired of Mitt Romney being bashed for taking his dog for a 12-hour ride on the roof of his car — has seized upon what he sees as a juicy nugget from Obama’s memoirs to fight back.
(That’s the thing about memoirs, anything you say in them can and will be used against you.)
“Say what you want about Romney, but at least he only put a dog on the roof of his car, not the roof of his mouth,” conservative blogger Jim Treacher writes in his column for the Daily Caller, DC Trawler.
In a further warning to “libs,” Treacher, with all the emotional maturity of a third grader, adds: “And whenever you bring up the one, we’re going to bring up the other.”
In the book, Obama, referring to his time living with his stepfather, Lolo Soetoro in Indonesia, writes:
“With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chill peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy). Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate: One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share.”
Obama was about seven and living in a different culture when he ate what everybody else was eating. Romney was an adult, with children, when he strapped his Irish setter, Seamus, in a crate, to the car roof for a 12-hour ride to Canada.
One wouldn’t expect a seven-year-old, being raised in an environment where eating dog is culturally acceptable among some, to take a stand against the practice any more than one would expect one of Romney’s children to stand up and say, “Dad, this is stupid and wrong, don’t do it.”
It’s not like Obama went out and killed, skinned, gutted and grilled a neighborhood dog — as Romney supporter and fund raiser Fred Malek was once accused of doing (before the charges were dropped against all but one of the friends with whom he was partying at the time). Cultural differences being what they are, eating dog in Pusan is one thing, eating dog in Peoria is quite another.
Repulsive as I find eating dogs, disgusted as I was seeing them caged, sold and butchered to order on the streets of South Korea, I kept reminding myself when I was there that I was visiting another culture.
A small and declining minority of the population still eats farm-raised dog meat. I would like them to stop doing that. But, last time I checked, I wasn’t in charge of dictating the customs of foreign lands. And I don’t think every seven year old in Seoul who eats what their parents put in front of them is evil.
As political ammo goes, Treacher is shooting blanks.
(Top graphic: rightwingnews.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, asia, asian, barack obama, blog, campaign, car, conservative, crate, cultures, customs, daily caller, dc trawler, dog eating, dogs, dogs against romney, dreams from my father, eating dog, fred malek, indonesia, irish setter, jim treacher, mitt romney, obama, obama ate dog, pets, presidential, republican, ride, right wing, roof, seamus, south korea
Given that the story of Mitt Romney’s dog, Seamus, refuses to disappear, some are suggesting “Seamus,” the old Pink Floyd song, should be revived as well, and perhaps played during his opponent’s campaign rallies.
The lyrics, what little there are of them, don’t exactly fit the tale of Romney’s dog and his 12-hour rooftop ride to Canada, but the 1971 song does have a sad and bluesy feel that seems just right.
Perhaps a slight reworking of the words could make it even more relevant to the 30-year-old story that David Letterman, Rick Santorum and others refuse to stop talking about – how the Romney family dog rode in a crate on the car roof to a family vacation, with a stop to hose him down after he soiled himself.
Here are the real lyrics of the Pink Floyd song, which already features haunting, dog-like howls:
I was in the kitchen,
Seamus, that’s the dog, was outside.
Well, I was in the kitchen,
Seamus, my old hound, was outside.
Well, you know the sun was sinkin’ slowly,
But my old hound dog sat right down and cried
Here are some suggested new ones (and yes, they are for sale), just in case Pink Floyd has any interest in redoing the song:
My dog was on the car roof
I was nice and comfy inside
Seamus, he didn’t mind it
A 12-hour trip, bonafide
Now, you know, I want to run the country
I hope that you don’t mind a bumpy ride
Posted by jwoestendiek March 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, campaign, crate, david letterman, dog, dogs, hose, irish setter, lyrics, mitt romney, new, new lyrics, new version, opponents, pets, pink floyd, presidency, republican, rewritten, rick santorum, romney, roof, rooftop, seamus, song, suggested, the story of seamus, trip, vacation, video
Given all the attention received by Mitt Romney’s former dog, Seamus — he of roof-riding fame — it’s not surprising that Rick Santorum’s dog story takes a back seat.
