Editorial: Dog days

Republicans or Democrats: that’s probably not the way most Rappahannock residents would categorize themselves. Rather, we’re either “cat people” or “dog people.” And so-called political Independents, it could be said, like both cats and dogs equally.

But whether dog or cat, Rappahannock is the place to be. Here we have articulate advocates and fine organizations – RappCats and RAWL – looking out for the welfare of pets and strays, even the scrawniest stragglers.

At the moment, however, dogs seem to have the upper hand here in county, if recent news stories provide a reliable guide. The alleged “cat murder” at the hands of a former Sperryville chef has received national attention – and predictable outrage locally. (RappCats holds its annual meeting at 1 p.m. March 25 at the library, should you be inspired to join the organization that looks after stray and abandoned cats in Rappahannock.)

Dogs, on the other hand – or at least their owners – recall fondly that last year’s Westminster best-in-show trophy went to a Scottish deerhound from Rappahannock. And just this past Sunday, the New York Times Magazine gave a “shout-out” to the newly re-inaugurated Flint Hill Public House and Country Inn for its dinner menu for dogs.

“We much prefer the European model, where dogs often sit at the foot of the table in cafes and restaurants,” the story’s author, Benoit Denizet-Lewis, quotes the inn’s co-owner, William Waybourn. The author’s dog, Casey, reportedly found the “pooch stew” delicious, while the author allowed that “the human food was pretty good, too.”  (For more on the Flint Hill Public House, please see this week’s front-page feature.)

Finally, on the front-page this week is the big news that the Rappahannock Animal Welfare League (RAWL) is receiving an estimated $500,000-plus as the beneficiary from the estate of a Fauquier couple.

Every dog has its day. Indeed.

Walter Nicklin


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