Why doesn’t Trump have a pet?

Published 12:25 PM EST, Fri December 29, 2017
01:47 - Source: CNN
Famous pets in the White House

Editor’s Note: Randi Kaye is a CNN anchor and correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

(CNN) —  

As a reporter for “Anderson Cooper 360,” I live my life on a deadline. Plane to catch. Story to write. Live report to deliver. It’s always exciting, but also can be so stressful!

But in the scheme of things, my job as a reporter for CNN is a lot less stressful than, say, the job of President.

These days, the leader of the free world has a lot to worry about.

North Korea.

Middle East Peace.


The Russia Investigation.

I can’t imagine the stress of that job! Luckily, after a long and stressful day I have my golden retriever, Gatsby, to come home to. He always greets me with tail wags and wet kisses. Then he curls up at my feet with his head resting on my toes. If I didn’t need both hands to type this article, I would surely have one of them on him. Petting him from head to toe is the best stress reliever!

Which is why that I think you, Mr. President, would be wise to get a dog and start 2018 off on the right foot (or paw, if you will).

You would benefit from owning a dog in so many ways. It’s scientifically proven!

Studies show that playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol. Don’t you want more of those feel-good chemicals in your brain?

All those nights you reportedly spend alone, pacing around the White House in that bathrobe would be in the past. A loyal companion would be at your side, and with just a few pats on the head your stress from the day would slip away.

And no need to worry, a dog can’t wear a wire or be subpoenaed to testify (or bark, in this case) at special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

No matter what decisions you made by the end of a hard day or how some might’ve criticized them, your dog won’t judge you.

If only, Mr. President, you had a dog to turn to before one of your Twitter tirades. It could make all the difference. Dogs don’t sleep through the night, so perhaps you could even try reading some of your more questionable tweets to your dog before posting them for real. Maybe that would be enough to get it out of your system?

Or as psychologist Chris Blazina, who has written three books about men and their relationship with dogs, suggests, try petting your dog before posting. Chances are that anger will go away and so will your tweeting.

And if you’re hungry late at night and craving one of those Big Macs or KFC meals you love so much, a dog makes a great kitchen companion. But remember, no human food for your pup unless you want a late-night clean-up in the Lincoln Bedroom!

Oh, and don’t worry about germs from all this interaction with your dog. Experts say a dog’s germs can actually strengthen your immune system. Bonus!

Now, before I go any further, you may be wondering why I’m suggesting you get a dog over another kind of pet.

Yes, I know that President John Quincy Adams had a pet alligator, and President William Howard Taft had a pet cow. Abraham Lincoln had a pig and Theodore Roosevelt had a bear. Fascinating, all of it.

But for you Mr. Trump, I’ve settled on a dog. Any dog. Cats aren’t your style, they’re typically more withdrawn. You need the steadiness of a dog. As Brian Hare, the director of the Canine Cognition Center at Duke University warned, “I just envision the cat hiding under a bed somewhere in the White House for four years.”

Maybe you should rescue a golden retriever – America’s favorite breed – like my Gatsby to match your golden locks? Trust me, if you asked a golden retriever to take a loyalty pledge, he’d do it.

Or maybe you prefer a smaller dog, like a Chihuahua? Just make sure his papers (or documents?) are in order.

And despite the fact that you reportedly thought it was “low class” for your VP to move his family pets to DC, including their two cats, snake and rabbit, that menagerie may be just what Mike Pence needs after a long day.

Mr. Trump, did you know a dog may actually help you become a better leader? Dogs are direct and transparent. They bite their enemies and love their friends. And experts say they never flip-flop on loyalty.

Also, dogs bring people together. They don’t see color or party. I think we all agree that’s a good thing.

People love dogs, which means dogs have great approval ratings. Every little bit counts!

“Kind of unwittingly … a softer side …starts to come out when you pet your dog and other people see you do that, and some of the pretense … starts to melt away,” says psychologist Blazina. “People see … a more vulnerable, but certainly a more authentic part, kind of coming through that’s warm and caring. So I think if you’re a PR person you should be looking for a dog for Trump right now.”

Look, bottom line is we all know how much you thrived on the adoring attention of your fans and supporters during the campaign, so why not get a dog to fill that void? In a dog’s eyes, you’re the most important person to them. The only thing that matters.

Isn’t it time to trade your Twitter feed for some tail wags?