Then again, unlike Romney’s, Santorum’s doesn’t reflect bad judgment, just bad luck. He brought it out of his playbook again this weekend to make the point that, well, I’m not sure what point it makes, other than he doesn’t let a little dog pee deter him.
On Saturday night, Santorum told the tale — from his first campaign for Congress in 1990 — to an Ohio crowd of more than 1,000 Republicans at the Summit County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner. The Washington Post published it verbatim:
“…We went knocking doors in Upper St. Clair, which is outside of Pittsburgh, a nice little neighborhood … And I knocked on the door and this little elderly lady comes to the door. … She had a little dog that was barking. And I said, ‘Hi, I’m Rick Santorum. I’m running for Congress.’ … She looked at me and goes, ‘Oh, you look so hot.’ She goes, ‘Why don’t you come in for a glass of water?’
“So I went in and sat down. And the dog is running around, barking. And she goes in and gets her glass of water, and I sit down … She hands me the glass of water. And the dog jumps up and hops in my lap.
“Okay, fine. So, I had the dog. I had a sip or two of water. We chatted. And the next thing I know, there is a warm sensation on my lap.
“And I jump up, and on my tan pants is a huge wet spot where you don’t want a huge wet spot. So, I jumped up to look at it, and she was aghast. She reached for my pants and said, ‘Let me dry that off.’ I backed away and said, ‘No, that’ll be fine.’ She goes, ‘Let me get a hairdryer.’ Heaven forbid! And I said, ‘No, thank you very much.’ I start to move out the door and she goes, ‘Well, take your pants off. I’ll put them in the dryer.’ That was the last I heard from her, because I was out the door …
“Undeterred, I soldiered on. … So, I looked at my sheet, and I say, ‘Well, who’s the next door?’ Well, the next door is a name I recognize. Anybody remember the closer for the 1979 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates? Kent Tekulve, correct … I said, ‘Hi, Mr. Tekulve. I’m Rick Santorum, I’m running for Congress…’
Tekulve checked out the wet blotch on the candidate’s pants, but ended up voting for him anyway.
“So, I wanted to share that with you,” Santorum concluded. “I’ve walked the path that you’ve walked. Maybe a little differently, but I’ve walked the path. And we’re walking the same path in this election.”
(Photo: Photo: Tony Dejak / AP)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, campaign, candidates, congress, dog, dogs, kent tekulve, mitt romney, ohio, pants, pee, pennsylvania, pets, pirates, pitcher, pittsburgh, presidential, republican, rick santorum, seamus, st. clair, story, summit county, urine
Since it was a 25-year-old story when we first wrote about it, and since it’s nearing 30 now, we haven’t weighed in too much during this latest rebirth of the saga of Seamus, the dog Mitt Romney put on the roof of his car for a trip to Canada.
But now comes a report that, after arriving in Canada, Seamus ran away. (And who could blame him?)
The Observer.com report, on the blog Politicker, seems to imply that Seamus ran away for good, but it’s a little vague, and the new developments, if they can be called that, are based on pretty flimsy reporting:
“Mitt Romney may not have told the whole truth about the scandalous tale of his Irish Setter, Seamus, being strapped to the roof of his car during a 12-hour family road trip to Canada. According to a trusted Politicker tipster, two of Mr. Romney’s sons had an off-record conversation with reporters where they revealed the dog ran away when they reached their destination on that infamous journey in 1983.”
Romney’s wife, Ann, has previously been reported as saying Seamus survived the trip and went on to live to a “ripe old age” — one would presume with the same family.
Other reports indicate Seamus moved in with Romney’s sister — but don’t say why — and that he lived happily on a farm until his death.
Politicker reported that Romney’s campaign has not responded to multiple requests for comment on the most recent twist in the old story.
Seamus’ story first came to light in a 2007 Boston Globe profile of Romney. The family was on its annual drive to Ontario, to visit Romney’s father’s cottage in the gated Beach O’ Pines community on Lake Huron. The story included details about Romney’s son noting a brown fluid dripping down the rear window, apparently from the dog, who was in a crate on the roof, with a barrier in front to shield him from the wind. It recounts a gas station stop where Seamus and car were hosed down before moving on.
