What the heck was Romney thinking????? Would he have packed his child into a box and strapped it onto the top of the car to ride for twelve hours?
I guess Seamus was lucky that Romney didn’t think he should have simply tied him to the car so he could get some exercise on the way…
I think I can safely go on record at this point as NOT supporting Romney for President.
Thanks to Mila’s Human for barking in this revealing set of articles.
Thanks to Boston.com for the original article in which Romney tried to show his crisis management skills by not freaking out when the Irish Setter who had been riding on top of the car in a crate for twelve hours had diarrhea.
Journeys of a shared life
Raising sons, rising expectations bring unexpected turns
By Neil Swidey and Stephanie Ebbert, Globe Staff | June 27, 2007
The white Chevy station wagon with the wood paneling was overstuffed with suitcases, supplies, and sons when Mitt Romney climbed behind the wheel to begin the annual 12-hour family trek from Boston to Ontario.
As with most ventures in his life, he had left little to chance, mapping out the route and planning each stop. The destination for this journey in the summer of 1983 was his parents’ cottage on the Canadian shores of Lake Huron. Romney would be returning to the place of his most cherished childhood memories.
Even for someone who had always idolized his father, the similarities between his path in life and the one George Romney had cut before him were remarkable. Husband to his high school sweetheart, father to a brood of young children, bishop of his local Mormon church, and businessman on the threshold of life-altering success.
If anything, 36-year-old Mitt, who had just been tapped to lead a new venture capital firm, was on track to achieve more at a younger age than his famously overachieving father.
His father had known poverty as a child, Mitt only privilege. His father had succeeded without a college degree while Mitt was launched with the finest educational pedigree. Given all his advantages, Mitt seemed restless to make his mark sooner.
Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family’s hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon’s roof rack. He’d built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.
Then Romney put his boys on notice: He would be making predetermined stops for gas, and that was it.
The ride was largely what you’d expect with five brothers, ages 13 and under, packed into a wagon they called the ”white whale.”
As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ”Dad!” he yelled. ”Gross!” A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who’d been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.
As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.
And Romney’s response to the criticism? “He scrambled up there every time we went on trips,” Romney said at a campaign stop in Pittsburgh Thursday. “He got it all by himself and enjoyed it.”
So Romney tells us 1) this cruelty happened more than once and 2) he doesn’t even understand he did something cruel and stupid. Someone PLEASE get this man a course in sensitivity training immediately!
What kind of a father teaches his sons to abuse a dog in this way? Not a good one. What’s the lesson? Dog’s are chattel to be stuck in boxes, transported however you want no matter how hurtful it could be to them? Then when its apparent the dog is in distress the boys’ responses are not to worry about the dog who is their family companion; their responses are simply that the runny defecation is gross! Gosh, how grossed out would they have been if that crate had fallen off the car and the dog had been violently killed?
What an amazingly empathetic family! Sheesh!
Here is an article from The Washington Post on the reaction from those of us with with the good sense to realize Romney’s actions didn’t show coolness in crisis (one which I should point out he actually caused through his inhumane actions); his actions suggest an almost pathological lack of empathy. Not exactly someone I’d like to see as the next US President.
Romney Accused of Mistreating Family Dog
By GLEN JOHNSON
The Associated Press
Friday, June 29, 2007; 4:03 PM
BOSTON — An example of Mitt Romney’s crisis management skills has turned into something of a political problem for the Republican presidential contender.
Romney placed his family dog, an Irish setter named Seamus, into a kennel lashed to the top of his station wagon for a 12-hour family trip from Boston to Ontario in 1983. Despite being shielded by a wind screen the former Massachusetts governor erected, Seamus expressed his discomfort with a diarrhea attack.
Now the story, recounted this week in a Boston Globe profile of Romney, has touched off howls of outrage from bloggers and animal rights activists even though it was presented in the story as an example of Romney’s coolness under trying circumstances.
When Romney’s eldest son, Tagg, and his four brothers complained about the brown runoff down the back windshield, their father quietly pulled the car over, borrowed a gas station hose and sprayed down both the dog and the kennel before returning to the road.
“Massachusetts animal cruelty laws specifically prohibit anyone from carrying an animal `in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise, in an unnecessarily cruel or inhuman manner or in a way and manner which might endanger the animal carried thereon,'” wrote Steve Benen in a post on the blog “Crooks and Liars.”
Andif you think only dog people are ticked off at Romney, check out political blog Wonkette for their satirical comparison of Romney’s callous behavior to the tortures of Abu Ghraib: