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Down, Boy! 

Journey into Mitt’s soul through Seamus, the family dog.

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My old missionary companion Mitt Romney has been catching a lot of flak lately for putting the family dog on top of his car for a 12-hour trip to Canada in the summer of ’83.

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If you haven’t heard about poor Seamus, Romney’s loyal Irish setter, suffering a severe case of the runs as a result of his terrifying ride, befouling his crate and the white exterior of the Romney Chevy station wagon, visit The Boston Globe online and look at the seven-part series called The Making of Mitt Romney.

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The series is full of other interesting details about the life on earth of my former missionary companion, not all as appalling as Seamus on the roof, but most offering revealing insights into the soul of the next president of these United States. As you might expect, several commentators are outraged at Romneys’ treatment of Seamus, but other Romney-watchers are equally intrigued by the heartwarming account of how Romney’s dad, George, wooed Romney’s future wife into the church while the Mittster was serving as an emissary of the Lord Jesus Christ in the decadent precincts of gay Paree.

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I was lucky enough to be an eyewitness to the whole courtship of Romney’s eternal sweetheart. Back in Michigan, father George was fellowshipping his son’s future helpmeet, while on the ground in Paris, Romney was launching impassioned missives home to the aforesaid future helpmeet. Given the poisoned climate of politics these days, it’s predictable that some folks would pounce on a perfectly innocent relationship'the one between Romney’s dad and Romney’s future bride'and imply that there was something creepy about the whole deal.

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I think Romney was very lucky that his dad was looking out for him while he was trudging through the streets of Paris. (The Boston Globe goes on at great length, excessively so, in my opinion, about Romney’s propensity to produce copious amounts of perspiration. But in the interests of accuracy, I have to say that after an eternity of tracting along the Champs-Élysées, Romney’s drip-dry white shirt and his undergarments looked like he’d been in the baptismal font.)

nn

The road to eternal marriage is not always smooth, however, and I remember as if it were yesterday the morning Romney got the proverbial “Dear John” letter. There was a certain guy she met who reminded her of Romney'what a kick in the gut! Most of us missionaries had been dumped by our pre-mission girlfriends'these days the church advises young men not to date before their missions, thus preventing the inevitable painful galosh from the gal back home'but the specialness of Romney seemed to promise exemption from the indignity of being dumped.

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Romney and I spent countless hours on our knees beseeching the Lord to turn Ann’s heart back to Paris, France. Our prayers worked, and my determined missionary companion returned to Michigan in triumph and was soon married in the temple.

nn

Girlfriends come and go, and sometimes come back, but dogs are loyal forever. That’s why the Romney’s treatment of Seamus is so unsettling to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Alas, poor Seamus, I knew him well, whiling away many an afternoon throwing a soggy tennis ball on Romney’s expanse of suburban lawn. Seamus exemplified everything good and noble in a canine companion. Anyone who has spent time with an Irish setter will agree with the following description from a popular dog handbook: “Fun-loving, playful, affectionate, mischievous, intelligent and anxious to please.” That was Seamus to a T.

nn

My old missionary companion’s treatment of Seamus is so obviously inhumane that I hesitate to rise to his defense. But Romney is one very special guy'not only did he single-handedly save the Olympics and clean up the corrupt Commonwealth of Massachusetts, he has never in his earthly existence said a swear word.

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When Romney’s son Tagg noticed brown liquid seeping from the crate onto the white Chevy station wagon, Romney was persuaded to pull over. When Romney’s on a mission, ordinarily nothing stands in his way'certainly not an Irish setter covered with excrement in a windy crate on top of a car barreling dvown a hot highway. That he stopped to attend to the matter proves he cared about Seamus, or at least the white Chevy station wagon. He hosed down the dog, the crate and the car, and soon the family was back on the road.

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Presumably Seamus (bad dog!) was returned to the roof and sternly warned not to get the runs again.

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D.P. Sorensen writes satire for City Weekly.

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