Ask a Terrier: How the Dogs Are Voting

Dear Budleigh,

Assuming that you’re not a registered voter, have you any advice for us Giants on the U.S. elections? We seem to be making quite a hash of it.

You dogs seem to agree on a pack leader without being overwhelmed by confused caucuses, authoritarian threats, and malicious foreign intervention. (Unless, you know, Russian Wolfhounds?)

What are Canines doing right that Giants are doing wrong? If you’ve a solution, you can have that hash I mentioned!

Help me, Obi-Wan KenoBudleigh! You’re my only hope!

JP, New Hampshire

Friday, February 28, 2020


Dear JP,

By a happy coincidence, elections for Alpha are coming up soon in our dog park. Much like Giant elections, campaigning has been spirited, robust, and in a few tragic cases, feral. That last usually among candidates who were off leash.

The job of the Alpha is a serious one, often described by Canines as “daunting” and by Giants as “adorable.” As the pack’s representative, the Alpha must speak to Giants in a unified voice, best done at 2 am with a shrill, grating howl.

Dog park debates present candidates many challenges, such as microphones.
But it takes more than a candidate’s annoying whine to win an election. It demands a confident voting process that is scrupulously honest, above suspicion, and clean as a fresh poop bag. Such is the only way to guarantee a turnout on election day in the dog park of an electorate as informed as it is confused.

At dog park entrance check-in:


AIREDALE: (Long pause) “What do you mean?”

BEARDED COLLIE: “Your name! What’s your name?”

AIREDALE: “Well…that depends who’s calling me.”


AIREDALE: “My Food Giant call me ‘Sweetie,’ but my Yelly Giant yells at me, ‘C’mere!’ And the Little Giants? Sometimes one calls me, ‘He’s mine!’ and the other, ‘No! He’s mine!’ Then they both call me ‘Mooooom!’ It’s all very confusing.”

STANDARD POODLE PRECINCT JUDGE: “I’ll handle this! (To voter) We need your name to check that you’re registered to vote in this park.”

AIREDALE: “Ohhhh! That makes sense!”

Long pause. Growing group of dogs wait. Some sit. Others yawn.

STANDARD POODLE: “Sooooo…name?”

AIREDALE: “Well…depends who’s—”

STANDARD POODLE: “We’re just gonna call you ‘Absentee ballet.’”

AIREDALE: “I like that!”


Inside the park, as candidates meet and greet.

ROTTWEILER: “Hi! Vote for me or I’ll kill you!”


BEAGLE: “Wait! Why?”

ROTTWEILER: “Did I say ‘Kill?’ Sorry! I meant, ‘Usher in a Golden Era of Prosperity and those Little Meaty Chews.’”

SCHNOODLE: “What’s ‘vote?’”

GOLDEN RETRIEVER: “Hi! Vote for me! I’ll be your best friend! Or don’t. I’ll still be your best friend. Can I go get you something? Anything? Even if it’s heavy!”

BEAGLE: “Thanks, we’re good.”

SCHNOODLE: “Again with the ‘vote.’ What’s that all about?”

BEAGLE: “My Giant says that we vote for what we want, what’s important, what’s good for us all.”

SCHNOODLE: “Can I vote for peanut butter?”

BEAGLE: “Let me check this pamphlet…”

These Canines’ calm, thoughtful, deliberate approach to electing their leader or choosing a sandwich spread offers valuable advice for you Giants. Use it well! And before you ask, thank you but no, I will never run for Alpha. I’ve all the Prosperity and Little Meaty Chews I need.


Photo note: Special thanks to pack member debaters (left to right) Jake, Cejas and Lincoln for the use of their heads.

4 thoughts on “Ask a Terrier: How the Dogs Are Voting

    1. Budleigh sez:

      Uh…I’m sending you a copy of my self-help book, “So, I’m Not A Puppy Anymore.” Study the pictures. That’ll explain a lot.

  1. Hey Budleigh! Schnapps here to thank you for your efforts to run a clean, fair voting process without any Muscatel bottles in evidence. A word of caution—I hope there won’t be any of those darn hanging chads around, ‘cause last election they were shredded and chewed up by voters around the dog park.

    Your friend, Schnapps

    1. Thanks, Schnapps! Your calm, fair, honorable voting practices is why I voted for you. Seventeen times!

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