So your children – and constituents – want you to get a family dog.
But before you head off to the SPCA or start browsing all those doggy photos on Petfinder.com (you’re getting a rescue dog, of course – even the liberals can’t mess with you on that one), take a moment to ponder the lesson of Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Reagan.
That would be Labrador retriever Reagan, mind you, not President Ronald.
Over the past few days, a media storm has been brewing around the first term GOP governor’s dog status.
See, soon after Gov. Scott won the Republican nomination for governor in 2010, he delighted voters by publicly acquiring a cute yellow Lab. Thousands congratulated him on his choice to take home a rescue dog, rather than a pup from a breeder, a la President Barack Obama.
(Yes, the Labrador retriever, dog of the people. Not like those Democratic, non-shedding Portuguese Water Dogs.)
Scott held an online contest to name the animal, and then happily shared the winning moniker with his Facebook friends.
“The Scott family is proud to announce that the name (chosen by you) for their newly adopted pup is Reagan! Thanks to everyone who participated in the fun contest,” read his Facebook announcement.
But soon after Scott was sworn in as governor in January 2011, Reagan disappeared from public view. He was neither seen nor photographed. The press – thank goodness for the press – was on the case, but did not get satisfactory answers until this week.
Confronting Scott himself, reporters from the Tampa Bay Times demanded information on Reagan’s whereabouts.
The grudging answer: Soon after the dog came home, the Scott family decided they needed to give him back. You know, to go live on a farm somewhere. Or something.
(Anyone else have memories of similar explanations? Hands?)
In a further elaboration, which Democrats everywhere must love, Scott explained that Reagan “scared the living daylights” out of people. They had no choice but to return him.
It's just one example of the perils of dog ownership. Remember the Obama-Romney dog wars during the presidential campaign, and that story of how former Gov. Mitt Romney put his dog on the top of the car for road trips? Things to ponder, I tell you, before you start loading up on goodies at PetSmart.
Back in Florida, dogged reporters are still trying to figure out where, exactly, Reagan is today.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson said that Scott and wife Ann have a sweeter-tempered rescue Lab at home now. Her name is Tallee.