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March 4, 2011 > Veterinary & Pet News: First Dog of California

Veterinary & Pet News: First Dog of California

Governor Jerry Brown fought long and hard to win the election to become California's 39th Governor. Brown served a previous term as the state's 34th Governor during different times and circumstances.

In 2010, Brown ran on the promise that he would balance the budget by slashing programs and wasteful spending. He promised a "tough budget for tough times" and that seemed to have earned him the top seat.

However, the Governor would hardly be considered as a friendly face or having a "warm personality." To help soften his image, Brown has recruited a new cabinet member to sniff out waste and fraud.

Governor Brown and his wife are considering making "Sutter," a seven year old Welsh Corgi, a permanent member of Brown's kitchen cabinet in Sacramento. Sutter is named after John Sutter who established early settlements in Sacramento and is regarded as one of California's pioneers in the Gold Rush. Sutter was given to Brown by his sister Kathleen who moved out of state to Illinois.

The addition of a four-legged friend to the state capitol has caused great excitement within the pet loving community. The Welsh Corgi breed is becoming very popular, and many households are embracing the small herding breed originally from Wales. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II made the breed a household name by owning several Welsh Corgi dogs and proclaiming them as her favorite breed.

There are two breeds of Welsh corgis, the Cardigan and Pembroke, each named for counties in Wales where they originated from. The chief difference is that the Pembroke don't have a tail while the Cardigans do.

Brown's previous beloved dog, "Dharma, "passed away last year. Dharma is an Indian word that is defined as individual conduct in conformity with one's principles. Dharma was a gift from Brown's wife, and was seen everywhere with Brown including social events such as weddings. This Welsh Corgi is proving to follow in the same footsteps as Dharma.

Sutter has helped transform Brown's persona by injecting his cute, fun loving charm and diminishing Brown's gruff and blunt demeanor. Brown is known within inner circles by his inability to make small talk or smile. Sutter lights up the room when he comes and Brown's friends and foes can't help but greet the little guy. Sutter helps break the ice for Brown and allows him to conduct business without the need to make small talk.

Senate Republican leader Bob Dutton has developed a good relationship with the first dog. Hopefully, this goodwill will translate into compromises that will have to be made as the budget is negotiated.

Anne Gust-Brown, Brown's wife, announced last week that Sutter would become California's official first dog and that "he's going to herd the budget vote." This obviously was a pun based on the Welsh Cori's skills as a herding breed. Sutter has his own Facebook fan page and a Twitter account.

Other political canines include President Obama's Portuguese Water Dog "Bo" and President George Bush's dog "Barney." However, based on his maturity and temperament, Sutter seems to be outshining both of them politically. President Bush's dog got bad press when he bit a fellow member of the White House corps, and Bo just hasn't found his way yet.

Sutter has won accolades from the media and politicians. Brown is seen all over town with his new best friend. Politics is a lonely business and I'm sure that Sutter must provide some level of solace and comfort to Brown on those long nights after budget negotiations and tough talk. The unconditional acceptance and loyalty from dogs is a quality few politicians or people possess.

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