Bob the Dog Is a Conservative

 

Bob looks smart on his second birthday.

I’m serious. Bob my dog is a conservative.

I started thinking about Bob’s political leanings when a liberal friend of mine asserted, without any evidence whatsoever, that Bob was a liberal. I’m pretty sure the lady was mistaken. If conservatives embrace and cherish families and family values, then Bob is a hardcore conservative. Bob is respectful and courteous (except with our cat) in all of his interactions, dogs and people included.

Bob adores his family. Penelope couldn’t have been any happier greeting her husband Ulysses after 20 years than Bob is in greeting us after we’ve been gone for an hour. And I suspect he would be as zealous in defending our family with his teeth as Ulysses was in defending his family with bow and arrow. Bob is a family man.

Bob is strongly in favor of borders. When he hears someone approaching our door, our personal border, he barks like a crazy dog. But once he understands that these people, these outsiders, have been screened by us, Bob is all smiles and tail-wagging. Bob welcomes strangers, but only when they enter our house with an invitation.

Bob puts up with Ebbie in order to share heat from the fireplace.

Like a good conservative, Bob likes a punctual and orderly life. He likes his walks at 8 in the morning and 5 in the evening. He naps with me after lunch, and he wants his dinner on time and a treat after dinner. Bob knows, like us conservatives, that a regular lifestyle in which he can rely on certain reoccurring events is a fine way to live and offers plenty of wiggle room to allow for personal freedom.

Like us, Bob adheres to traditional morality. He knows right from wrong and he never confuses the two. Our use of negative reinforcements (“Bad dog!”) and positive reinforcements (a turkey-flavored treat) have taught Bob the difference between right and wrong behavior. Over the year we’ve had Bob, those lessons have become ingrained. Bob will never become enamored with situational ethics the way many liberals do. When Bob harasses our pussycat Ebbie and I call him out on it, Bob knows he has done wrong and gets all shamefaced. Is that not the essence of true morality? Bring back shame.

Bob is a gentleman as he shakes hands with my granddaughter.

I’m going to interrupt the flow of my own argument for a moment to quote part of John Updike’s “Dog’s Death.” Updike’s poem illustrates a dog’s morality much better than I could. Please bear with me (and prepare your tear ducts).

In the first stanza of his poem, Updike tells us that the family had set out a newspaper on the floor for their young dog to urinate on. When she urinated on the paper, she would be rewarded with the words, “Good dog! Good dog!” Not too many months later, the dog’s liver ruptured in the night without the Updikes knowing it. The following morning, their sick and limp dog died in the car on the way to the vet. When they got back from the vet, here’s what the Updikes found:

Back home, we found that in the night her frame,
Drawing near to dissolution, had endured the shame
Of diarrhea and had dragged across the floor
To a newspaper carelessly left there. Good dog.

In his dying moments, the Updikes’ dog tried to be a “good dog.” He had, in effect, adopted Kant’s tough moral philosophy, the categorical imperative, that there is a moral obligation that is binding in all circumstances and is not dependent upon one’s inclination. Morality is not relative, as so many on the left seem to believe, to be dispensed with when time and place change. I’m not sure, but I think that conservative Bob would be just as moral as Updike’s dog under similar circumstances.

Like us, Bob the dog has a taste for individual liberty and is suspicious of regulations. He’s at his happiest when we take him to an off-leash park, where he runs amok among the other freedom-loving dogs. They bark, they wrestle, and they chase one another. And, of course, they sniff one another’s butts. Bob chafes at the overly regulated streets and parks.

Bob loves freedom, but he also knows, along with us conservatives, that with freedom comes responsibility and restraint. He plays hard at the off-leash areas, but he never snarls or bites. He stands still and patient when I put his leash on in the morning, and when he and I wrestle, he never bites, even when I accidentally bump him in the nose. He pretend-bites and pretend-wrestles. Bob knows and appreciates restraint within a framework of liberty.

I hesitate to mention this, but Bob is not a perfect conservative. He would undoubtedly be a sexual libertine if he weren’t a eunuch. If he still had his testicles, I suspect he would be impregnating every bitch in the neighborhood. I’m not saying that male liberals would do this (though Harvey Weinstein might), but liberals have been pushing sexual freedom and sexual license for decades. And some of their youthful converts, much to their detriment, have adopted those destructive ideas.

