I could provide inside information on Beefcake’s campaign to his opponent, Levi. That’s what I intended. But my delivering Griffin was far better. Voters love dogs. Some love dogs far more than they love people.
Griffin’s jump into Levi’s arms was a turning point. Before that Levi had been an ordinary middle-aged lawyer asking to be our mayor. But out of an entire crowd of people, in front of a live audience with television cameras rolling, a small, feisty terrier selected him as the most desirable of all of us. And once the audience understood that this was Levi’s long lost dog who somehow, against all odds, had made it back to him, it became a defining campaign moment.
Mostly what we hear these days is grim news about people we once knew: so and so is missing, so and so is dead, or so and so is missing and believed dead. That’s why this instance of good news captivated the media, or what remains of it. The spontaneous reunion of this sweet dog and his owner brought an instantaneous, passionate affection for Levi. He went from being a complicated candidate who’s prickly sometimes and over-earnest always, to being recognized as someone worthy of unconditional loyalty from a cute pooch.
Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.