Yesterday I watched Sen Kennedy on the news as his two dogs greeted him when he left the hospital and also saw news clips of him out walking the dogs at his Cape Cod home. (If you'd like to send best wishes online to him, you can do so here.)
What I didn't know is that his Portuguese water dogs, Sunny and Splash, have their own career. They helped the senator write a children's book. It's called My Senator and Me, a "dog's eye view of Washington DC" and is available on amazon. According to reviews, it's a good introduction to teach children about how a bill becomes a law. According to this interview that includes a reading from the book by the Senator, Splash took over during the publicity tour. And it sounds like he can do that from time to time at the Senate too.
Is there anywhere Splash can't go?
The Senate floor. He is a little upset about it. [He opens a copy of the book.] "I know the rules, no dogs allowed on the Senate floor. But I don't like it. I see plenty of senators, and they don't behave any better than I do."
Doesn't he get to be something of a distraction?
Not really. [Splash barks and tries to retrieve a tennis ball from under the couch.] But one time [during a committee hearing] we had a roll call, and when we came back, Splash was sitting in the chairman's chair.
How does he behave around other senators?
One time, the caucus went on too long, and Joe Biden and Paul Wellstone were speaking louder and louder. Splash started to bark, so Paul Sarbanes made him an honorary member of our caucus. via Boston.com
[image description: Book cover shown. At the top is the book title My Senator and me with the Capitol shown underneath. An image of Senator Kennedy is at the right and in the forefront is a black shaggy dog with his tongue hanging out happily. At the bottom is the name of the author, the senator.]