Bailey's Mom and our Darcy


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.

Therapy Dog "I Love Working For Hugs and Kisses"Patty, who 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, Bailey 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 Raspberry Field.

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.)

The 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 and DarcyU.S. Senate Gift Shop Book SelectionsPatty 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.

Of 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.

The 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!

Darcy and Senator AllardIn 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! Senator Ensign and Darcy

Here is Senator Allard giving our Darcy a pet. Of course, Darcy is stretching her neck so that he can get just the right spot!

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.

There were 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 behold.

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 & Jon).

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 Building.

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 oBaseball Threesomeffice told us that the Senator is a real dog lover, bringing his own dog to work about once a week.

Darcy and The Camelot YearsHe 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 Baseball Card.

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.

Liz and JohnSenator Warner has been a public servant for over 35 years, previously serving as the Secretary of Navy in 1974.

Liz and JohnWe 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 pillow.

We just hoped no Golden strands were left behind, since our house is simply filled with soft Golden furballs everywhere.

Darcy Lounging!Senator Warner's Office Manager, Cheryl Black, escorted 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.

Eileen and Darcy: The look of love...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 Washington).

In fact, if it wasn't for David Slenzak, this smiling dude below, we could still be circling somewhere in Washington, D.C. Dave and Darcy

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!