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Politics a dog-eat-dog world

Updated: June 10, 2012 8:04AM

Q. I am curious about why dogs have become part of the political conversation. For example, do you think it relevant that Mitt Romney tied his crated dog to the roof of the family car on a vacation? Or is it crucial to know Barack Obama ate dog when he was a boy living in Jakarta?

A. In Romney’s case, Dog Lady believes it was not an act of cruelty but an odd attempt at efficiency. No explanation, though, for why the baggage didn’t go on the roof of the car instead of the dog.

Romney may not empathize with dogs, but he doesn’t despise them. A proclamation from the then-governor hangs on Dog Lady’s office wall declaring “Ask Dog Lady Day” in Massachusetts: “Whereas Ask Dog Lady dispenses wise and literate advise every week in her well read newspaper column for all of us who love our dogs and want them to be the best they can be,” it reads in part.

As for Obama, well, back in Indonesia, he was a growing boy and eating voraciously at an age when everything tastes like chicken. None of this makes any difference except we’re a nation where the flipside motto could well be — “In Dog We Trust.”

Q. My adopted dog Snickers is the most nervous dog, and she hides all the time. Her favorite place is under the bed. She does come out to go for walks and to eat. How can I let her know I’m one of the good guys?

A. Every day you let her know you’re good because you feed her and walk her with patience. You could coo a little bit — soft sounds soothe. You might also place food treats around the bed so she knows the snacking is good on the other side. When dog-friendly friends come over, see if Snickers comes out to socialize a little. If she does, reward her with a tidbit or two but, basically, act as if it is normal for her to be part of the crowd.

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