Pussycats are left wingers. They’re humorless, are suspicious of everyone, and think the world revolves around them. But Bob the dog—who knows the wisdom of borders, prefers an orderly life, is moral, loves liberty and family values—is a conservative.

Bob plays in the grass.

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There are 53 comments.

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  1. Trink Coolidge
    Trink
    @Trink

    I love Bob.

    So glad he’s a conservative.  Must come from a good family :)

    • #1
  2. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Trink (View Comment):
    I love Bob.

    So glad he’s a conservative. Must come from a good family :)

    Trink, I would like to take more credit, but Bob was a year old when he was rescued from a kill shelter in Fresno.  We adopted Bob from a no-kill Humane Society shelter in Portland that takes in dogs that are about to be euthanized in various kill shelters. He was a good-natured dog when we got him—and pretty much civilized.

    After innumerable cats in our 54-years of marriage, this is our first dog.  And we love him.

    • #2
  3. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    KentForrester: Bob is respectful and courteous (except with our cat)…

    Racist.

    • #3
  4. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Kent,

    I suspect that Bob instinctively knows that it is right to coerce a coercer as long as you do it in such a way as to maximize the liberty of all. An intelligent dog, a remarkable dog, a delightful dog, a pleasure to know.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #4
  5. dajoho Member
    dajoho
    @dajoho

    Be like Bob.

    • #5
  6. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Kent, your story is wonderful, and so is your dog.  I can’t be sure whether Bob is a conservative, but you said he never snarls or bites so he’s definitely not a leftist.

    • #6
  7. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    Kent, your story is wonderful, and so is your dog. I can’t be sure whether Bob is a conservative, but you said he never snarls or bites so he’s definitely not a leftist.

    Larry, thank you.  Bob is a good dog.

    Kent

    • #7
  8. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    James Gawron (View Comment):
    Kent,

    I suspect that Bob instinctively knows that it is right to coerce a coercer as long as you do it in such a way as to maximize the liberty of all. An intelligent dog, a remarkable dog, a delightful dog, a pleasure to know.

    Regards,

    Jim

    Thanks, Jim.  Bob reminds me of this old saying:  Let me be the kind of man my dog thinks I am.

    Kent

    • #8
  9. GLDIII Reagan
    GLDIII
    @GLDIII

    Ebbie needs to be put on a diet, that is one large cat.

    and Yes I went there…. fat cat shaming.

    • #9
  10. Trink Coolidge
    Trink
    @Trink

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    …Bob was a year old when he was rescued from a kill shelter in Fresno …

    When I encounter stories like your’s and Bob’s – honestly, it’s so heartening to know that such good people exist.   I mean just the courage to walk into that building . . . . Lucky Bob.

    • #10
  11. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    GLDIII (View Comment):
    Ebbie needs to be put on a diet, that is one large cat.

    and Yes I went there…. fat cat shaming.

    GLDIII, you should have seen Ebbie before we put her on a diet.  This is her slim and trim look.

    Kent

    • #11
  12. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Kent, it’s sweet of you to share Bob…I could pet him for ages.

    • #12
  13. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):
    Kent, it’s sweet of you to share Bob…I could pet him for ages.

    Nanda, thanks for your comment. My wife and had never had a dog before Bob, and we are discovering what wonderful creatures they are.

    Kent

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    We are step-parents of Amber, an apricot toy poodle. She’s getting old and crochety, but she’s definitely a conservative, too. I think she and Bob would like each other.

    • #14
  15. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Bob is precious, and looks like he enjoyed his birthday cake! You know we’ve gone off the rails when animals show better manners than people!

    • #15
  16. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    This is fantastic, Kent! Just the right antidote to our stupid, crazy times. I am a fan!… Oh, you’re good, too. ;-)

    As our dog trainer would say, Bob is a good citizen.

    • #16
  17. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    By the way, is he really named, “Bob,” or are you protecting the innocent?

    It cracks me up when dogs have people names.

    • #17
  18. TempTime Member
    TempTime
    @TempTime

    Thanks Kent!  Bob, you are an inspiration for all species!

    • #18
  19. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    Bob was a year old when he was rescued from a kill shelter in Fresno.

