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Living With Animals: The First Dog

Love or hate him, among those traits which make Donald Trump unique is that he is the first president in a century to live without a dog in the White House. This realization made me turn to the “dog quotient” of those now attempting to take Mr. Trump’s place in November 2020. Since an estimated 68% of American homes include a pet this could perhaps have some impact on the election.

Major, a German Shepherd pup rescued by the Delaware Humane Association after exposure to toxic chemicals, was first fostered and then adopted (points!) by frontrunner Joe Biden. Elizabeth Warren has probably made the most of her campaign canine, a drop dead gorgeous Golden Retriever named Bailey, announcing him as one of the two men in her life (the other being husband Bruce). Pete Buttigieg gets kudos for the two shelter graduates in his family, Truman and Buddy. (Truman, aka the “First Dog of South Bend,” stars in several Facebook videos. More accurately, his happily rubbed belly stars.) Kamala Harris’ tweets are often full of dog things, her office is pet friendly, and she is a strong supporter of animal protection legislation, although I’m not able to confirm if she has any of her own. Beto O’Rourke’s family includes two black dogs, Artemis and Rosie, along with a cat named Silver.  Kirsten Gillibrand added Maple to her family two years ago, an adorable Labradoodle. Cory Booker is currently dog-less but promised to adopt one from a shelter in response to a question from a wise 11-year-old boy (good boy!) during a campaign stop. Bernie Sanders was dog-less back in 2016 (and we saw how that worked out) and appears to remain so (take a hint Bernie!), as are Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro and Tulsi Gabbard.

Much to my surprise, I learned recently that in addition to the two dozen or so names we all know there are also 739 “other” candidates running in the Democratic presidential primary. Relevant to this article, these include Seven the Dog and Seymour Cats. Seymour has the best campaign slogan of all, “If you want to run with the big dogs, you’ve got to vote for a cat.”

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