Political Pups: The Office Dogs of Capitol Hill
After watching the divisive election cycle in 2016, I felt disappointed by our political system. I've lived in the DC area for 13 years and wanted to do something to help soften the divide I was seeing engulf our daily lives. The problem was I couldn't put my finger on what I – a dog photographer – could do that would help. So I began doing a little research.
In the early 19th century, Virginia Congressman, John Randolph, brought his pack of hunting dogs to the House floor on a regular basis. While his colleagues were not amused then, the office dog has become a welcome fixture in modern times. Senator Ted Kennedy brought his Portuguese Water dogs to the office to help break the ice with fellow lawmakers and visitors. They were present during important committee hearings and visited the Oval Office. Now hardly a day goes by without seeing at least one adorable pup roaming the halls of The Hill.
The first dog I photographed was Wally (left), the terrier from Senator Rob Portman's office. Wally was a stray pup when Portman's scheduler, Jen, found him in Texas. Now he is Chief Greeter for constituents visiting Portman's Senate office. From there I photographed 20 more pups from offices from all sides of the political debate. Everyone I met was kind, generous with their time and though we may have had varying views politically, we connected around our shared interests. Perhaps the dog can help us move beyond the political maneuvering and rhetoric?
If you work in the House or Senate and bring your pup to work, contact me.