Image for Scruffy’s bid for the Legislative Council. Scruffy to be interviewed by Crikey ...

A Very Important Dog

I am a very important dog or so my Master tells me.

Recently the Master had lunch at the Village Store with the owner of Ratbag, a very close friend of mine. Ratbag is a fox terrier, affectionate, loyal and the most reliable of dogs. He hides to eavesdrop on important conversations.  I wait outside for my driving lesson, followed by racing the Master’s car up the drive to his Kennel.

I remember that day for Ratbag’s Master suggested that I, Scruffy, should stand for Parliament ... as the Master had met with no success.

They worked out a catchphrase:

“Voting for a dog , vote for a real one”. This caused Ratbag to laugh.

I know all this because Ratbag told me.

This week the Master asked if I would like to be something he called a Legislative Councillor. He said it was a proper and honourable title once used by dogs who knew how to behave; dogs that sat quietly, barked when they were barked at, and never put the bite on you like the low-bred dogs whose tails are held above their ears currently sitting in the Big Hobart Kennel. I knew instantly what he meant; I wagged my low hung tail, rolled on my back and put my paws in the air. This pleased the Master greatly, he patted me, muttering something about making arrangements.

The Master loves Tasmanian Times. He stares at that screen on his desk; he makes grunting noises. I sleep at his feet. When he grunts and bangs his fist at the same time I wake up for I know that all is not well in his Kennel.

It was fun posing for Luke the photographer on my special guarding bench/removalists’ blanket at the back door. I had to keep my ears down, yet look demure and interested all at the same time. Being a model is difficult even for a clever dog,  especially with so many watching.

The Session, as it was called, was for my advertisment on Tasmanian Times and for something called a Face Book.

Apparently, if the readers of Tasmanian Times, think I would make a better representative than some of those other dogs in that Hobart Kennel they will let Mr Face Book know by pressing “Like” below my photograph. The Master says if I get enough “Likes”  I can visit the Hobart Kennel to teach all those dreadful improper dogs how to behave.

Then the Master says, he will no longer have to bang his fist and damage the furniture.

Ratbag is very jealous of my role in this important caper.

He says his Master would miss him; anyway his area of expertise is rats and foxes.

I tell him this may yet be useful.

Paws crossed for now,

Scruffy.

Scruffy’s page is: http://www.facebook.com/thetasmanianscruffy

Scruffy’s Facebook profile

Category –  Politician in waiting.

Address: - Tasmania, Australia.

Affiliations – All and sundry.

Currently planning to run for the Legislative Council of Tasmania at the forthcoming election in 2014.

Current Office – Guard Dog First Class with two clasps for long service.

Short description – Scruffy, yet I know I am elegant, well dressed, colour co-ordinated and carry my tail beautifully.

Dog-ography – I was discovered as a waif and stray in Deloraine, of mixed yet unknown parentage, loyal, clever and above all, tolerant.

Political views – Can always smell a rat, chase feral cats, have never seen or smelt a fox. I am tolerant of all other creatures great or small.

Post – Guard duties, looking after Mr Cockerel the Family’s only Bantam and instructing feral dogs on how to behave.

Awards – Chudleigh Show: the dog most like its owner.

Favourite Books – “Boots” by Rudyard Kipling.

Relationship status – Single.

Religious views – Faith, Hope and lots of Charity.

Activities – Rabbiting, Pal dog food, guarding my Mistress.

Interests – Internationally: The Battersea Dogs Home. Locally: learning to drive, I steer, use the wipers and the indicators, I never talk on the phone.

Favourite music – Elvis Presley “You aint nothing but a hound dog.”

Favourite films – “Lassie” the Film, not the pet food.

Favourite TV programmes - I do not watch TV, a complete waste of a good dog’s time.

About me – I believe my Master considers me to be beautiful; beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Education   - I am learning French and know the meaning of “Going out for a Oui, Oui.” I am working on the spelling.

Scruffy’s page is: http://www.facebook.com/thetasmanianscruffy

• Pete Godfrey, in Comments: If Scruffy runs I will vote at the elections otherwise I won’t bother. I know Scruffy and she is an honest dog, no bones about it. She can be relied upon totally to do what she says and to be true to herself. Go Scruffy.

• Jack, in Comments: Will Scruffy be giving a press conference? Some questions the press gallery would like to put to him: If he wins a seat in parliament will he be tempted to sniff the arses of all the members? What is his policy on gay marriage and the humping of legs? Is he vaccinated against the usual parliamentary diseases; distemper and foot-in-mouth disease? Will Scruffy represent the interests of blue ribbon poodles as well as working dogs? Has he ever eaten from a pork barrel? He holds his tail proudly, but does he risk it wagging him? Is he trained as a (bull) scat detection dog?

• Crikey, today (December 10):

Dog days in Tassie politics. There’s buzz building around a candidate for next year’s Tasmanian upper house elections. Meet Scruffy Hawkins:

Scruffy lives in the charming northern hamlet of Chudleigh and will run for Parliament under the slogan “Voting for a dog, vote for a real one”, according to this profile (above) in ratbag online publication Tasmanian Times. Found “a waif and stray in Deloraine, of mixed yet unknown parentage”,
Scruffy has a personal Facebook page and fan base.

The Tasmanian Legislative Council has rolling single-member elections; we’re not sure which electorate Scruffy is targeting. We’d like to know if an animal can stand at an election in Australia, or is that illegal? And if you have to be enrolled to vote to stand for election, is there any law saying a dog can’t enrol to vote? If you’ve watched Tasmania’s prehistoric and wacky Leg Co in action, you’ll see no reason Scruffy couldn’t join in.

Scruffy would not be the only non-human political figure. Stubbs the cat is Honorary Mayor of the Alaskan town of Talkeetna, and has 34,000 followers  on his Facebook page. This year, Morris the cat ran to be mayor of the Mexican city of Xalapa; he got thousands of votes and came fourth out of eight candidates (Morris is currently running a tribute to Nelson Mandela on his Facebook Page. Scruffy has just 94 Facebook likes — but that’s probably more than any Tasmanian Legislative Council member.