President What?

The 2036 Presidential election result was…hmm, how shall we say…unexpected.  Not the campaign itself; as always the campaign involved slimey, pandering politicos who took every opportunity to demonize or defame their opponents.  Except for the Canine candidate that is.

Canine candidate!” I can hear you thinking, or maybe even sputtering.  And yes, that sort of canine, the four-legged kind.  Is there any other?  Perhaps a little background would be helpful.

Shortly after the 2016 Presidential election the good old US of A took a nose dive.  Not surprising; we’ve been there before, and perhaps will be again.  What was surprising was what happened next.  As you can imagine, people were desperate for some glimmer of hope. REAL hope I mean; not the flash-in-the-pan promises of the new Oval Office resident.  Within a few years science had stepped up to the plate and discovered that beacon.  Believe it or not, scientists learned how to interpret what dogs were saying when they barked, whined, or growled!  And to talk back!

No, really!  It was documented time and again that they could understand dogs and the dogs were just as stunned as the rest of us.  Once the general population learned to “speak dog” it was only a matter of time before the animal shelters emptied.  Well, except for the cats.  Turned out that felines spoke an entirely different language, and when scientists tried to figure that out, the cats made it clear they didn’t want to be understood.  Go figure.

Time passed as it does, and people began educating their best friends, reading to them as pups, teaching them all manner of things.  After Tesla eventually launched its fully self-driven cars it wasn’t unusual to see dogs out for a joy ride all by themselves, heads pointed into the breeze, tongues lolling.  Just catching a glimpse of them made you feel happy.  Anti-depressant use plummeted.  BigPharma was not happy.

In 2032 Joseph Longfellow was elected president and proceeded to turn the country even further upside down. The economy tanked; unemployment soared; and foreign policy was indecipherable even to those who usually “got it”.  Longfellow’s party was apoplectic, and more than a little red-faced.  They’d expected to be able to control their candidate once he was in office, but he’d fooled them all into thinking he was the fool, their puppet.  Instead he took control and never let go.

Unofficial campaigning for the 2036 election began much earlier than usual.  And against the wishes of his party, President Longfellow insisted he was running for re-election.  They tried to dissuade him, but short of assassination it looked likely he would be in the Oval Office for the long haul.  Most of the country thought his opponent wasn’t any better, and it started to look like it would be “the devil you know” sort of election.

Then an amazing thing happened.

Goldie overheard her person Sam chatting about the state of the country, her hopelessness and the futility of ever voting again.  Been there, felt that, am I right?  Being a dog, and a Golden Retriever at that, Goldie lived to make her person happy.  When putting her head in Sam’s lap merely elicited a quick smile and a head pat, Goldie knew it was serious.

During her exercise at the park Goldie rounded up her pack of friends and brought up her concerns.  Mugs, a miniature Doberman Pinscher practically bounced up and down as Goldie related Sam’s conversation.  Jack, a – what else – Jack Russell Terrier ran around in circles but he was paying close attention.  The others were more controlled, but the consensus was that all their people were worried about the upcoming election and what it held for the future.

To make a long story short, Goldie’s friends decided she would make an excellent president.  She was fair minded, wise and caring.  Goldie unfailingly put her person first.  Those seemed like good qualities for a president to have.  They spread the word among their friends, who passed it on to their friends, et cetera.

Dogs all over the country began hinting to their people that it might be time for new blood in the White House – canine blood.  Dogs didn’t understand war and just wanted everyone to be happy.  Their idea of a good economy was plenty of food and treats for everyone.  Dogs also were more inclined to put their constituents first.  It didn’t hurt that dogs loved practically everyone.

The grass roots movement to elect a dog took the country by surprise, and by storm.  Because the campaign hadn’t officially begun there was time to change the law to allow a dog to run for office in parallel with their person.  What can I say?  People were ready for a change!  Politician after politician embraced the movement when they saw their constituents were behind it.  No one was surprised when Senators and Congressmen up for re-election began including their own dogs in photo ops, not to mention press conferences.

President Longfellow scoffed at the idea of a dog in the Oval Office.   He proudly proclaimed he was a cat person.  Now there’s nothing wrong with being a cat person.  Some of my best friends are cat people.  It would be wise however to be sure your cat is a people person before you parade him or her before the national press.  Longfellow’s long-haired Abyssinian, Fluffy was not a happy cat to start with.  Putting her in the spotlight only made her nastier; she took a swipe at the woman from the New York Times and drew blood.  If the President had apologized or even expressed a modicum of sympathy for the reporter it probably would have blown over.  But he had the gall to imply the reporter had been asking for it!  It was probably the beginning of the end for the President.

To say it was a landslide victory is to understate the result.  Of course the Demicans and Republicrats appealed.  Too bad they failed to notice that every single justice on the Supreme Court was a dog person.

So there you have it – the unexpected ending to a tumultuous campaign and the start of something momentous.  Now if we can just get the cats to come to the negotiating table.

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