I was working on a post about the confusion of cause and effect among those who dislike my dislike for the incumbent president.
Then I read this:
Spot, President Bush's brown-and-white English springer spaniel, died Saturday. She would have been 15 next month. …
The White House announced that Spot had a series of strokes recently, including one last week. Spot's veterinarian recommended that she be put to sleep, and the first family followed that advice Saturday.
That sucks. The president has had a "dismal six weeks":
Bush's State of the Union Address was not well received and neither was his budget. Major policy initiatives on sending humans to Mars and reforming immigration law had a mixed reception at best. An interview with NBC's Tim Russert, a rare such appearance for Bush, failed to quieten the criticism.
The White House allowed a controversy over Bush's service in the National Guard to grab headlines for two weeks. And the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Bush's main justification for last year's war, promises to be a continuing embarrassment.
But all those self-inflicted wounds to himself and to the country carry a different sting than the loss of a 15-year friend.
I am a firm believer in the innocence and goodness of dogs. (One of my biggest gripes with Dickens is that he imputes Bill's cruelty in Oliver Twist to the scoundrel's dog, who meets a punishing fate similar to that of his master.) The West Wing has lost one of it's only innocent residents.
It seems unfairly cruel that the lifespan of dogs is so much shorter than our own. Among the rites of passage many of us experienced in college was the death of the dogs our families had embraced as puppies when we were puppies ourselves. The lifespan of these dogs meant that many of us received that awful phone call while far from home, learning that when we returned home to visit at the next holiday break, the member of the family who would seem happiest to see us would not be there.
So anyway, I'm reluctant to post anything critical of the president just now in the wake of this sad news. I'll give him a one-week moratorium on criticism from this blog.
(Note: That's a week in dog years. I'll be back to criticizing the president tomorrow.)