Thursday, June 28, 2007
By Steven L. Taylor

Journeys of a shared life – The Boston Globe

The destination for this journey in the summer of 1983 was his parents’ cottage on the Canadian shores of Lake Huron.


Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family’s hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon’s roof rack. He’d built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.


The ride was largely what you’d expect with five brothers, ages 13 and under, packed into a wagon they called the ”white whale.”
As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ”Dad!” he yelled. ”Gross!” A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who’d been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.

As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.

How is the ability to wash dog poop off the family station wagon evidence of much of anything?

Meanwhile, as James Joyner notes at OTB, the anecdote has hacked off some GOP dog lovers (and some non-GOPers as well).

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4 Responses to “Dog Politics”

  1. Honza P Says:

    The windshield was nice. Plus the ability not to freak out over nonsense.

    I agree, dog lovers will be upset.

  2. Gaije Says:

    Dog lovers are indeed upset. You’re right. 12 hours crated is pushing it under the best of circumstances. In the summer heat, without water, on top of a car, no breaks? That’s cruelty, unquestionably. Appalling cruelty. A dog of that size and breed could have died just from being in that kind of heat without water for that length of time. And the windshield’s actually *not* such a nice touch, as all it served to do was to decrease the amount of ventilation the dog was getting inside the crate. Less ventilation = hotter temps for a big dog, for twelve hours. Nice.

    No space to move, no company, no food, no water, hot day, fot twelve hours. Nice.

    And of course, if they’d had any kind of any accident, the dog could, again, easily have died. Nice. How about strapping the luggage to the top of the car and travelling with the dog inside? There’s an idea!

    Not to mention that, according to this article in Time, the Romney family’s nifty mode of travel was quite possibly contrary to the state of Massachusetts’s animal cruelty laws at the time, though, unfortunately, the statute of limitations has run out.,8599,1638065,00.html

    Illegal, immoral, inhumane, revolting all around. Some people don’t deserve to have dogs, and Romney’s clearly one of them. If he’s currently got any pets, the Mass ASPCA really ought to go check out the conditions in which they’re kept, or just go ahead and seize them, and rehome them with more responsible families. This attitude that pets are essentially nothing more than property, deserving of less comfortable travelling quarters than the family’s luggage, is unlikely to have been limited to this one anecdote. This poor dog was likely treated this way throughout his or her life, like an object, rather than a living, breathing, creature whose comfort and safety were of more importance than making the best possible time on a trip, or saving space in the back of the station wagon for as much inanimate crap as possible. And what a horrible lesson to teach those children. The inanimate objects are very important to us. Those, we’ll pack up and keep safely in the car with us. The dog, however, is not so important, so we’ll just strap him to the top of the car for the next twelve hours, and hope he’s not dead when we get to our destination! Great values! Very responsible! So now I know Romney’s not just a dope, he’s also a really bad person. Glad to have that cleared up so early in the campaign season, at least.

  3. krimchik Says:

    Give us a real hit job on Romney will ya!!!!

  4. Convertible Lover Says:

    I love convertibles! I drive with the top down all of the time. I do have a windshield. I have the top down in the heat of the day and the cool of the night.

    I’ve even been caught in the rain on a drive with my mother with the top down. My children, grandchildren and dog love to ride in the back seat. I’ve had many road trips with the top down all day and especially at night!

    I have to say my dog has never messed in the back seat of our convertible with the top down, however I did have a dog mess all over my grandfather’s shoe in the back seat of our car with the top up.

    Gosh, I never thought a convertible was torture. I’ll have to let the motorcycle drivers and convertible owners know this is a torturious way to travel.

    I’m going to have to think about how I’ll let my dog know the bad news.

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