FROM NORTH AMERICA SYNDICATE, 300 W 57th STREET, 15th FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10019
CUSTOMER SERVICE: (800) 708-7311 EXT. 236
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, OCT. 28, 2014
NOT ENOUGH OF THE DOGS’ LIFE
BY BOB FRANKEN
This is going to be one of those “Tell us how you REALLY feel, Bob” moments: In my opinion, far too many of those who live with me in Washington are jerks -- duplicitous, self-important jerks. This does not include everybody; far from it. But the town is crawling with viciously ambitious sycophantic young people cozying up to the more-established officeholders, lobbyists, consultants and, yes, us media types, who hold on to their lives of unprincipled entitlement. Frankly, I think their pervasiveness has a lot to do with the disintegration of politics and government because they control the agenda.
Do I feel better for getting that off my chest? You bet I do. But here’s something I find never-endingly fascinating: Any number of these people I deal with regularly and know that they fit right into this category, when I’ve encountered them in a dog park, these very same card-carrying cretins are magically civilized, cordial, considerate, even relaxed. Obviously, their pups transform them. It’s amazing. Although come to think of it, for a dog lover like me, it’s not amazing at all.
Harry Truman said it: “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Maybe we should add, “or find a human who’s with a dog.” I mean, how can you be obnoxious when you’re basking in unconditional love? And watching these guys socialize is a joy. They set a great example (although some of the ways they introduce themselves and check each other out with their noses probably won’t work for us). But their very presence makes our lives more enjoyable.
Unless, of course, you’re a White House fence jumper. I’ve always shied away from writing about dogs because I’ve looked at the subject as a cheap “aw” device, by which I mean that you are supposed to read it and go “Awwwwww.” But Hurricane and Jordan have inspired me to abandon that principle.
Hurricane and Jordan are the two Secret Service K-9s who ripped into the latest intruder when he vaulted the barrier onto the North Lawn. Each is a Belgian Malinois, which is a sleek version of a German shepherd. The two of them made short work of the guy this time around, literally ripping into Dominic Adesanya just after his feet hit the ground. Adesanya did manage to inflict some pain himself, kicking and punching both animals before he was quickly arrested and taken away by security forces.
The dogs needed a trip to the vet, where they were treated and returned to duty. When Adesanya appeared in court the next day, his arms were bandaged, thanks to Hurricane and Jordan. With their work done, they reverted to their playful selves. He, on the other hand, faces a variety of criminal charges, including misdemeanors connected to his assault on the dogs. There are strong indications that he may be mentally ill. If that’s the case, he needs to be treated with compassion and not punishment, but if he is judged instead to be competent, then I agree with Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle, who argues that he should be charged with felonies on the books that carry with them a 10-year prison sentence.
His lawyers certainly would argue that he was merely defending himself from the Belgians’ attacks, but his defense is blown out of the water by the fact that he had jumped the fence into a heavy security zone.
Sadly, not everyone agrees that our pups are canine children, happy devoted and gentle until some twisted human coerces them to be otherwise. I am among those who believe there is a special place in hell for those who mistreat them, particularly here in D.C., where there is such a “dog eat dog” mentality. Actually, it’s more like “vulture eat vulture.” The dogs are just trying to inspire some humanity.
© 2014 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.