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Tag: vice president

Colombian vice president declines ambassadorship — to stay home with dog

garzon-apColombian Vice President Angelino Garzon says he turned down an ambassadorship in Brazil because the climate there would not be healthy for his dog

And when we say climate, we mean the weather.

Garzon, in a letter to the Colombian president, said he was declining the job for personal and family reasons. He elaborated on those reasons in an interview with the magazine Semana.

Basically, it comes down to one family member — his German shepherd, Orion, who he said wouldn’t be comfortable in Brazil’s steamy climate, and who he refuses to live without.

“I have turned down the ambassador job because the dog you see on that picture is very hairy and the hot climate of Brasilia could harm its health,” Garzon, 67, told the magazine reporter as he showed her a photo of Orion.

“Wherever Angelino goes, it goes,” he said.

We find his reasons perfectly acceptable, even admirable (though calling his dog something other than “it” would be more to our liking).

Some, though, are scoffing at his excuse, including Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, according to the BBC.

She called Garzon’s rejection of the post “very embarrassing … When he mentioned personal problems, you would expect something deeper than that. It is as though he doesn’t realize the importance Brazil has,” she said.

We may have a duty to our country, but we have a duty to our dogs, too, and — whether or not “it’s too hot for the dog” is his real and total reason for declining the post — we think Garzon has every right to say no thanks for any reason he wants. We especially like this one though.

Garzon announced earlier this year that he would not run for re-election alongside President Juan Manuel Santos. He said he might consider running for mayor of Bogota or Cali. “In local government, you can have a bigger impact in improving people’s lives than as vice-president,” he said.

(Photo: Associated Press)

In hindsight, breeder regrets sale to Biden

What was initially a proud moment for Linda Brown turned sour not long after Joe Biden bought his new German shepherd puppy from her kennel in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Brown says the sale led to a visit every month from the state Department of Agriculture, death threats from animal rights activists, and loads of criticism.

“I thought when Joe Biden bought a puppy from me, what an honor,” Brown told the Chester County Daily Local News. “Out of millions of breeders in the country, in the world, he picked me.”

But as soon as the purchase was publicized, the criticism started — first of then vice president-elect Biden, for purchasing from a breeder, and for the Secret Service contingent that arrived at Brown’s Wolf Den Kennel with him; then of Brown, whose kennel was cited for record-keeping problems and warned about maintenance and sanitation shortfalls by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

“I was cited for a piece of kibble on the floor and five strands of dog hair. They took a picture of that, they walked around, snapped pictures and don’t tell you why,” said Brown.

According to Philly Dawg, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s dog blog, the violations found included dogs kept in outside pens with ice accumulation, broken fencing, shredded aluminum capping, and holes in pens large enough for a dog to escape. One large dog’s only shelter was an airline travel crate in which he could not stand erect.

Brown racked up five citations after December for numerous kennel violations and a slew of warnings for other problems including an “immediate grooming” order for a St. Bernard to “prevent the dog from harboring infectious and contagious disease.”

Brown was warned about the problems in a Jan. 5 inspection. When investigators returned to the kennel in Spring City in Jan. 22 they found conditions had not improved. They also found incomplete sales and health records, prompting three more citations —  one each for records, drainage and maintenance. Brown also received two citations in December – the same week that Biden purchased the six-week-old puppy.

According to Philly Dawg, Brown, who also operates as JoLindy’s German Shepherds, had 85 dogs on the property on Jan. 22 and reported 188 dogs sold in the past 12 months. She holds the largest state commercial kennel license that allows her to keep or sell an unlimited number of dogs. 

Brown’s case was heard by District Justice James DeAngelo in South Coventry on March 31. She was found “not guilty” for each citation, the judge’s office confirmed Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture said Brown was inspected in December because of a complaint. He declined to release the name of the person who complained. He said the inspectors returned as a matter of follow-up to determine if the matters had been addressed

Brown’s kennel, Wolf Den, was inspected twice a year by the agency and had satisfactory reports until December 2008 when it was rated unsatisfactory in seven of 26 areas, according to the inspection records on the agency’s website.

Brown, who spent $4,000 on lawyers to fight the citations, says she doesn’t plan to sell any more dogs to high profile clients. “Never, never, never again,” she said.

The dog who saved Nixon

The No. 1 rule for a website, most will tell you, is to write short. We at ohmidog! have never been too fond of rules. Today, with all the hubbub about Obama’s yet-to-be-named dog, with gift dog offers pouring in to the Obama family, we travel back in time to look at another dog gifted to a politician, how that gift came to be given, and how Checkers, arguably the most famous dog in politics, rescued Richard Nixon’s career. This article  originally appeared in the Baltimore Sun on Sept. 22, 2002.

