A Tale of Two Governors and Their Dogs

Left: Sutter coaches Gov. Brown, 74, doing push-ups; right, Reagan used as a prop intended to humanize Gov. Scott

You can tell a lot about a person’s character by the way they treat animals. For millions of dog lovers, for example, learning that Mitt Romney had once decided to force his Irish setter Seamus to ride in a kennel strapped to the roof of his car on a 12-hour family vacation, even after Seamus got sick in the kennel, exposed a man whose life of privilege had left him with a deficit of compassion and common decency.

The revelations this week that Gov. Rick Scott, Florida’s Republican governor, got rid of a dog that appears to have been acquired in 2010 as a prop for his campaign for governor is similarly a window into Scott’s character. And it stands in stark contrast with the the story of another big-state governor elected in 2010, Jerry Brown, and his dog, Sutter, who has become an unofficial mascot in California since the governor took office.