You know – Mike Huckabee – the Arkansas governor who ran for president. I didn’t know he had a show either, until we received a call about being a guest. We looked it up, even watched an episode. FOX News, but it was a chance to show off a couple of X-Vick dogs and how well they are doing. Roo Yori (think World Disc Dog Champ Wallace) was to bring Hector and I was to bring Jonny Justice. And I would surely take a ribbing from our gay friends.
Last minute apologies came from the segment producer yesterday when she revealed that PETA was to suddenly join us. No problem there I assured her, I relished the idea of a face-to-face; to let America know that PETA isn’t just interested in destroying all dogs from a fight bust (without evaluation), but recommends that all shelters across America destroy all of their pit bulls. Though I did let her know that we had just stumbled upon a real problem...
While material searching for a blog promoting the show this weekend, we discovered that Mike Huckabee’s son David had been involved in, of all things, hanging and killing a dog – something that Michael Vick had admitted to also doing himself. So how could we go on the show now?
We wrestled with ethics. It was a great opportunity for the dogs and it was the governor’s son, not the governor himself, and it was ten years ago - his son almost eighteen. Ahh! Had Huckabee ever spoken out about his son’s transgression? If so, we can do this. After a search, the best we could find was his response on Larry King Live: “There was a dog that came in. It was mangy. It looked like it was going to attack. He was a staffer at the camp. They put the dog down. They didn’t do a good job of talking to the leaders. The way it was handled was not ideal, but there was no criminal activity.” Depends who you talk to. Animal cruelty, though still a misdemeanor in Arkansas, is a crime nonetheless. Other allegations were made that the dog’s throat was slit and that it was stoned to death while hanging, but this is just rumor. Nobody can say for sure.
We were ready to call it off when the producer suggested we talk to Huckabee himself. I suggested to Mike that the campers were safe once his son had the rope around the dogs neck and that the adults should have then been alerted to make humane decions. He reminded me that his son was seventeen at the time. Fair enough – about the not alerting part – but what about the rest? The dog was then hung over a tree branch as David’s friend recalls. Still, besides rumor, no one has officially talked about how the dog was finally done in. Surely *you* know Mike, he’s your son. “He didn’t tell me” was his reply.
This was the deciding factor for me. His son had lost his job over this, and the dog his life - what father would not want to know such an extremely important detail?
We are all very disappointed over this today, I would have loved the opportunity to show off the dogs and to beat up on PETA for their Unethical stance on our breed, eye-to-eye. But instead, I will simply try to stop imagining that lone, unknown dog, hanging from a tree.