I’ve had my Blue Heeler Murray since he was six weeks old. The breeder said he was 10 weeks, but I think she was just eager to get rid of him. I use the term ‘breeder’ pretty generously. Murray was born on a working farm that didn’t heed the closing plea of every episode of The Price Is Right.
My significant other was first to arrive and literally had the pick of the litter. Six pups were playing sweetly with mom. One was off by himself headbutting a tree trying to shake loose a squirrel. That’s Murray.
Blue Heelers are working dogs bred to herd cattle. If I am walking on the farm on any sort of path, Murray would instinctively get behind me to usher me along. When he was younger he would nip at my heel: hence the name ‘Heeler’. A little insulting because, and I shouldn’t need to say this, I am not a cow. But DNA and centuries of breeding are powerful and cannot readily be overcome. It requires training, discipline, some experience and time.
Now let’s talk about Major Biden, the President’s three-year-old German Shepherd rescue. Shepherds are an incredibly popular breed. The American Kennel Club ranks it third most popular in the United States and lists its dominant characteristics as ‘loyalty, courage and confidence’ and ‘the willingness to put their life on the line in defense of loved ones’. There’s a reason police dogs are often Shepherds, but just like my guy Murray, their breeding is not immediately overcome. Without training the DNA takes over.
The White House recently admitted Major has bitten a second person. It’s not his fault. He’s not trained; he was never anything more than a campaign prop.
The media had set the stage: Trump was the first president in over 115 years to not have a dog. This was, of course in the case of Trump, spun negatively.
‘The Curious Case of No Dog in the White House,’ opined the New York Times. ‘Donald Trump Hates Dogs: Here’s What That Means,’ wrote GQ magazine. In the Irish Times: ‘Trump Doesn’t Have a Pet — Is That Proof He’s a Bad President?’ When Donald Trump was asked why, he simply said ‘I don’t have the time.’ Even if the optics of him with a dog would help him, Trump dismissed it. ‘Feels a little phony to me.’
Dog lovers should respect and appreciate this. Trump is the type of person who should NOT have a dog.
But this was an opportunity for Team Biden and political campaigns are pure optics. A rescue dog would be a great asset for ‘Sleepy Joe’. Why do I know the puppy was a prop? The timeline.
Biden says he decided to run for president as a result of the racial violence in Charlottesville. That happened in August 2017. Biden adopted Major in November 2018. Fifteen months after deciding to run for leader of the free world, Joe Biden at 76 years old concluded that was the ideal time to rescue a puppy. Gotcha.
Maybe I’m cynical, but I’ve done lots of campaigns. Sure, just because the Biden team used Major to cut an attack ad on Trump for not having a dog doesn’t mean he was a prop (cough, cough) but regardless of the reasons for the rescue, the German Shepherd DNA is not readily overcome. Major is bred to work and protect; without solid training he will behave badly.
Maybe that’s the real reason Joe Biden broke his foot last Thanksgiving. I always thought his explanation was odd: he was getting out of the shower and pulled the dog’s tail which caused him to trip on a rug…? Huh? OK, I don’t pull my dog’s tail. Naked. But that’s just me. No matter, even this oddity was a positive story for Biden. ‘Why Joe Biden’s foot reveals how different his White House will be from Donald Trump’s,’ wrote CNN’s Chris Cillizza lovingly. Dog, meet lapdog.
Major is tripping his master and biting people because he’s not trained. How can he be? He’s a puppy and his family is the President and First Lady. They are busy. I’d be very concerned if the President of the United States had a few spare hours every day to train a puppy, but that may explain why he’s not focused on the southern border.
So, who’s training Major? The Secret Service agent on lunch break? A staffer? That’s not how you get a well-behaved dog.
Training a dog is a commitment. A strong-willed and active dog like a German Shepherd needs a master and a job. Murray is now acting like a 17-year-old; every now and again he needs reminding he’s not the alpha. Yes, it’s a little weird to hold your dog down and growl at him, but dogs are pack animals. They learn who is in charge.
At the very least the rescue group should do what rescue groups always do in this situation: take Major back. Multiple incidents clearly show the adoptive family is not able to handle him properly. He should be placed in a better home situation. There are many families who will take him.
I’ll take him.
On my little farm with our training and, when necessary, being growled at by the human alphas, Major will be a sweet, loyal, courageous pet with a less focus-grouped name.
Major’s bad behavior is emblematic of bigger issues. There’s an ongoing social media conversation about our president and who’s really running the Biden-Harris administration. Maybe it is Kamala. Maybe it’s still Obama behind the scenes. Regardless, it’s fairly obvious it’s not Joe. Major is further evidence of that. He is not a bad dog but he is calling out for someone in charge, an alpha, a leader.
I guess we’re all Major Biden.