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February 18, 2005

Even Klansmen Need to Hang Up Their Sheets, Don't They? (Hoke)

Kronology updates us on Robert Byrd, the senior senator from West Virginia who keeps going . . . and going . . . and going.

sen_robert_byrd.jpg

Has it been too long?

I don't think so. Not with such floor statements as --

A majority of pet owners do believe their pets to be family members. That is the way I look at my little dog, my little dog Billy-Billy Byrd. I look at him as a family member. When he passes away, I will shed tears. I know that. He is a little white Maltese Terrier. As a pet owner and dog lover, I know exactly what that lady means, and so did millions of other dog lovers who could never even fathom such an act.

For my wife and me, Billy Byrd is a key part of our lives at the Byrd House in McLean. He brings us great joy and wonderful companionship. As I said on this floor just a few months ago, if I ever saw in this world anything that was made by the Creator’s hand that is more dedicated, more true, more faithful, more trusting, more undeviant than this little dog, I am at a loss to state what it is. Such are the feelings of many dog owners.

Dogs have stolen our hearts and made a place in our homes for thousands of years. Dogs fill an emotional need in man and they have endured as our close companions. They serve as guards and sentries and watchdogs; they are hunting companions. Some, like Lassie and Rin Tin Tin, have become famous actors. But mostly, these sociable little creatures are valued especially as loyal comforters to their human masters. Petting a dog can make our blood pressure drop. Try it. Our heart rate slows down. Try it. Our sense of anxiety diminishes, just goes away. Researchers in Australia have found that dog owners have a lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels than those people who do not own dogs. Researchers in England have demonstrated that dog owners have far fewer minor health complaints than those people without a dog. Our dogs are about the most devoted, steadfast companions that the Creator could have designed. They are said to be man’s best friend and, indeed, who can dispute it?

The affection that a dog provides is not only unlimited, it is unqualified, unconditional. A faithful dog does not judge its owner, it does not criticize him or her, it simply accepts him or her; it accepts us as we are, for who we are, no matter how we dress, no matter how much money we have or don’t have, and no matter what our social standing might be or might not be. No matter what happens, one’s dog is still one’s friend.

A long, frustrating day at work melts into insignificance-gone-with the healing salve of warm, excited greetings from one’s ever faithful, eternally loyal dog.


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posted by Ace at 12:18 PM

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