January 23, 2022

We Have a President Who Loves Canines Once more in Joe Biden, and Not a Minute Too Quickly

6 min read


A serious controversy hit Joe Biden this week, because the White Home canine was β€œrehomed” and a bouncy, younger substitute, Commander, moved into the First Doghouse.

Farewell, Main. Whether it is any comfort to you, two House impeachment committees voted to rehome the last human elected to live in the White House, a man who did a lot more damage than simply nipping at visitors. He was removed from being an excellent boy and you’re one, so we want you nicely in your new life.

That mentioned, now we have to confess that Commander is cute. I imply actual, actual cute in that approach that bounding, loose-jointed, rabbit-eared, endlessly optimistic, furniture-chewing, ball-chasing German shepherd puppies so typically are. And we’re happy to be reminded but once more that our present president, essentially the most highly effective man on this planet, is at his very core, a canine individual.

The final proprietor of the White Home famously didn’t like canines. And he was a dick. These two details aren’t unrelated. It doesn’t imply that if you don’t like canines you’ll find yourself being essentially the most corrupt president in American historical past or a racist, sex-abusing coup-plotter. It’s simply extra doubtless.

Residing with a canine requires one thing essential that Donald Trump didn’t have: empathy. You see, canines can’t speak. They convey on a regular basis. However not with phrases. So, to take care of them, to get pleasure from them, to get to know them, you need to be attentive to the clues they offer you, their moods, their expressions, the best way they lick their chops when they need a deal with. And individuals who take the time to attach with animals are more likely to have the ability to do the identical with people, to really feel compassion, tenderness, and appreciation for different lives.

Biden is a kind of folks. The truth is, the qualities that make him need to, have to, share his residence along with his canines are exactly the identical as people who led many to decide on him over Trump.

They’re the form of qualities that we worth in buddies and colleagues. They’re the sort that we have a good time presently of 12 months. They’re the sort that appear particularly essential within the Washington of immediately, when the Joe Manchins of this world kick the needy and hungry kids of America to the curb to serve their greed-driven, discredited, hypocritical, immoral agendas. (It seems a lump of Santa’s coal has nothing on the lump of Massive Coal Manchin simply put in our stockings.)

After all, having a canine shouldn’t be a assure {that a} president will probably be an individual of character. Nixon had Checkers, in spite of everythingβ€”additionally a Yorkie, a poodle and an Irish setter. The truth is, virtually all presidents have had canines. Washington is taken into account not solely the daddy of our nation but in addition of a breed of canines he helped create, the American foxhound. Jefferson, as you may anticipate, selected to deal with a French breed, the Briard. Franklin Roosevelt had a well-known pup named Fala who acquired his personal fan mail and likewise eight others…together with a German shepherd named Main.

β€œThe final proprietor of the White Home famously didn’t like canines. And he was a dick. These two details aren’t unrelated.
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Not having a canine or any form of furry buddy, nonetheless, is a warning signal. Aside from Trump, solely two earlier presidents had no pets whereas in workplace. One was Andrew Johnson, who Trump aspired to be a modern-day version of and who, like Trump, was impeached and disgraced and refused to attend his successor’s inauguration. The opposite was James Okay. Polk, greatest recognized for beginning the Mexican-American Conflict (one thing Trump all the time hoped he may do.)

Within the curiosity of animal fairness, I ought to word that different presidential pets have included cats (Lincoln, Hayes, McKinley, Wilson, Coolidge, Kennedy, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 43), horses (Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, Tyler, Taylor, Lincoln, Grant, Garfield, Arthur, Kennedy), ponies (Taylor, Fillmore, Grant, Kennedy) and donkeys (Wasington, Coolidge). They’ve included many sorts of birds together with parrots (Washington, Madison, Jackson, McKinley), mockingbirds (Jefferson, Cleveland), , canaries (John Tyler, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, Kennedy), an eagle (Buchanan), a turkey (Lincoln), combating roosters (Jackson, McKinley), songbirds (Wilson, Coolidge), a goose (Coolidge), geese (Kennedy), parakeets (Eisenhower, Kennedy), lovebirds (Johnson), a yellowbird (Coolidge).

Presidential menageries have additionally included: grizzly bear cubs (Jefferson), silkworms (John Quincy Adams), alligators (John Quincy Adams, B. Harrison), tiger cubs (Martin Van Buren), cows (William Henry Harrison, William Howard Taft, Bush 43), goats (William Henry Harrison, Lincoln, Benjamin Harrison), rabbits (Lincoln, Arthur, Kennedy), opossums (B. Harrison, Hoover), a ram (Wilson), sheep (Wilson), a squirrel (Harding), a raccoon (Coolidge), a bobcat (Coolidge), lions (Coolidge), a pygmy hippo (Coolidge), a wallaby (Coolidge), a duiker (Coolidge), a black bear (Coolidge), and hamsters (Kennedy, Johnson).

After which there’s Teddy Roosevelt, who had guinea pigs, a ponies, a hen, a lizard, a macaw, a garter snake, a black bear, a rat, a badger, a pig, a rabbit, cats, a laughing hyena, an owl and a one-legged roosterβ€”along with his many canines.

I’m not saying that having an alligator or grizzly bears round the home will essentially enhance a president’s non-verbal communications abilities, but it surely couldn’t damage. And with regards to canines, the truth is they don’t seem to be simply our pets, they’re, as my spouse, Carla, likes to level out, our academics. They train us to search for clues about how others really feel. They remind us to prioritize our accountability to others. The truth is, day-in and day-out they provide us numerous classes.

For instance, Carla, who’s the gifted canine whisperer who launched me to life with a canine, and who typically lectures and teaches in universities (not about canines) typically will ask college students in search of clues about how one can stay life, β€œWhat’s your ball? What’s the factor you naturally run after, which means all the things to you? That’s what it is best to deal with in life.”

Our canine, Grizzly, an 85-pound rescue from Texas, has been instructing me because the second he first arrived in our life, three years in the past. For positive I’m a greater me when I’m round that tender beast even when I don’t totally recognize that truth when strolling him on a bitterly chilly winter morning. However even then, I can be taught from him. For instance, this morning I watched him and thought to myself, if solely I assumed as rigorously in regards to the selections I make in life as he does deciding the place to poop.

Donald Trump is such a narcissist that there was no room in his coronary heart for some other creature, no matter species. Therefore his assaults as president on nature herself, his placing kids in cages, tossing paper towels to hurricane victims, and on and on. I ponder on reflection if the White Home was petless not a lot as a result of that president didn’t care to have a canine however as a result of no self-respecting canine would care to have something to do with him.

So, it’s a grace word to this vacation season, that among the many darkish tales of our second, now we have one which reminds of one more essential distinction between this basically good man who’s our president and the one who was in workplace only one quick 12 months in the past, spending a dogless Christmas plotting an assault on our democracy.

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