2008-09-17 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

by Joanne


With the election weeks away, it might be time to examine some "dog quotes" attributed to U.S. Presidents, starting with wisdom from Lincoln: "I care not for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it." Honest Abe also said: "How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg." Are you listening candidates? Here are some more:

"If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience."…..Woodrow Wilson

"The best way to get over a dog's death is to get another one soon."….Ronald Reagan

"The friendship of a dog is precious. It becomes even more important when one is removed from home…I have a Scottie. In him I find consolation and diversion…He is the "one person" to whom I can talk without the conversation coming back to war."… Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads."…Harry S. Truman

Checker's grave at Bide-A-Wee, Wantagh.
"Be careful, Peter is one Republican in the White House who bites."…Calvin Coolidge referring to his Wirehaired Fox Terrier, Peter Pan

"Study hard, and you might grow up to be President. But let's face it: even then you won't make as much money as your dog."…George Bush, speaking about Millie, his Springer Spaniel, and the nearly $900,000 in royalties that Barbara Bush's book about their pooch earned.

"Sometimes I feel like a fire hydrant looking at a pack of dogs."…Bill Clinton

"An Airedale can do anything any other dog can do and then whip the other dog if he has to."…

Theodore Roosevelt

…and now for the top three White House hooplas centered on dogs:

•During World War II the press blasted Franklin D. Roosevelt for sending a destroyer to retrieve his Scottie, Fala, who inadvertently had been left behind on an Alaskan island. FDR retorted: "These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, on my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I do not resent attacks…but Fala does resent them."

•When the angry outcry demanded to know why Lyndon Johnson picked his Beagles up by the ears, he curtly replied: "To make them bark. It's good for them."

•Last but not the least controversial- in 1952 Nixon made the famous "Checkers" speech. He had been accused of accepting improper gifts while running for Vice President. When Nixon announced to the nation that he would not relinquish the Cocker Spaniel pup given to him by a Texas salesman, it was one of the first times that a candidate appealed on TV: "And our little girl, Tricia, the six year old, named the dog "Checkers". And you know the kids love the dog, and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they [the press] have to say about it, we are going to keep it." The Nixon family did keep the Cocker for the next 12 years. Checkers died in 1964 and is buried at Bide-A-Wee in Wantagh, though Nixon never lived on LI and no one from the former first family has ever been to visit the grave.

Speaking of Wantagh, the Mayor's Alliance Low Cost Microchip Clinic at Wantagh Park last weekend (coinciding with the Last Hope Dog Walk) was very busy. Many more LI dogs and cats now have recovery protection in case they get lost. During the event, 104 pets were implanted with microchips, plus two dogs were discovered to have chips that their owners did not know were there. I am extremely thankful to Janell Granier and her team of volunteers from the Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals. Hopefully we can do this again.

For Adoption: Brindle seems to be a predominant

color in the Oyster Bay Shelter (677-5784) kennels at the present time. Unfortunately these tones camouflage so the dogs are often overlooked. #638 shown here is a nice brindle Boxer with natural ears. Representing the felines is "Sugar Daddy" the lilac point Siamese #720 shown last week in the fancy vest. The shelter at 150 Miller Pl. Syosset is overflowing with other gorgeous cats and kittens like "Percy" a hefty white

cat and "Sweet Pea"- a swirly tabby. Remember all adoptions, including spay/neuter, are free for the month of September. The shelter will also be having a free rabies vaccine clinic for town residents' dogs, cats and ferrets this Sat. Sept. 20 from 10 to 2.


Reminder: "Pesos for Paco" dinner Sept. 25 at Don Ricardo's in Babylon to benefit Last Hope's special needs dogs, including Paco- a very special Chihuahua. Visit: www.lasthopeanimalrescue.org.

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