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The Hillary Clinton Guide To Good Pet Care

While we are on the subject of dog books, perhaps it is a good time to look back again at Hillary Clinton’s book, “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy.”

For besides being an obvious and cloying PR stunt (and rip-off of “Millie’s Book: As Dictated To Barbara Bush“) Mrs. Clinton’s book hectors its readers to be responsible owners.

From “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy,” page 165:

Socks and Buddy’s Guide to Good Pet Care

Dear Socks, Dear Buddy

It is not just the First Pets who deserve first-rate care and attention. Socks and Buddy have helped me put together a list of suggestions that will help your animals stay safe, happy, and healthy.

• Pets need good housing

Like other cats and dogs, Socks and Buddy depend on the people who love them to keep them out of harm’s way.

The Humane Society of the United States recommends that all pets be treated as members of the family, living indoors and allowed to exercise and play outside on a leash or in a secure place.

Cats and dogs that roam the neighborhood by themselves are vulnerable to cars, injuries from other animals, poisonous substances, diseases, theft, and abuse.

We took this advice when we moved into the White House with Socks. Now, when he goes outside, we put him on a long lead. Buddy romps around inside the White House fence.

Of course, as usual the Clintons have seldom not bothered to follow their own preaching.

For not long after the Clintons left the White House and moved into their estate in Chappaqua, New York, Buddy bolted into the street and was hit by a passing car.

But amazingly, this was not first time the Clintons had lost a dog due to their own personal irresponsibility.

From “The First Partner – Hillary Rodham Clinton,” by Joyce Milton, p 162:

Governor Clinton with Chelsea and Zeke

In January 1981, the Rodham-Clintons had moved to Midland Street in the Hillcrest section of Pulaski Heights, a pleasant neighborhood of older homes and tree-lined streets that Webb Hubbell would describe as somewhat “more populist” than the prestigious White Heights.

They had used a good portion of Hillary’s commodities [cattle futures] profits as a down payment on a handsome older brick house with a swing on the front porch, hardwood floors and built-in bookshelves. Chelsea was still cared for during the day by Dessie Saunders, the former Governor’s Mansion “security guard,” who was now on Bill and Hillary’s personal payroll.

Completing the household was Zeke, a neurotic cocker spaniel, who barked all night and wandered into the neighbors’ backyards, rummaging through their garbage cans.

Apparently the Clintons were not responsible enough pet owners to correct Zeke’s behavioral problems.

(It is also rumored that Hillary did not like Zeke even being in the house.)

Tragically, like Buddy, Zeke paid the ultimate price for their irresponsibility.

From “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy,” pp 41-3:

Our first pet was an intrepid butter­scotch-colored cocker spaniel named Zeke that I gave to my husband before Chelsea was born.

From the time he was a puppy, Zeke was full of dogged resolution. No fence, no gate, no leash could keep him penned in. He’d bite or dig his way through or around any bar­rier.

Sadly, his wandering ways finally caught up with him one fall day in 1990, when he dashed into the street and was hit by a car.

We buried him in a stand of pine trees on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock and put a bronze plaque there to remember him. Losing Zeke was tough on all of us.

The “smartest woman in the world” could not devise a way to keep a Cocker Spaniel from escaping into the streets?

And, indeed, Hillary can’t even take responsibility for her own failure. The way she sees it, it was all Zeke’s fault for being so “resolute.”

Moreover, the Clintons seem to be incapable of learning from their experiences. For even after Zeke’s tragic death, Socks was still allowed to roam the streets whenever he pleased.

From “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy,” page 44:

When we still lived at the Governor’s Mansion, Socks proved himself to be a great explorer. He’d have adventures and then return with his head held high. But when he became “First Cat–elect,” as the press dubbed him after the 1992 election, he had to adjust quickly to becoming a public figure.

One November day, when he strolled unsuspectingly out of the yard to go on his usual rounds, a pack of photographers coaxed him into their viewfinders with some catnip and snapped a picture that landed him in all the papers—so much for leaving home without a disguise.

By the way, it is interesting to note how differently Mrs. Clinton describes how they came to acquire Socks, depending on her mood and audience.

From “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy,” page 43:

After [Zeke] died, we didn’t want to get another dog right away because we felt so sad. But one day the following spring when I took Chelsea to her piano lesson, we spotted two kittens rollicking in her teacher’s front yard.

Although the teacher had been making calls for several days to try to reunite the small strays with their mom, she hadn’t had any luck and didn’t know who else to phone.

As we were walking to the car, Chelsea reached out to the kittens and the black one with white paws — Socks jumped right up into her arms. That clinched our decision to make him part of our family. We also arranged a good home for Socks’ sibling, Midnight, with the help of a local animal shelter.

Whereas in Hillary’s ghost-written autobiography, “Living History,” Socks advent is described this way:

We hadn’t had a canine companion since our cocker spaniel, Zeke, died in 1990. We had loved that dog, and it was hard to imagine finding another to take his place.

Shortly after we buried Zeke, Chelsea brought home a black-and-white kitten she named Socks, who moved with us to the White House, where he clearly preferred to be an only cat.

Which is it?

As we recently noted, the Clintons aren’t any too sentimental when the need for their pets seems to have passed.

Once they left the White House, they unloaded Socks on their longtime flunky staffer Betty Currie.

(The same Betty Currie who was told to hide Monica’s “love tokens” to Bill. She took them to her home and hid them under the bed, thereby suborning evidence and obstructing justice.)

The Clintons cited irreconcilable differences between Buddy and Socks. From “Living History,” p 517:

Buddy quickly became the center of our family life, which was hard for Socks to deal with. Socks had been showered with all the attention for years. One of my favorite photos showed Socks surrounded by photographers outside the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion before our move to Washington. Unfortunately, Socks despised Buddy.

We tried so hard to convince them to get along. But if we left them in the same room, we inevitably came back to find Socks with his back arched, hissing at Buddy, who was intent on chasing the cat under the couch. Socks had blunt-clipped claws, but he never passed up an opportunity to take a swipe at Buddy and once landed a direct hit on the puppy’s nose.

But, again, one wonders why these problems were never sorted out, as most (more responsible) pet owners would have done.

Also one wonders why after Buddy was killed the Clintons didn’t get Socks back. After all, he had been such an important member of the family for ten full years.

In yet another telling aside about the “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy” book itself, Mrs. Clinton goes on to state:

Both [Socks and Buddy] had their fans and each received thousands of letters, mostly from children who expressed their affection―and preference―for one or the other. In fact, I had to set up a separate correspondence unit at the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home to answer their mail. In 1998, I published some of the letters in Dear Socks, Dear Buddy, giving the proceeds to the National Park Foundation, the charity that raises funds to support our national park system.

Again, this is described somewhat differently elsewhere. From Hillary’s forward to “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy,” p 11:

The mail is so voluminous that our cat and dog cannot answer every question. We’re fortunate that many of the retired servicemen and women who live at the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home in Washington, D.C., volunteered to pitch in, helping the animals send out greetings and photos.

Yes, I am sure they “volunteered.” Hillary put these slackers and layabouts to work — for her own PR.

Still, in sum, what does all of say about Mrs. Clinton herself?

How can anyone be this callous and irresponsible? This preachy and hypocritical? This heartless and self-serving? This… Clintonian?

It boggles the mind.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, November 3rd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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