Question Romney's Character? Ask a Dog

Question Romney's Character? Ask a Dog

We know that how we treat animals reflects the soul our characters. We know that children taught to be kind of and gentle to animals are more empathetic as adults. We also know that people who abuse animals are far more likely to abuse women and or children, and commit violent crimes. The body of evidence on these points is now considered irrefutable.

I am not suggesting that Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was intentionally cruel to his dog back in 1983. But what he did was cruel – under any definition.

What strikes as most disturbing is the Presidential candidate’s response today to his actions.

Seamus, the Romney family Irish Setter, joined the Romney clan on a road trip. It’s hard to believe, but Romney traveled with the dog inside a carrier, which was strapped to the roof of the car, traveling at speeds averaging around 50 to 70 mph for a 12 hour road trip.

This isn’t left wing propaganda – it’s true and Romney admits it. What’s more, he continually defends what he did.

Yes, to me, this was an unthinkable (never mind unlawful) way to travel with a dog. But even more telling of the candidate’s character are his responses to various reporters questioning.

You’d think the presidential candidate’s media aids might have suggested Romney say something like this. “That incident happened 29 years ago. I loved our dog, and today I know better - I would never consider traveling with our dog on the roof of the car today. I am sorry.”

Instead, in interviews, the candidate remains oddly adamant that he did the right thing.

For example, in December of last year, he told Chris Wallace of Fox TV, “This was a completely air tight kennel mounted on the top of our car. He climbed up there regularly… We had five kids inside the car; my guess is that he liked it a lot better on there (than with the kids).”

By the way, gratefully, the kennel wasn’t airtight. If it had been Seamus wouldn’t have survived five minutes.

When Wallace reminded Romney it’s against Massachusetts law to travel with a dog on a car roof (of course, it is), his response was, “He enjoyed his ride, and whether you are in the back of a pick up truck (also against the law for dogs to travel in Massachusetts) or a rooftop carrier; he enjoyed his ride. I didn’t know there were any problems with that, according to the law.”

According to printed reports, in the Boston Globe (from back in 2007), Seamus expressed his “enjoyment” of the trip by defecating and urinating. Romney stopped at a gas station to hose off the car, but placed the dog right back on to the roof.

In interview in Pittsburgh, Romney said the animal rights people aren’t happy “that my dog likes fresh air.”

No wonder, a website (and corresponding facebook page)  was set up. Opposing candidates have questioned Romney’s judgment on the canine issue. Animal lover Newt Gingrich went the furthest by creating a contrary website.

I spoke to Gingrich (check it out yourself by clicking the link) who almost always has much to say on every issue. He could only shake his head in disbelief when asked about Romney traveling with a dog on a car roof, “Bizarre isn’t it?” he responded.

Even more bizarre but revealing is that Romney has never wavered, and his unwillingness to admit wrong or apologize.  You don’t need to be a political whizzes like James Carville or Mary Matalin to figure it out – had Romney apologized, the story would have long gone away.

According to his own words, Romney believes that strapping a dog on to the roof of a car is just fine. I will end this column just as I began: How we treat animals reflects the soul of our characters.



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  • Hi Great article! Just a heads up, the website listed in the article: www.dogsagainstromeny does not link to where you really want to send people. I believe this is correct: (sorry the geek in me wanted to make sure anyone who clicked on the link would not be confused)
    Thank You for your article, I couldn't agree with you more than how you began as well as ended the column: How we treat animals reflects the soul of our characters!

  • thank you - I did fix it....I usually check the, we're good.....

  • No question the story is true. But what has not received much notice is that Santorum, who has aligned himself with Animal Rights, has an incredible number of puppy mills in his own back yard (PA Dutch Country). Has anyone heard of him doing anything about those mills? Oh, right, the puppy millers vote.

  • I don't know - have heard rumblings petexpert....
    By the way, this person who says she is a pet expert is indeed an expert, author and cat/dog behavior consultant Darlene Arden. Honored to have your post here.

  • In reply to Steve Dale:

    Thank you, Steve. :-)

  • It was either the dog or one of the kids. I would have chosen one of the kids.

  • Speaking of websites, have you seen the Here is the process in one case:

    “We cook ‘em and squeeze ‘em.” That’s how LiveFuels CEO Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones describes her San Carlos, Calif.-based company’s process for turning algae-fed fish into oil for fuel using heat and high pressure. It’s a slightly more gruesome way of harvesting pond scum than the mechanical equipment employed by other startups working on algal fuels, but it might be cheaper.

    Looks like Spot and Pond Scum are not big political fans. And in Chicago, all species can vote early and often, and even after death.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Last I knew, algae were plants. Therefore, since carrot juice is squeezed i the same manner, there should be a protest against V8.

  • As Mr. Davis said, they harvest the algae-fed FISH. This is from Live Fuels website:

    :Harvesting: Biomass concentration as nature intended it

    Conventional machinery is unable to harvest microscopic algae from large volumes of water at low cost. To harvest algae, LiveFuels uses a natural mixture of oil-rich “algae grazers,” such as filter-feeding fish species, in place of expensive and energy-intensive mechanical equipment. This approach eliminates significant capital and operating costs, while providing a scalable system for harvesting large quantities of algae.

    Currently, our research focuses on ecosystem and life cycle modeling in order to achieve the optimal growth of aquatic organisms.

    Downstream: Leveraging existing technology to streamline processing

    Not only are aquatic herbivores extremely efficient at collecting algae, they are also easily processed with existing technology. Current technology converts fish into a number of valuable products, such as renewable oils, fishmeal and high-value dietary supplements."

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