The original story didn’t get into what became of Seamus, and the reporter, Neil Swidey, doesn’t answer the question in a recent article about the story’s continued resurgence.
So we’ll join in asking the question that other bloggers — including Dogs Against Romney — are raising: Whatever happened to Seamus?
Posted by jwoestendiek February 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, candidate, car, crate, crate gate, dogs, irish setter, mitt romney, observer, off the record, pets, politicker, politics, presidential, ran away, republican, roof, rooftop, runaway, seamus, station wagon, vacation, whatever happened to seamus
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul portrays himself as a Rottweiler, and his opponents as shih tzus, in a new campaign ad.
The ad, being broadcast in both Iowa and New Hampshire, is called “Big Dog,” and it accuses the other candidates of being all bark and no bite when it comes to cutting government spending.
“Testosterone-laden,” the Des Moines Register called it.
While his opponents may whine “like little shih tzus,” Ron Paul, according to the ad, will pounce on out of control federal government spending, cutting it by $1 trillion in the first year and eliminating five federal agencies.
As we’ve been telling you in this series, dogs are being used like never before to sway public opinion — and we wouldn’t be surprised if other candidates seized on the dog theme, portraying themselves, or their opponents as particular breeds.
Imagine the possibilities: Rick Perry as a well-groomed but oblivious Afghan hound; Michele Bachmann as a flighty Irish setter; Mitt Romney as a collie, programmed to, when he’s not riding on the top of cars, save people who have fallen into wells; Rick Santorum as a Presa Canario-Chihuahua mix; Newt Gingrich as a grumpy old bulldog; Herman Cain as a frisky pointer who missed his neutering appointment.
In a way, I hate to see dogs dragged into something as sleazy as politics, but with dogs being used to sell everything from toilet paper to insurance, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.
(All of our Woof in Advertising selections can be found archived here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ad, afghan hound, animals, bark, big dog, big dog ad, bite, breeds, bulldog, campaign, candidate, chihuahua, collie, dogs, dogs in advertising, election, government, herman cain, irish setter, michele bachman, mitt romney, newt gingrich, pets, pointer, politics, presa canario, presidential, republican, rick perry, rick santorum, ron paul, rottweiler, shih-tzu, spending, stereotypes, woof in advertising
(Did I just say that?)
U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Republican from Kentucky, took time out of his busy schedule to rescue a stray dog over the weekend, according to the Madisonville Messenger.
The veteran lawmaker was driving along U.S. 41 between Hanson and Madisonville on Sunday afternoon when he spotted a reddish colored mixed breed on the road.
“The dog was running down the middle of the highway and almost got hit by two trucks,” said Whitfield, a Hopkinsville Republican who grew up in Madisonville. “His tongue was hanging out as far as it could go.”
Whitfield stopped his vehicle and called the dog, but it ran off, disappearing into some bushes. Whitfield followed.
“I walked down there and started calling him in a real gentle voice. He stuck his head out and ran up to me.”
Whitfield put the dog in his car and stopped to get him some water and food before calling Hopkins County animal control officers, who transferred the dog to the animal shelter.
The dog was in good condition, but was missing hair from part of his neck, possibly from being chained or wearing too tight a collar.
“He was a beautiful dog and quite friendly,” Whitfield said. “I told (the officer) that if they would take care of him I would make a contribution.” On Monday, he delivered a personal check for $1,000 to the county Humane Society.
Whitfield has rescued dogs before, including one he saw on the highway several years ago when he and his wife, Connie Harriman-Whitfield — a former assistant secretary of the Interior who now works as a senior adviser for the Humane Society of the United States — were driving back to Washington.
They saw a dog dodging in and out of traffic on Interstate 64 near Mount Sterling, coaxed her into the car and still have her. A mixed breed, her name is Julep.
Whitfield also owns a Scottish terrier named Bosley and a Jack Russell terrier named Nigel, according to the Washington Post.
Nigel (left) often goes to work with Whitfield “because our dog walker can’t really deal with him,” he said.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, bosley, congress, congressman, connie harriman whitfield, dog, donation, ed whitefield, highway, hopkins county, hsus, humane society, julep, kentucky, news, nigel, pets, politics, rep, republican, rescued, rescues, shelter, stray