    Kill Shelter would be an awesome name for a band.

    • #19
  20. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    This is fantastic, Kent! Just the right antidote to our stupid, crazy times. I am a fan!… Oh, you’re good, too. ;-)

    As our dog trainer would say, Bob is a good citizen.

    Mr. Western, thanks for the comment.  You know, Bob is more loveable and loyal than most creatures of our own species (said an 80-year-old curmudgeon).

    • #20
  21. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    By the way, is he really named, “Bob,” or are you protecting the innocent?

    It cracks me up when dogs have people names.

    Mr. Western, Bob came to us with his own name. It suits him.

    • #21
  22. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    By the way, is he really named, “Bob,” or are you protecting the innocent?

    It cracks me up when dogs have people names.

    Mr. Western, Bob came to us with his own name. It suits him.

    It’s actually, “Mrs.” Western, but I admit the “Chauvinist” part does make it confusing…

    Love your writing. More please.

    • #22
  23. Qoumidan Coolidge
    Qoumidan
    @Qoumidan

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    By the way, is he really named, “Bob,” or are you protecting the innocent?

    It cracks me up when dogs have people names.

    We had a dog that came with the name Nicki.  One day at the our church she got out of the car and ran around the parking lot and courtyard.  We ran after her yelling Nicki! Nicki, get back here.  At some point I noticed the secretary’s teen daughter watching us.  Her name is Nicki.

    I was really embarrassed and vowed never to give people names to animals after that.

    • #23
  24. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    By the way, is he really named, “Bob,” or are you protecting the innocent?

    It cracks me up when dogs have people names.

    Mr. Western, Bob came to us with his own name. It suits him.

    It’s actually, “Mrs.” Western, but I admit the “Chauvinist” part does make it confusing…

    Love your writing. More please.

    Sorry, Mrs. Chauvinist. And thanks for the compliment  I’ve always enjoy your posts

    Kent

    • #24
  25. GLDIII Reagan
    GLDIII
    @GLDIII

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    By the way, is he really named, “Bob,” or are you protecting the innocent?

    It cracks me up when dogs have people names.

    Mr. Western, Bob came to us with his own name. It suits him.

    Our 4 cats have names. Other then to identify which one we are shaming for some cat activity for which they never feel any shame, I never saw the point of naming them.

    Like they are going to respond to their servants.

    • #25
  26. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    KentForrester: Bob is respectful and courteous (except with our cat)

    It’s the old conservative/libertarian divide. It’s usually more contentious than the conservative/progressive divide, since libertarians and conservatives seem so close, but why can’t they (from each side’s perspective) see right on these other few subjects?

    • #26
  27. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    KentForrester: Pussycats are left wingers. They’re humorless, are suspicious of everyone, and think the world revolves around them.

    This is calumny, sir. Cats are libertarians. If not properly socialized, they may be suspicious of everyone. Even improperly socialized cats have senses of humor. They are also very social creatures, and if they accept you as part of their clowder, they are very friendly and will keep you company. Mine are often in various places in whatever room I happen to be in for any length of time.

    • #27
  28. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    GLDIII (View Comment):
    Like they are going to respond to their servants.

    It’s good you know your place.

    • #28
  29. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    GLDIII (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Our 4 cats have names. Other then to identify which one we are shaming for some cat activity for which they never feel any shame, I never saw the point of naming them.

    Like they are going to respond to their servants.

    Ha.  I know what you mean.  We’ve always had cats, but the most we’ve had at one time was three.  Four must keep you working at the litter box much of the day.

    Kent

     

    • #29
  30. KentForrester Coolidge
    KentForrester
    @KentForrester

    Arahant (View Comment):

    KentForrester: Pussycats are left wingers. They’re humorless, are suspicious of everyone, and think the world revolves around them.

    This is calumny, sir. Cats are libertarians. If not properly socialized, they may be suspicious of everyone. Even improperly socialized cats have senses of humor. They are also very social creatures, and if they accept you as part of their clowder, they are very friendly and will keep you company. Mine are often in various places in whatever room I happen to be in for any length of time.

    Arahant, I’ve never known a cat with a sense of humor.  I’ve known grumpy cats, friendly cats, mean cats, loveable cats.  But never a cat with a sense of humor.

    Kent

    • #30
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