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Canines for Change:
Because Progressives Walk on Four Legs, Too!
Written by: Porthos Sandell, with help from Alex Sandell

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First of all, I'm going to give it to you straight... I'm a mutt.  I was found in a ditch in a burlap sack with my five brothers and sisters (and you thought all those standing room only rallies Howard gave were crowded).  I was brought to the pound and put in a kennel with my aforementioned brothers and sisters.  While a kennel does beat the heck out of a burlap sack, it still isn't very much fun -- especially with those ass kissing poodles.  If ever a dog was Republican, it would be a poodle.  If Karl Rove was reincarnated as a dog, he'd be a finely trimmed French Poodle looking for constant approval. 

Every single time someone walks into the pound, the canine repubs  yap and yip to the point where your average human can't resist adopting one (or even two) of them (like Iowans voting for Kerry.  I wonder how many votes he received for each Botox injection?).  I remained silent.  Maybe that was why I watched all five of my brothers and sisters getting adopted, leaving me alone in one tiny, lonely and stinky kennel.  It stunk (both literally and figuratively).  But, unlike John Kerry, I wasn't going to pander to anyone for a vote (or even a home).

Then along came Alex Sandell (Deaniacs know him as Alex in Minnesota).  Alex passed on poodles like John Ashcroft passes on civil rights, and visited a few of the less traditional canines.  What Mr. Sandell didn't know was that I was to be "put to sleep" (IE - executed) the day after he found me.  Admittedly, Alex in Minnesota did check out a few dogs before giving me a chance.  I was used to it.  I pretty much totally knew that people adopting dogs were about as "fair & balanced" as Faux News.  But then Alex asked, "what about that one?" 

I figured the "one" Alex must have been referring to was the neighboring poodle, and gave up and lied down in a pile of my own feces.  Then, my kennel door opened.  Alex could have cared less about that poodle (I think his name was Dick something.  Dick Cheney?  That sounds about right.).  It was almost like Sandell was an Independent Voter.  A human with a mind of his own?!?  This was definitely not a Robert G. Oler.  No matter how many times the Dick Cheney miniature poodle next to me barked, Alex ignored him. 

I came out and did my thing.  It wasn't much.  The humane society is grossly understaffed, due to the majority of humans thinking that animals are less important than humans (which is ironic, being that humans are animals and there isn't a single animal worth less than Donald Rumsfeld), and due to the fact that there was only one paid employee and 2 volunteers at the place I was imprisoned (I think the volunteers were performing some sort of public service for being caught driving drunk), my kennel was covered in dog poop.  What can you do?  A dog has to poop, right?

I ran up to Alex and licked him.  I felt like a whore, but I couldn't help myself.  The humane drunk driving person told Alex that he may not want to pet me because I wasn't clean.  Alex ignored her.  He laughed when I sat on my head.  To this day, he thinks it's funny when I do that.  Humans are so easily amused.  To my surprise, Alex said, "this is the one I want."  That was cool. 

Unfortunately, I was covered in fleas, needed numerous flea baths, and then, after the chemical nightmare was over, Alex took me home, sat me on his lap and we watched The Beach.  That's a bit embarrassing to admit.  I mean, couldn't we have watched something good?!?  Old Yeller, maybe?  That one still chokes me up.  Oh well.  I was on someone's lap.  I was on my master's lap.  This beat the hell out of a burlap sack or a shitty kennel.  Plus, Alex is a good master, unlike George W. Bush, who seems to drop every dog he picks up flat on their head.

It got even better when I found out that Alex Sandell was a Liberal.  A progressive.  Call it what you want, this guy wanted change.  And so did I.  And I still do.  That's when I came out in favor of Paul Wellstone.  Unfortunately, Paul died.  Alex did get some nice shots of me paying respect to the Wellstone yard sign Sandell had in his yard, but they were on one of those generic disposable cameras, and Alex can't afford a scanner, so the pictures were lost.  Part of the problem was that the camera was cardboard and easy to chew.  I admit to nothing!

Then Alex & I jumped on the Kucinich bandwagon.  The guy has some good ideas, but he's sort of nuts.  I noticed that Alex was spinning in circles, as though he was chasing his own tail, even though he doesn't have one.  "Where can I go?"  Alex asked.  Then he reconsidered Howard Dean.  He sat me in front of a Dean DVD and asked what I thought.  I thought Dean was a bit too moderate for the two of us, but Howard was honest and he was straight-forward and he was the man.  Plus, he was sort of short, just like Alex and I, and short people seem to have the power of their convictions more than tall people, who simply fall back on their freaky gigantism.

Alex decided to support Howard Dean.  I decided to support Governor Dean, along with him.  Not because I was simply being obedient, but because Dr. Dean made sense -- even to a dog.  He knew what he was talking about, and he was the only Democrat running that would make a good President.  No offense to Kucinich, but that guy couldn't get a single one of his progressive ideas past that stubborn Republican Congress.  Really.  I then put on this anti-Bush shirt, calling Bush a "Chicken-Hawk," threw on a couple of Howard Dean buttons and barked like hell to get Vermont's savior elected. 

I'm embarrassed to admit that the button on the left is an "Unemployed for Dean" button.  I've been out of work since the Bush recession kicked in.  It's hard for a Circus dog to find work.  And, even when we do, those balls we walk on our so flimsy, now that they're all made in China by some unfortunate kid being paid a 33 cents an hour, most of them end up breaking under our feet.  I ended up popping 3 in a row with my nails and was replaced by a Chihuahua they brought in from Mexico.  They're willing to work below minimum wage, without unions and with no benefits (how do they do it?  A dog without a biscuit is a miserable canine.)


I admit I was crushed on Feb. 18th when Dean actively stopped campaigning.  Edwards belonged in 17 magazine and Kerry belonged absolutely no where, being that his positions continue to change faster than Theresa Heinz-Kerry's mood.  Kerry does have the whole "bring it on" thing down, but he speaks so slowly, it sounds sort of like an audio tape played at 1/4th speed.  John Kerry basically sounds like a dying battery.  Yet, he's now our candidate. 

Will I bark for him?  I don't know.  Currently, I'm preparing my pipes for Ralph Nader.  But that's a spoiler vote, right?  But what was Kerry in the primaries?  And everyone without more than a dog's brain voted for him.  I don't know what to do in November.  What do you want out of me? I'm just a Canine for Dean.

For now it's a fight for Delegates for Dean.  We need a voice at this convention!  I'm part hound.  Have you heard a hound howl?  We can make a hell of a lot of noise.  It sounds something like this, "YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHH!!!"   

FIRST OF ALL, IF YOU'RE A FELLOW DEANIAC, EMAIL ME (I'll read your emails first and respond to them second)!  If you have any comments regarding this article, email me.  If you're bored and can't think of anything else to do, email me

2004 Alex Sandell [all rights reserved].  If you want to copy any of this, including the pictures, email me.


Back to the juicy cerebellum


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Support Canines for Dean!  Buy a poster, print or magnet.  ALL profits will go to animal shelters!  Save a lonely animal from an untimely death -- buy a poster, magnet or calendar (there's tons of stuff for sale)!