July 10, 2008

Kennedy without Splash

U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy returned to Congress on July 9th without his dogs, Sunny and Splash. Sen. Kennedy was determined to be present to vote "Aye" on a healthcare bill to block a 10% cut in Medicare payments to doctors.

Sunny and Splash must miss wandering around Capitol Hill as much as the senator does. Whether you love Sen. Kennedy or not, two things are clearly loved by the senator: his Portuguese Water Dogs and his congressional work.

People who remember the JFK era probably watched the broadcast of Sen. Kennedy's July 9th Capitol appearance with some emotion. His niece "little" Caroline was accompanying him. In 1963, people say, TV networks around the world showed young Caroline accompanying her mother, the late Jackie O, to her father's funeral services.

All of the third-generation Kennedys are gone now except Sen. Ted and sister Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who in 1968 founded Special Olympics. Earlier this year, Congress honored her by renaming NICHD the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.

I guess these two humans have always liked kids and dogs. As Sen. Kennedy told the Washingtonian in 2006, "Splash sat through the markup for the 'No Child Left Behind Bill'." Sunny and Splash got to attend many important congressional meetings when they weren't sleeping under the senator's desk.
Sen. Kennedy and dog
Nowadays Sunny and Splash just hang out in Cape Cod waiting for legislative action. At least they got in a little sailing the day their senator came home from the hospital.

I wonder whether Splash is working on another book like the children's book he wrote with Senator Kennedy. He called it My Senator and Me: A Dog's-Eye View of Washington, D.C. I heard he could use a few paw tips about storytelling, but he means well. As does Ted Kennedy, I spoze.

No comments: