To say I’m a “dog guy” would be an understatement.
My street cred when it comes to canines is of Tupac proportions. I have one tattoo–it’s a bone on my arm with ‘Liesel’ emblazoned inside it–a tribute to my yellow lab who passed away in 2008. She was my girl. Recently we rescued a little mutt named Rex. He runs the house. I teach my kids to love and care for dogs at every turn.
One pet peeve (no pun intended) of mine is when kids treat animals badly. Often parents just sit idly by and let this behavior go on. Numerous times I have reprimanded nephews and neighbors for pushing on our lab’s back. Dogs, no matter how big, do not have strong backs, and pressure on their spines could result in injury. That said, if you think every single child in every home in America will always do exactly what they’re supposed to do, then you don’t have kids and you’ve probably never met anyone under the age of twelve.
The new year has just begun, and already the left is all wee-weed up over a Facebook post from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Along with an optimistic Happy New Year message, Palin included pictures of her son Trig standing on the new Palin pooch. He isn’t doing it with malice. Instead, Trig is trying to use the black lab as a booster so he can help wash the dishes. The left went ballistic. Many others did as well. PETA is crying cruelty. There’s one glaring omission, however, in their “outrage.” Trig is no ordinary six-year old, and Jill Hadassah isn’t your everyday pet.
The Palins adopted Jill Hadassah, a trained service dog from the incredible Puppy Jake Foundation. The Iowa-based organization trains dogs for adoption by servicemen and women, including those recovering from PTSD, as well as families with special needs. Jill Hadassah has been specially trained to be Trig’s pal. Trig, who has Down Syndrome, has fallen in love with the new family member. So have the rest of the Palins.
Children with Down Syndrome like Trig are truly special. They seem to love a little more. They are truly gifts from God. Dogs, especially those that are trained, know how to roll with the punches when it comes to the missteps of children—literal and figurative ones. I remember the tolerance of one family member’s golden retriever. Kids and dogs alike would often step on him at the dog park. He’d just roll over and continue his sun bath. Even my new addition to the family plays a little less rough with my son or daughter but attacks me like a panther. Dogs know.
The vitriol against Palin isn’t a surprise. It’s a classic move from the left. They have their targets and wait for the moment to pounce. Military members die, have your old anti-war rhetoric ready. Katrina hits, read the climate change script. Sandy Hook happens, it’s gun grabbing time. Classic Alinsky-Obama moves.
The Palin family has a history of loving and caring for dogs. Palin’s father has a black lab named Bo who is loved by all. The amazing antler dog is part of the family. Palin’s daughter Willow spoils her little dog to no end. Years ago, Todd Palin told me they wanted a new dog but didn’t get one yet because they wanted to wait to be able to have the time care for her properly. In a day and age where so many have a pet just to have one and then leave the animal cooped up all day with no one home, it sounds like the Palins have it right.
Hypocrisy comes in to play here, too. While Palin is being slammed for an innocent moment in which her precious son is thinking out of the box, many of these same people applauded the NFL return of Mike Vick. The quarterback electrocuted, drowned, shot, and hanged dogs. President Obama admittedly ate dog in Indonesia. Free pass. A little boy climbing on his beloved pet, however, is met with visceral hate.
On July 1, 2014, Ellen DeGeneres posted an adorable picture of a little girl brushing her teeth while standing on a Labrador. Where was the outrage? A lesbian talk show host posts this and it’s “cute,” but when a common-sense conservative patriot does so, it’s blasphemy? It seems the outrage isn’t about animal welfare but rather typical, tired gotcha politics.
A day after the dog post, Palin took to Facebook to write about the Steve Scalise flap and how it compares to Obama’s relationships with Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers. Palin regularly weighs in with thoughtful commentary on policy. Yet the media is rabid over a picture of a boy and his dog. The same media and activists that paint Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown as innocent children—the same crowd that believes 26-year olds should mooch off of their parents’ insurance plans—are depicting a six-year old with Down Syndrome as an animal abuser. It doesn’t get much sicker than that.
Let’s call out what’s really happening here. There’s an administration embroiled in countless scandals and the focus is on a private citizen’s service dog. Mitt Romney’s dog, Sarah Palin’s dog, anything to take eyes away from a dog of a presidency.
Sarah Palin took a picture of her son. That’s all that happened here. If anyone else did it, you wouldn’t know about it. She did nothing wrong. Trig certainly did nothing wrong. And remember, I have canine cred. To paraphrase Molly Shannon’s SNL Miss Colleen character, I… love …ah-Dogs! So, too, do the Palins.