Perhaps I have issues with Gov. Paul LePage. But I love dogs, and I want to wish him the best with his new one. In that spirit, I offer this commentary on the effect our canine friends have on us — and the effect I would hope the governor’s dog might have on him.

My dog (and my wife!) make me a better person. And brother, there’s lots of room for continuous improvement. My wife gave me a T-shirt recently. It reads: “I love my wife, but I love my dog more.”

I’m not sure that’s (entirely) true, but I understand her concern. Fact is, “Dublin” never asks me to vacuum. Moreover, I find loose dog hair in a hardwood floor corner “endearing.” It says to residents and guests alike: “A happy dog lives here — and sheds here, too!”

The name “Veto,” although clever, says more about the governor than his dog. I’ve never known a dog to “veto” anything. A dog is accepting and appreciative of just about everything, unconditionally.

Similarly, I don’t think we “own” our dogs — God lends them out to keep us sane.

An alternative name might have been “Compromise.” I believe endeavoring to meet halfway makes for happy and healthy relationships — not just with our dogs, but certainly with our wives as well.

A charming book about the nature and nurture of a dog is Garth Stein’s “The Art of Racing in The Rain.” I just (seriously) ordered a copy and had it sent to the governor’s office, anonymously. It’s scheduled for May 10 delivery.

Dog diplomacy? I just hope the governor takes time to read it, and comes to love his new dog as much as I love mine.

Buddy Doyle

Gardiner


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