Inside The Puritan Backroom Gabby and her pals lifted a toast to Gov. Sarah Palin.
Sure, the photo — yup, the one where Trig was about to use the dog as a footstool — outraged animal activists, but look at the opportunity, Charlie said.
The pets haven’t had this type of publicity since the irrepressible Bay State Gov. Mitt Romney threw Seamus on the car roof and drove to Beach 0’Pines, Ontario, as Mr. Bean, the tuxedo cat, correctly observed.
Plus, everyone would have been, uh, appawled, if the pets had dredged up the old Romney chestnut, according to Kodak, the golden retriever and unofficial Mayor of Portsmouth.
“It’s a windfall,” Tortie, Mr. Bean’s sister, agreed.
Digging up that old news would have given the critics a field day with one bon-mot after the next about dogs not knowing when to let go of a bone.
“To Sarah,” said Asia the immortal tabby, since Palin had “fixed” (so to
speak) that entire problem.
“To Sarah and to the Mittster, who put pets on the political map,” Mr. Bean said.
As every pet in the room knew, Romney — albeit inadvertently – had done more to advance the animal rights agenda than any presidential candidate in U.S. history.
Sammy, the tabby moderating the meeting, smiled and Asia bowed his head.
“Romney was the watershed,” Juju, the tabby cat, pointed out. (Juju is Sammy’s sister, according to Suzanne Laurent. Both cats were born on July 3. Her name is a play on the name of the month and Sam’s name is “a nod to the national holiday. “)
In the Post-Seamus political climate, every candidate knows he – or she –must go on the record to state support for animals and humane treatment.
Remember all Gov. Rick Perry’s tweets about his dog?
And Speaker Newt Gingrich’s anecdotes about his early ambition to own a zoo?
Sure, maybe those statements served as a way of bringing up Seamusgate, without seeming to take a cheap shot, Gabby said. But no question, Romney changed the debate to real animal issues. No more dwelling on Izak, the Primary winner picking goat. (BTW, in 2012, he picked former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and also bit him.)
“In Izak’s defense,” Asia said, “the penguin at the St. Louis Zoo bit Gingrich.”
“But what are we doing with all this political capital?” Gabby said. “Why not launch our own party – the Nature Party – and run a candidate who will do right by animals?”
“Mr. Bean told me not to endorse anyone yet,” Kodak whispered and bowed his head reverently at the mention of the esteemed tuxedo cat’s name. In fact, at a meet-and-greet in Portsmouth, Kodak had sidestepped “repawter” questions about who he’s supporting in 2016. (His human guardians, Suzanne and Jean Laurent, are Independents, with Democratic leanings, and report that the three animals begged their guardians to move from Republican-heavy Windham to Portsmouth just in time for Obama’s re-election. )
“Listen up. Instead of supporting either Dems or Republicans this time around,” Gabby said, “we pets should throw kitty litter on all of them and back our own horse, So to speak.”
“Both parties have disappointed animals,” Gabby went on, looking back at broken promises from both sides.
“Take the wild horses, for one example,” she continued. “President Obama appointed Secretary Jewell to Interior. What has she done to protect the mustangs and wild burros?”
Mr. Bean straightened his bow tie and cleared his throat.
“I’m not ready to give up on Rick Santorum yet,” he said.
Mr. Bean had become fascinated with Republicans after being exposed too young to political scandal, according to photographer Allegra Boverman. (He was but a kitten when the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke, and his human guardians, both Independents, initially hoped they were mistaken about Bean’s predilections, she said. Yes, he stalked out of the room at the exact second a Democrat came on television. Coincidence, they hoped. Then no, it had happened too many times.
“But I agree, we should at least consider The Gabby Dog’s idea,” Bean said, shocking the other pets with proof he had indeed mellowed — a little.
“It was President Nixon who signed the law protecting the wild horses, after all,” Mr. Bean said.
“Is Santorum running?” Kodak snorted. “Hadn’t heard a word.”
Instead of replying, Bean scampered out of the pub to take a telephone call.
“This is really like herding cats,” Gabby sighed.
When Mr. Bean did not return immediately, everyone guessed he had taken off on a mouse hunt with his idol Dick Cheney, and with Gov. Mike Huckabee.
But suddenly, he raced back and jumped on the bar.
“Oh, my soul,” Mr. Bean shouted. “This is incredible news. Mitt Romney is running again. He’s doing a Ronald Reagan. Mitt is back.”
“What a bonanza,” Gabby said. “Pets, we have work to do.”
To be continued…
Margo Ann Sullivan is a pet columnist who has written for ZooToo, and numerous publications in New York and in New England. She’s had pets all her life, starting with a rescue collie named Lollypop. The Gabby Dog column chases the news that helps pets and people. It also chronicles the adventures of Gabby, the peke-a-poo, and Asia, the tabby cat, and their many pals, hitting the high spots between Providence, RI, and Manchester, NH.