She taught music. He was a traveling salesman. They never gained much fame. But, with help from their cocker spaniel Boots, they may have changed the course of history.

Had Beatrice Carrol not been hired to teach piano at a women’s college in Texas, had Lou Carrol not picked up a newspaper to read during another lonely dinner on the road, had Boots not been paired up with a stud named Ace and given birth to a litter of black and white cockers two months before the Republican National Convention in 1952, Richard Nixon — it could be argued — might never have been president.

It was the Carrols who — back when TVs were black and white and Communists were “Reds” — gave the Nixon family the puppy they would name Checkers.

And it was Checkers who provided the sentimental hook in a speech that helped the then-U.S. senator from California secure his role as Dwight Eisenhower’s vice presidential running mate.

Nixon’s “Fund Speech,” better known as his Checkers speech — given 50 years ago tomorrow — was historic on several levels. It was the first time a politician, bypassing news organizations, made a direct appeal to the public on television. The speech was watched by the largest audience TV had ever amassed. And, most historians now agree, it resulted in Eisenhower turning around a decision — all but made, Nixon found out shortly before going on the air — to remove him from the ticket.

But like so much else when it comes to the man who would later serve as the nation’s 37th president, the Checkers story is full of contradictions.

Nixon barely knew the dog when he gave the speech. He implied she was a surprise when, in fact, his staff had known about the planned gift for more than a month. And, in the speech, he both got her gender wrong and incorrectly stated where she had been picked up.

Those discrepancies — granted, not as alarming as an 18 1/2 -minute gap on a White House tape recording — never got the kind of scrutiny that Nixon would in 1974, when the Watergate scandal and investigation led to his resignation as president.

For Lou Carrol, “that whole Watergate mess” made for some uncomfortable times, as well. While he had remained in relative obscurity, while he had never boasted about his gift to Nixon, he became, after that, hesitant to mention it at all.

To this day, few know he is the “man down in Texas” Nixon referred to in the speech. Other than appearing on two TV quiz shows in the 1950s — I’ve Got a Secret and What’s My Line? — Carrol never received much publicity. “Nor,” he says, “was I seeking it.

“It was just one of those things you do spontaneously. There’s a joy in doing that kind of thing,” he said. “Every time I’d see those children — those pictures of them and the dog and how happy they looked — it put a smile on my face.”

Read more »

Biden’s shepherd gets a name: “Champ”

Joe Biden’s family has come up with a name for the vice-president elect’s new dog: Champ.

On Christmas morning, the Delaware senator’s granddaughters announced the name for the German shepherd puppy Biden picked out at a Chester County, Pa., kennel earlier this month. “Champ” was a nickname given to Biden by his father.

At campaign events, Biden often recounted his father’s advice for tough times — “Champ, when you get knocked down, get up!” — as a rallying cry to voters, according to Delmarva Now.

Champ will join the Biden family in Washington after the inauguration. He is being trained by New Castle County, Delaware, Police K-9 coordinator Cpl. Mark Tobin, who helped pick out the new pet.

Biden, after taking some heat from animal welfare organizations for buying from a breeder, announced that he plans to get a second dog — likely a golden retriever — from a shelter.

Second Biden dog will be a rescue, Joe says

Vice president-elect Joe Biden, who faced some heat for his decision to purchase a dog from a breeder, says his family plans to get a second dog — this one from a shelter or rescue organization.

“We’re going to have more than one puppy,” he said in on the ABC News show This Week With George Stephanopoulous.

Biden’s purchase of a 6-week-old German shepherd from a Chester County breeder Dec. 6 touched off a national debate about pet-shopping, with critics pointing to the millions of dogs euthanized in shelters each year.

Biden said his family is not getting the dog in an effort to appear politically correct, but because his wife wants it, and because his family has almost always had two dogs. Read more »

Joe Biden gets his dog (a German shepherd)

The first family-elect still hasn’t gotten a dog, but Joe Biden has picked his — a German shepherd pup from Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Vice President-elect Biden, arriving in an entourage of seven Secret Service vehicles, selected a three-month old male from a litter belonging to East Coventry breeder Linda Brown.

The purchase fulfills a campaign promise — one Jill Biden made to her husband during the presidential race. She then went on to tape pictures of different dogs on the back of the airline seat in front of Biden to inspire the candidate as he crisscrossed the country.

“He is the nicest person on this earth,” breeder Brown said about her meeting with Biden. “He was very gracious. He hugged and kissed all of the shepherds.” Read more »