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In Dogs We Trust
by Monique Hayes

Barney, we need to have a serious talk. As the outgoing dog of the White House, we’ve come to expect a certain kind of canine decorum. No. We don’t mean fetching shoes should anybody throw them at the President. We’re inclined to believe he wouldn’t want them anyway. Additionally, fetching newspapers with low opinions of your owner, particularly from left wing publications, is not necessary. That said, dear terrier, take heed.

Biting reporters is not okay. Just because John Decker is a journalist, and was good-natured about it, does not make it okay. Your bite is worse than your bark. He should know. We have yet to hear any scandals surrounding your predecessor, Socks.  But you probably don’t want to compare yourself to a cat. That was Clinton’s burden to carry. This is the era of dogs, thankfully.

So we arrive at our point. When the Obamas arrive for their tours, you are to be on your best behavior. Do not pee in the Oval Office. Do not chase the limo carrying them. Do not jump on the legs of his daughters. We know you like daughters; it’s too bad they’re not twins. We find it very important to remind you to be extra cautious if the oldest, Malia, is in the vicinity. She cannot take your allergens. Calm down. We don’t mean that as an insult. Besides, the Obamas are doing the right thing. They’ve chosen a dog as their inaugural pet. No, it’s not a Scottish terrier. They are considering getting a mutt. Obama seems to think he is one. You don’t agree? Well, we won’t be here to debate him.

It’s been a great eight years. You played many rounds of soccer with the President on the South Lawn. You got to pose with three beautiful ladies in front of the annual Christmas tree, a slot often reserved solely for the man in charge. You met your own furry lady, Miss Beazley, who you didn’t hate for having a feline best friend. We understood. You can’t hate your niece for something like that. Sometimes human beings just won’t do. Of course, maybe you excused her since Willie is the incumbent. We like Willie the cat, though. She keeps herself clean. That’s good of her.

We know you are good, too. Be a good citizen and let’s make this transition smooth. January 20th is near. While you are loyal, and might’ve preferred your owner’s choice McCain, it can’t be changed. We can reward you with kibble for your cooperation. It’s not a Purple Heart, but we can put it in a purple bowl. Do this for us and we won’t have a bone to pick with you. Come to think of it, you’ve buried all the bones. Miss Beazley has also received this memo. We believe in equal opportunity. Remember your manners in these final days. We’ll salute you and we won’t make you sit.

A concerned member of the canine lovers’ community