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Guest Commentary April 18, 2012 //  by  // 14 Comments

Presidential campaign still haunted by dog

When Gov. Mitt Romney was running for the United States Senate in 1994, a local newspaper ran a story describing the way Romney loaded up his “beloved” dog, Seamus, in a crate on the roof of his car during a trip from Boston to Canada in the summer of 1983.

The dog suffered diarrhea at one point, and Romney stopped at a local gas station to hose him down and then proceeded to put the dog right back up on the roof. Little did he know that this incident would haunt him today.

Ann Romney defended her husband, saying, “The dog loved it. He would see that crate and, you know, he would, like, go crazy because he was going with us on vacation. It was to me a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel for two weeks.”

Some dogs like the smell and taste of rat poison, but it’s up to the owner to make sure the canine doesn’t hurt himself. Seamus might have seemed like he liked it, but the ride was obviously making him sick. Anytime something like this happens it’s up to responsible dog owners to notice their animal’s behavior and change the situation. Media and dog owners everywhere weren’t going to let Romney forget what he had done. These actions have put a damper on his current presidential campaign.

However, Romney and his supporters have found some refuge in that old saying “fight fire with fire” because of a little golden nugget hidden in President Barack Obama’s memoir, “Dreams of My Father.” In the book, Obama describes an incident where he was served and tasted dog meat in Indonesia. He talks about his culinary experiences with his stepfather Lolo.

“With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chili 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),” reads the passage.

The conservative media has pounced on this, and the mudslinging has begun. Yet, at least for Obama, it’s not so black-and-white. He was nine and ate what was served. This says more about Obama’s culinary boldness than it does about condoning cruel acts against animals. A child eats what you serve them, and it’s sort of ridiculous to attack him for trying new things. Whole cultures eat dog, and that’s the norm for them. Are we going to attack them too? Many Americans have said that they have tried dog when abroad. Some might find the idea of eating dog atrocious, but then again, foreigners might find what we put in our mouths equally as nasty. Things like the so-called pink slime that most ground beef has in it, as well as the genetically modified food we consume, have recently come under fire.

Romney might defend his actions, but they were cruel. Some owners make mistakes, and maybe he didn’t realize Seamus would get sick, but there’s no excuse for keeping him on the roof of the car for the remainder of the trip. This obviously shows how uncaring Romney is.

Alejandro Caballero is a creative writing junior and may be reached at opinion@thedailycougar.com.

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  • Chimpelle Obongo

    There are many cannibals in the jungles of Africa. We deem it to be wrong. Hussein ate dog and it’s a fact. I don’t know how much one would care for the safety of dogs if one is willing to eat them.
    Obama wrote that book and read the chapters as an adult. He chose to disclose his disgusting dog~eating habits. Let him deal with that.

    Hussein LOVES dogs. He finds them DELICIOUS.

  • dogeatdog

    Obama ate a dog. True story. Is this relevant to the economy?

  • Dogboy's Master

    My dog loves riding on the top of my pickup. I have a strap system whic h goes over the top of the cab and in through the windows and buckeles together inside at the roof. The dog wears a chest harness which then attaches tightly to the straps. He cannot fall of the cab top and just loves to ride up there. Whenever I get ready to go in the truck, Dogboy, my dog's name, gets all excited. He runs to inside the garage where I keep the harness and sits for me to put it onto him. He then jumps into the pickup bed and then onto the top of the cab so that I can hook him to the straps. He loves to ride facing into the wind. Of course, he cannot tell me he loves this activity, but I can tell he loves it by his actions. He is my dog and no one can tell me what he thinks better than myself. I have never eaten dog meat, and would not have even as a kid, because I always have loved dgos, as pets, not as food. anyone can justify anything, but I know that my dog loves me as much as I love him.

    • blackman

      Thats stupid to put a dog on the roof! Kids like to play with light sockets,doesn't mean you should let them. And contrary to popular belief, not everyone does the same thing as Americans. Indians dont eat cows. In Indonesia they eat dog. Stop being a good 'ol boy and realize most ppl in the world are NOTlike you.

  • blip

    The GOP ate the middle class…. that seems like the bigger story.

  • Nantzin

    Hussein? Saddam Hussein? There are tons of people with Hussein or Huseyin in their last names.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hussein

  • Cougar Prophet

    I noticed you didn't describe the cage used to transport the dog. It was designed for that specific task, including a plexiglass wind shield. I am sure the dog loved it, they usually do. If given a choice between riding on top of a car in a dog carrier or being EATEN by a 9 year old, im sure the dog would answer WOOF WOOF as he rode down the road on top of that station wagon.

    Specific to a 9 year old and your comment "a child eats what you serve them" only proves you never had a 9 year old. That age group eats what that WANT or what they are forced to eat. That could only mean Obama either liked eating a dog (i wonder what breed it was) or Lolo beat him with a whip and forced him to eat it.

  • Kyle

    This is a non-story and a discussion that matches. Obama ate dog, who the hell cares? I had horse in Japan. Mitt made a mistake with his pet. Who the hell cares?
    It has nothing to do with their political agendas and is completely irrelevant to their ability to lead the country.

  • okaycool

    RIP journalism

  • okaycool

    Okay, mods who troll for less-than-ideal comments all day. Since my last comment was ~unacceptable,~ let me try this again:

    Wow! This article is so relevant to my life. I’m so glad that we can devote time and space to this issue. It just seems really, really important. Yeah. Definitely. Thanks, Daily Cougar! Keep on keepin’ on.

  • Rocco

    You actually have the utter vacuousness and/or baldfaced disingenuousness to compare taking a dog on a car-trip in a kennel, to a dog eating rat poison?

    Meanwhile, as it’s been said, Obama recalls eating dog and various other “oddities” while growing up, without a hint or a tinge of disgust or revulsion. If I had been subjected to that, I would have appended the recollection with something like “how horrible is that? Now that I know better, it haunts me to this day.”

    It’s just another example of leftists trying — ridiculously — to obfuscate on the real issues, and their attempts thereof backfiring big-time.

  • Nelson

    I don't fault Obama for eating dog and those who do are ignorant about how things work outside their little world.

    You show an appalling lack of knowledge as to how hunting dogs are transported by people who REALLY love their dogs. (My grandfather was Chairman of the American Brittany Club for years so this is first hand.) Hunting outfitters often transport several dogs great distances to events like field trials (in our case, from Texas to the Chicago area), usually in small pens on either side of custom truck beds or trailers (google it yourself). Sometimes they get sick or dirty and get hosed down to clean them up. And these dogs get excited and want to jump into their pens when you walk them toward the truck.

    It sounds like what Romney did (with a hunting breed) was no different than this. I have much more respect for his sensible and practical approach to this problem than the ignorant liberals who think dogs are people and are being mistreated if they aren't riding in the front and are trying to make this into a political issue.

    Please tell me how you would transport a horse or a cow?

  • labar

    The only reason we’re talking about dogs instead of the economy is because stupid dems thought that they could use this 30 year old incident to destroy any support Romney might have regarding the animal loving voters group.

    So you have to eat what you serve.

    And next dems want to tie Romney to polygamy, but again Obama’s family has way more experience with multiply wives than Romney, so maybe you dems should just drop that too and focus on the issues that you claim (without any shred of evidence) to care so much about. I won’t hope you’ll change . . .

  • Don4u

    They all taste like chicken….get over with it. 8P

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