Donald McCaig sent me the following email this morning, and I think it's so true and well-said that I asked if I could post it here, and he has graciously consented. Enjoy!
The Right to Keep and Love Dogs
I happened upon a Northern Virginia apartment rental ad which is typical. The $1000 a month renter can have one (25-pound) dog, must pay between $35 and $200 extra rent, and provide an (unspecified) non-refundable pet deposit.
The Dog Fancy and its tool the AKC, was and is devoted to the very rich who have no trouble keeping or transporting their dogs. Since, for generations, the Fancy sucked up all the air in the American dog room, their indifference to ordinary folk meant that nobody lobbied lawmakers to advocate for sensible dog ownership policies. Nobody.
Unlike silly old France, Americans can't take mannerly dogs on trains or buses or into cafes. Unlike most of Europe, our dogs are viewed legislatively as public nuisances if not a threat to life and safety.
The American lower middle class and working poor must deal with onerous, expensive and trivial restrictions that make it far more difficult for them to keep the dogs they love.
A few figures. There are 25 million Latino voters 16 million African-American, 5 million financial services employees, 3 million farmers, 1.5 million auto industry workers, 400,000 doctors, and _ million LGBT.
Thirty-nine percent of American households own a dog. Assuming 2 eligible voters per household and 50% participation, that works out to 110 million voters with a dog. Discounting, say 30 million who wish they didn't, that leaves 80 million Americans who care about their dog and would like to have better access and fewer nonrefundable deposits.
Yet, they have no political power - none.
We dog owners have no NRA, no American Medical Association, no US Chamber of Commerce, no Farm Bureau, no NAACP, no AARP.
The only dog organization promising to better the lot of American dogs and American dog owners is the God damned American Kennel Club which has done zip shit. Must have been too busy grooming.
Did Seamus ride the Romney roof in vain?