What an exciting day for us folks at the Land of PureGold. On
December 7, 2000, our very own Darcy helped out her Golden
friends Bailey and Patty Kennedy at the U.S. Senate.
is Mom to Bailey Bymyside, also title to the book that she authored about her lovely
gal, works for Virginia's Senator John Warner at the U.S. Senate.
So naturally, the
U.S. Senate Gift Shop requested that she do a Book Signing for her latest book,
Bymyside: Golden Lessons for Life. Come walk along with us as you see
what this special day held!
First, before we began our journey,
Golden Therapy and Demonstration Dog Darcy was outfitted in her
brand new "Working Therapy Dog Cape," made lovingly by Gerry from Oregon's The
We can't thank Gerry (as well as her embroiderers) enough for getting our cape to us in time for this big day. This cape featured these special
Therapy Dog Patches that were just perfect for our visit.
There were additional patches
sewn on, as well as personalized embroidery, that were just great at answering everyone's
questions. One side of the cape told folks, "My
name is Darcy," and the other said, "It's
OK to pet me!"
(By the way, these questions were asked
repeatedly throughout the day. It was great to see that people realized working service
dogs, such as guide, hearing or mobility dogs, were not to be petted.
And, it was loads of
fun letting them know that for Therapy Dogs, petting is just what is expected.)
next hurdle was getting from our home in Maryland to the U.S. Senate Gift Shop. That was
the toughest part of the day, but we did finally make it.
We had to have a special permit to get entrance onto the
parking lot, that was directly outside of the building that housed the gift shop. And, we
had to have an identification card with us.
Patty was so happy to see us and couldn't do enough to
make our visit a special one.
While she was often busy personalizing copies of her books
for customers, every chance she could get was spent petting and talking to our Darcy.
course, we had Darcy do some silly tricks to cheer everyone. She waved, answered math
problems, and did a little freestyle dancing.
We learned so much on our special visit.
Did you know that we have veterinarians also serving as senators? We sure didn't.
first time this occurred was when then veterinarian Montana Senator John Melcher served in
the Senate from 1977 to 1988.
But, now we have two veterinarian senators, and Darcy was
lucky enough to meet both of them!
In 1997, veterinarian and U.S.
Representative Wayne Allard of Loveland, Colorado won an open Senate seat in Colorado.
And, this is one hard-working dude.
We learned that when Dr. Allard first began in
politics, serving in the Colorado State Senate from 1983 to 1990, he continued to run the
Allard Animal Hospital full-time!
Here is Senator Allard giving
our Darcy a pet. Of course, Darcy is stretching her neck so that he can get just the right
The recent November 2000 U.S. Senate race in Nevada brought us Dr.
Ensign, another veterinarian.
John Ensign was first elected to Congress in 1994 after
leaving a successful veterinary practice. Before being elected to Congress, Dr. Ensign
opened and operated the first 24-hour animal hospital in Las Vegas.
Unable to defeat Harry
Reid in the 1998 U.S. Senate election, he then returned to the practice of veterinary
medicine. But, wanting to get back to Washington, he ran again and was now successful.
Senator-Elect Ensign thought Darcy was wonderful
and actually commented on her great appearance and beautiful white teeth. And, we found
out that Goldens have been a part of his family as well!
Darcy provided so much good cheer and
was so well-behaved throughout an almost four-hour period in the gift shop. Everyone
was amazed and wanted to know how much training she had. Boy, were we proud.
times when folks just couldn't resist hugging her. Other times, one could find her leaning
against a person's side as they gently stroked her head. It was surely a Golden sight to
Although not on lead, she never strayed
far from her mom, always checking to see what was expected from her.
The incredibly friendly gift shop personnel loved having such
a furry Golden diversion. Surely, they will feel like something is missing in the days to
come, as the shop will be Darcy-less!
In appreciation for our helping with the Bailey Bymyside Book Signing, the Official 2000 U.S. Congressional
Holiday Ornament was presented to us.
With the personalized engraving on
the back, this will also be a beautiful reminder of the day.
Patty received this gift as well, her ornament
engraved to "Patty and Bailey." Golden thanks go to all of the hard-working
personnel at the shop (Pat, Robert, Lori, Kim, Teresa, John, Ernie, Linda, Billy, James
Now, that our official workday was complete, Patty took us for
a little 'Senate sightseeing.'
We left the Dirksen Building and went over to the Russell
This was done by walking through the underground tunnel system which connects
all of the Senate buildings to the Capitol.
First, we went up to see Senator Ted
Kennedy's office. He is quite famous here, having represented Massachusetts in the U.S.
Senate for 38 years!
First elected in 1962 to finish the term of his brother, President
John F. Kennedy, Senator Ted Tennedy is now
the third most senior member of the Senate.
Although Senator Kennedy wasn't in, it was a real thrill to see part of his
office. The walls were lined with photos of himself and his famous family that spanned a
period of over 40 years.
The persons answering the phones in Senator Kennedy's
office told us that the Senator is a real dog lover, bringing his own dog to work about
once a week.
He actually brings a tennis racket to work so that he can hit balls for his dog to
retrieve and bring back to him.
We also got an interesting memento from the two guys
manning Senator Kennedy's office.
It seems that each Senator has his or her own official
Well, now we have our 1st of this unique government collection, which
includes the three very famous brothers, John, Bobby & Ted Kennedy. Problem is, how
will we ever get the other 99?
We next went to visit Senator John Warner's office. He is the Senator that Patty
Kennedy works for at the Senate.
Virginia Senator John
Warner, who was first elected to the U.S. Senate on November 7, 1978, is
currently serving his fourth six-year term.
Senator Warner has been a public servant for over 35 years, previously
serving as the Secretary of Navy in 1974.
We got to see Senator
Warner's private inner office, which was filled with trains and ships and so many more
unique favorites from his many collections.
We were particularly interested in his photo
collection, as it included those famous years when then wife and movie actress Elizabeth
Taylor helped him campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Of course, if you were to ask Darcy, she
would have told you that the best part of Senator Warner's private inner office was his
very comfy black leather couch.
Now, just look at her resting on his leather
couch, next to the Senator's official suede
We just hoped no Golden strands were left
behind, since our house is simply filled with soft Golden
Senator Warner's Office Manager, Cheryl
us into the office where we met Eileen Mandel, who is Executive Assistant to the Senator.
And, we knew we were in pretty safe territory because Eileen has a 15-year-old Golden of
her own named Mac. She told us that he really wouldn't mind us taking a tour, and we are
so thankful that she allowed us to go through his office.
You can see she knew just what
Darcy wanted, our girl looking up at her with so much love.
Our last stop was to Patty's office
which she shares with her two co-workers.
There we were able to thank everyone for their
help (especially with the directions to actually make it down to
In fact, if it wasn't
for David Slenzak, this smiling dude below, we could still be circling somewhere in
You can see that Darcy is great at
bringing smiles to everyone that meets her. And, anyone that saw her throughout the day
noticed that a smile never once left her face.
We were so glad to be able to show how
truly Golden, Golden Retrievers can be.
It was a day that will remain in the hearts of
many. And, it was a way to help and pay tribute to Bailey, a very esteemed Golden friend!