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Sutter, the Capitol canine

December 21, 2011 |  6:27 pm

  Sutter is a powerful name in California.

It’s the name of the man who owned the sawmill in Coloma where gold was discovered in 1848, and everyone knows what happened after that.

But that Sutter died nearly broke. The present-day Sutter I’m thinking of is a figure who pops in and out of the governor’s office without knocking, who has the virtual run of the Capitol’s corridors of power. This Sutter is the governor’s dog.

Sutter’s bio has been added to the governor’s state website, and he already has a Facebook page. Like his "dad," Sutter is a Zen Jesuit, one who is "not burdened with dogma [but I do like dog bones]."

Dharma, the governor’s black Lab, died last year, and Sutter had belonged to the governor’s sister, Kathleen, from her and husband Van Gordon Sauter’s place in Ketchum, Idaho. The governor doesn’t like small dogs "as a general rule," but in specific, Sutter has star power and serves as a more genial foil to his "dad."

The Times has some irresistible video of the little guy making the rounds.  

He was recently photographed watching the governor do push-ups. This, yoga fanciers, is the real "downward-facing dog" position.

Queen Elizabeth II has Pembroke Welsh Corgis too. They are excellent herding dogs and probably not averse to nipping at the heels of an unruly prime minister.

Thus, Sutter is an opportunity who should not be wasted. He’s already a Capitol favorite, but a little dental persuasion from Sutter might persuade lawmakers and lobbyists who step out of line.

Moreover, the good people trying to get California to pass mandatory spay and neuter and microchipping laws should enlist Sutter as a lobbyist. Unlike other lobbyists, he might not be regarded as a fourth branch of government, but is certainly a four-legged one. 

ALSO:

Occupuppy L.A.

Let dogs have their day in Santa Monica

Lynn Jones: Treated like a dog for trying to help a dog

-- Patt Morrison

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