You’d think – you’d THINK – that even the crustiest, lowest, most miserable liberals on the internet could take a break from their constant assault on decency and humanity and just enjoy that photograph of George H.W. Bush’s service dog lying in front of his flag-draped casket. The photo quickly went viral and millions of Americans were able to appreciate the simple joy of a politically unaffiliated Good Boy taking a nap after a job well done.
There was no need for further comment. There was certainly no need for Ruth Graham’s Grinchy column in Slate.
But she wrote it anyway:
There’s nothing wrong with applying sentimentality when it comes to family pets reacting to their owners’ deaths. There’s even some preliminary evidence from the small field of “comparative thanatology” that animals notice death, and that some may even experience an emotion we might compare to grief. But Sully is not a longtime Bush family pet, letting go of the only master he has known. He is an employee who served for less than six months.
It’s wonderful for Bush that he had a trained service animal like Sully available to him in his last months. It’s a good thing that the dog is moving on to another gig where he can be helpful to other people (rather than becoming another Bush family pet). But it’s a bit demented to project soul-wrenching grief onto a dog’s decision to lie down in front of a casket. Is Sully “heroic” for learning to obey the human beings who taught him to perform certain tasks? Does the photo say anything special about this dog’s particular loyalty or judgment, or is he just … there? Also, if dogs are subject to praise for obeying their masters, what do we do about the pets who eat their owners’ dead (or even just passed-out) bodies?
We don’t even want to know what kind of sick, depressing life you must lead to think, hey, in the midst of all this emotional goodwill, I should remind people that sometimes dogs eat their owners’ dead bodies! Someone cue up the Debbie Downer trombone.
There’s not much else to say about this other than, A) We really feel sorry for Ruth Graham that she thought it was necessary to “wake up” her fellow countrymen who were using this dog’s picture for a rare moment of across-the-aisle harmony, and B) Liberals know no boundaries when it comes to finding reasons to tell us the “truth” about the evil Republican Party and the people who represent it. Even if it means denouncing a service dog as “an employee who served for less than six months,” they’ll gladly go there.
Maybe if Sully H.W. Bush comes out as transgender or has an abortion next year, Ruth Graham will finally find something to like.