This morning as I watched the morning news shows, I was dismayed to hear that President Obama ate dog as a child. Not dismayed that he did it, but dismayed to hear about it. For crying out loud. American politics is/are (?) the stupidest of human events.

We have dogs and love them. They’re part of our family. Dogs have funny personalities—ours do anyway. Our first family dog was Emily, a white Chihuaha mix, whose loyalty to James can’t be overstated. We got her when the vet, who lived a couple of houses away, sent her to our house with four little boys, who said “Doc says he’s going to put her to sleep if you don’t give her a home.” She was worth it, quiet and sweet.

Then we had Penny, the cutest little Pekinese “little brown dog” as my father-in-law called her. She, too, was quiet and sweet, the baby of our family until Sarah was born and she went into a depression :). Penny died of cancer. Pancho was a cockapoo, really cute dog, who was supposed to be Jared’s dog (“Mom, why did you get me a cock-a-poo?) but who Sarah tearfully claimed as hers (she was two years old and she was going to die before she let that puppy out of her arms). He was mauled by the Black Chow that lived next door and had to be put down due to his injuries. (I told the sheriff–and the owner of that dog—that they didn’t need to worry because I was going to get my gun and shoot it–it went to the pound).

Those dogs were followed by Skip, a wonderfully gentle and well-behaved purebred yellow lab, who died of liver cancer (Bill built a coffin for him with his name and it was plenty sad around our house for awhile); Daisy, who I rescued from a Wal-Mart shopping cart (free dog, no water or food, just a tiny puppy). She turned out to be a Grand Pyrenees mix, wonderful dog, sweet as a kitten until another dog she knew didn’t belong wandered onto our property and then that dog was dead meat. My friend’s purebread Grand Pyrenees (those dogs are HUGE and bred to herd sheep)–worth $10,000, fell in love with her and spent his days at our house. No one wandered onto our property then. Daisy died of old age at 15 years old.

Sarah fell in love with Rascal when she was 10–she’s going to be 26 next month. He was the cutest little ball of pure white fluff in the pet shop. He barked like crazy and didn’t mind worth a damn. He still doesn’t! He is own person, that dog. He doesn’t bark anymore because he can’t hear and he acts like a senile little old man, but boy is he spry! People who come over can’t believe he’s that old. He follows me everywhere now and gets the funniest looks on his face like “where the hell am I?”

We had a Jack Russell who was the meanest dog we’ve ever had, bit the neighbor when said neighbor tried to rescue him after he called out the neighbor’s six sled dogs (thank God there was a fence between them) and traumatized all our other dogs by going pirhana on them over and over. The Jack Russell we have now is his polar opposite and he acts like we beat him. We don’t–he’s spoiled rotten. I asked the breeder to sell me the quietest dog in the litter and he did! Bandit’s mother had the same personality, we hear.

And now we have Shelby, another purebread Yellow Lab. Sweet, but screwed up. Shelby was abused and we got him at one year. He barks just to hear the sound of his voice. He was quite huge, before he got diabetes, and he would still sit on our lap! Loving, lurpy, kind of dumb, but opinionated. Our dogs stay in the house at night, in the laundry room. Comfy, with nice dog beds. Shelby won’t stay in there when I do the laundry, though, it annoys him, so he has to lie down in my bedroom. He takes up half the empty space, sprawls and doesn’t move except to thump his tail as I step over him to make the bed. He’s afraid of water and loud noises. Once, during fireworks season, he climbed the wire fence in the very back (climbed, I’ve seen him do it!) and took off. We found him about a mile down, in with a herd of sheep back in their little pen. I can hear the sheep saying “it’s okay now, dear, you’re safe.” Damn lucky the farmer didn’t shoot him.

Would we put one of them on the roof of our station wagon in a good dog crate? Heck, yeah! I’ve seen dogs around town riding on top of their owners’ pickup cabs sans crate, life of Riley! They like it! It’s not safe, but the dog isn’t unhappy. In a crate, securely attached, it’s not mean to the dog. Like I said, dogs have funny personalities and I suspect that Romney’s dog got all excited when he saw the crate go on the car because he got to go on a trip.

Would I eat dog? If I had to. I might not want to, but I always said, when we had four dogs, two huge ones, that they were our on-the-hoof food storage.

So, we love dogs. And I cannot believe that Obama is making a big deal out of the dog in the crate on top of the car and then Romney fires back “he ate dog!” Hell, who in Indonesia hasn’t? We are the craziest country.

Today, we are putting Shelby down. We’ve been giving him insulin shots, hoping he would have some quality of life with his diabetes. As long as he seemed healthy and happy, we took care of him and let him lay around the house and under the trees in the back yard. He’s gotten steadily worse, though, so thin, so weak, and it breaks our heart. He, too, will rest under the big cottonwood west of the house where Daisy, Skip and Toby are buried. Pancho, Emily, and Penny are buried at the north end of the yard (there was a cross there for many years). Along with myriads of cats and a few guinea pigs, we have a real pet “cematery.”

We love dogs. And we don’t give a crap about Romney or Obama’s dog habits. Geez Louise.