Regardless of your political persuasion, there’s one thing we can agree on: Dogs make life better. Almost all politicians in American history have found comfort and joy in sharing their time in office with a dog. National Dogs in Politics Day, aka Checkers Day, is held Sept. 23 exalting all things canine, to remember just how important pets are, even to those who hold the highest offices in the land.
The holiday dates all the way back to 1952 when Richard M. Nixon, candidate for vice-president when Dwight Eisenhower was running for president, mentioned his dog, Checkers, in a speech broadcast to the nation. Nixon, accused of mishandling political funds—Checkers was among “gifts” he’d gotten—was defending his choice. Folks didn’t focus on the funds, they went wild for Checkers. Ever since, Dogs in Politics is celebrated each year.
In the spirit of the holiday, I sat down to bark about local politics with our First Fidos, Blake and Beatrice Curry.
Davi: What is your age in doggy years?
Blake & Bea: We are 14 years old, or two in human years.
You’re Mayor Lenny Curry’s Top Dogs. Folks want to know what your pedigree is.
We are Porkies. It’s a pinch of Pug and a dash of Yorkie. The best of both breeds.
When did you join the Curry family?
What do you most like about Mayor Curry?
The mayor lets us sleep on the sofa!
Describe your typical day for us.
Walk, eat, sleep, repeat.
What places in the city get your tail wagging?
Jacksonville’s parks are grrrrreat! Everyone should paws to enjoy them! They’re clean and very dog-friendly. Some even let us run off-leash and use our outside voices!
As our city’s most dutiful dogs, which pet policy do you hope people will obey most often?
Be responsible and clean up after your pets. It’s the law.
If you could change any Northeast Florida pet rule, which one and why?
We’d love full access to the beach! There’s nothing better than running around on the sand and jumping in the water along our salty shores.
What would you do to attract more canine visitors here?
Probably offer unlimited dog food buffets at all of the pet-friendly hot spots around town.
If you could start a campaign to help local pets, what’s your platform?
Something wag-worthy, like “the scenery doesn’t change unless you are the leader of the pack.”
As Jacksonville’s First Dogs, what would you like to say to the dogs of the city?
Ruff Ruff! Or for those not in the know: Wag Locally, Act Responsibly.
In addition to porkies Blake and Bea, the Currys’ pet family includes cats, rabbits, chickens and iguanas.
Jacksonville is a city that puts pets first—I should know, I’ve visited quite a few cities in my few short years. Nothing compares to the pet-friendly fun around Florida’s First Coast. Not only is our city full of locations and activities for pets, it’s the largest city in the nation to adopt a no-kill pet shelter policy. Good policy is good politics.
Davi the dachshund is Top Dog in the Folio Weekly family. He gets our vote every time.