I’ve never been a fan of Scottie dogs, or Scottish terriers as they’re known in America. In fact, I wasn’t the least surprised to see George W Bush trotting along with one under his arm soon after he first moved into the White House. I’ve always considered it’s possible to ascertain the character of a person by their dog, and George W Bush served to cement that belief. “Barney” was the epitome of a George W Bush pooch.
Scotties are short on temper, not very intelligent, prone to snap without warning, and given to an excess of flatulence. And if that doesn’t describe George W Bush, then I don’t know what does.
There’s something strangely worrying about a man who walks around with a living hearthrug under one arm. It’s not terribly manly. One would condone such behavior from the late Barbara Cartland, or even Noel Coward, but one doesn’t expect the leader of the free world to step out of an aeroplane sporting something resembling a large black rat draped from the sleeve of his Armani suit.
On the other hand, the need of many US males to be seen in the company of huge and aggressive Rottweilers, Bull Mastiffs, or oversize German Shepherds, is equally alarming. Not so much because of the nature of these canines, but from the very public displays of insecurity by the owners, who obviously find it too frightening to venture out of the house without them.
Reuters TV White House correspondent Jon Decker was yesterday either very brave, or more likely, rather stupid. No-one in their right mind bends down to pet a strange Scottish terrier. Once, after just commencing service as an animal welfare inspector for the British RSPCA, I too made that mistake. An aging female veterinarian who worked at the local animal hospital owned a “Scottie” called Marmaduke. Young, and eager to please, I reached down to pat its head in passing, only to receive a similarly gashed finger. The dog’s owner exhibited no sympathy whatever. (see “Even Little Sparrows” in the sidebar).
Hardly surprising then that Laura Bush’s only comment on her dog’s misbehavior yesterday was to say, “”I think it was his way of saying he was done with the paparazzi.”
 “President’s Pooch Bites Reporter During Walk” KCAL-9, November 7th 2008
Filed under: Canine moods