Mitt Romney’s recurring dog story

By John Toth

I don’t care that presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has a lot of money. I hope to get more money myself so I can pay my 13.9 percent in taxes.

I don’t care that he has changed his mind on various issues. People tend to change their opinions over the years.

I don’t even care that Romney runs false television ads taking sentences out of context and changing the entire meaning of what was said. This is the big leagues. This sort of thing is a dime a dozen.

I do care about one thing, which may be more damaging than anything his opponent Newt Gingrich has even brought up.

It happened a long time ago, but surfaced again in the heat of the GOP race.

In 1983, then-36-year-old Romney, decided to take a road trip from Boston to Ontario, Canada, to his parents’ cottage on Lake Huron.

He opted to drive the whole family, including his dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, 12 hours to the cottage.

He packed his wife and five sons into the family station wagon. Instead of putting the dog in the car, Romney attached a dog carrier to the roof of the station wagon, rigged a special windshield, and put Seamus in the carrier, where he remained for 12 hours.

According to a Boston Globe account of the trip, Romney’s oldest son, Tagg, noticed that some brown liquid was dripping down the rear window as the station wagon was speeding along at 60 MPH.

The dog was obviously in distress.

What did Romney do? He stopped at a service station, borrowed a water hose, and washed off the car and Seamus. He stuck Seamus back in the rooftop carrier and proceeded to complete the long trip.

There are 78 million Americans who own at least one dog, including your loyal scribe. If you’re not among this 78 million, I would urge you to head on out to your local animal shelter after you read this and adopt a best friend. You won’t regret it.

These Americans include Democrats and Republicans. We may disagree how to run this country, but we love our dogs.

Romney laughed off the entire incident, saying Seamus was happier on the car roof than in the crowded station wagon with all those kids. I guess Romney doesn’t know how dogs think. Dogs don’t take up that much space. Seamus would have been very happy chilling inside the car.

Newt Gingrich has been hammering away at Romney from all sides, but he has not mentioned the dog story. Just a few dog jabs during one of the debates would be devastating to Romney. He could phrase them like this.

“You can accuse me of being an influence peddler, Governor Romney, but I love dogs.” The audience would go nuts.

“Governor, I have made some bad decisions over the years, but I have never put a dog in an airtight container for 12 hours.” The audience would go nuts again.

Then, Newt would finish him up.

“I don’t know how many times you have kicked your dog, but you’re lying about me.” The audience would go into a frenzy, and start chanting Newt, Newt, Newt. Then the audience would storm the stage, screaming “get that dog hater.” Romney would start running for his life, and jump into his limo for protection.

The next morning, he would get on all the news shows and deny that any of it happened.
Searching for the Romney dog story on the Internet brings up more than 1 million results on Google.

You’re in big trouble, Mitt Romney. You should have been nicer to Seamus.