So far I’ve hung with a statue of Lincoln in West Virginia, went to Indiana, whose sign proudly proclaimed it to be the ‘birthplace of Lincoln’, then I came to the REAL Lincoln state of Illinois. I’m getting downright confused with all the Lincolnhood!
This factory right beside our hotel started off the Lincoln fest today.
I hear the Lincoln Museum is something to see, and I did take a very brief tour of the Capitol building on my way to the bathroom (seems to be the only way I actually see the interior of the Capitol buildings), but that’s about all the Lincolnness I was able to partake of.
I know that someone of Lincoln’s stature reaches quite the iconic figure by this point in history, and I loved the movie Lincoln that came out a couple of years ago…but I can’t help but wonder what he would think of our world if he were alive today, and what sort of man he really was behind the scenes. Maybe someday I’ll get back and tour his museum and get a behind the scenes glimpse.
For today I had a much grander mission, that of pretending to be a chained dog in order to shock and stimulate thought and conversation surrounding this particularly painful endeavor as it regards to dogs in the greater Capitol building area of Springfield, Illinois.
I have no way of knowing if I met with any success, but on the surface I’d say a tentative NO. Hopefully I’m wrong. I did get a few “I agree with THAT” comments, which always lift me up and help me square away my shoulders and get back in the fray.
I didn’t feel too good about the day today. In fact, to me it felt like a waste of a day, for a couple reasons:
1. I’ve gotten spoiled with the media actually covering the tour. Before today we had 8 pieces of media! Eight! That’s really amazing, and it helps me feel like the tour is succeeding. I have to remind myself that the tour is succeeding no matter what…because we are putting in the effort for the dogs in seven states and that’s what matters.
2. I’m sorry to all those Illinois folks who will be angry at me for this, but the people where I was were by and large not very nice or receptive.
I SAID WHERE I WAS. Not where you were. And BY and LARGE. Which doesn’t mean EVERYONE.
For instance, not YOU. Just some others.
The Capitol was beautiful, but I would take away a point (I might give them a point system in the end, if I can remember. I really should have taken notes.) because I only dared to have my doghouse on the top of the five steps for about 1/2 hour before the Capitol Police came and threw me off. To be fair, he was not rude, only gruff. And he DID carry my doghouse down for me. Which was nice.
He said I couldn’t be on state property without a permit. However, state property belongs to the CITIZENS. And therefore it is just as valid a place for a citizen as any other.
But I pick my battles, and that isn’t one I’m interested in picking on this tour. And, although they are the first state to eject me on THIS tour, something similar has happened in both New York and in Virginia on the last tour, so all the Illinois folks don’t need to get too defensive. You aren’t alone, although I suspect in the minority. I’ll let you know after I visit them all.
And, as for the point system, I might give a point back because they had the best bathrooms of the tour so far.
What, I like bathrooms, sue me.
I didn’t go around getting permits from anyone but Kentucky before this tour, and I only did Kentucky because they emailed me that they heard I was coming. Good news spreads fast, it appears.
Why didn’t I?
Because I believe that one citizen has the right to practice free speech without jumping through hoops in order to do so. I am only one citizen and I am peacefully practicing free speech. Not bothering anyone, not screaming, not forcing my information on anyone.
Therefore I’m following and partaking of my constitutional rights.
These rights do not say “you can practice free speech ONLY if you get our permission first.”
That kinda defeats the purpose of that whole FREE SPEECH thing, wouldn’t you say?
So I’m a bit morally opposed to it.
I figure they don’t own the sidewalk. And if they throw me off the Capitol property—which they did—there is always the sidewalk right there for me to use.
Which I did.
But first I got pics with my doghouse ON THE steps.
Natty Natty boo boo, Illinois. Enjoy them. They are like contraband at this point.
So the weather cooperated today, and I did get to see my friend Dawn Ashby’s husband Darin. I hadn’t seen him in awhile, and he came up and started talking to me…and I was thinking to myself, “I think that’s Darin.”
But it was one of those odd things where you think “But what if I say ‘Is that you, Darin?’ and the guy looks at you and says ‘Who’s Darin’?”
So I didn’t say it, and then he asked me if I remembered him, and then I thought “Dammit, I shoulda said it.”
Anywho, I was glad to see him and he kindly brought me water and some celery later in the day, which I greatly appreciated.
Because I was so darn bored. Mind-numbingly bored.
I’m a person who’s never bored. I can always find something to do, whether it’s work or fun, but sitting on a chain is not my idea of a good time. I hate it. It’s probably not anyone’s idea of a good time, come to think of it.
And then I remember that’s how I’m supposed to be. It’s how the dogs are. I’m not supposed to be having a party and entertaining myself with my phone all day; I’m supposed to be approximating the life of a chained dog so others can understand that it’s cruel and inhumane.
Check, I did that. I think I fairly accurately portrayed that aspect of a dog’s life today, for anyone that was actually noticing.
To add minor insult to minor injury (I confess to not being very het up about it), at around 3: 15 two women came up to me and told me they were with the Secretary of State’s office. I was all set to start telling them about chained dogs, thinking they were actually INTERESTED.
Instead she told me, again, that I couldn’t MOVE my doghouse up onto the steps.
Like I was planning to.
Now, really. What makes someone feel the need to go up to someone who is clearly where they are supposed to be and has been there all day but they feel a burning need to tell this person anyway where they can’t be even though they obviously are not making any attempt to go where they can’t be?
I can’t say I was sad to see Springfield, Illinois in my rear view window.
Nor the guy with the deer antlers embroidered on his shirt pocket. You can imagine how that conversation went.
[Am I like Obama when he made that “Pennsylvanians clinging to their religion and their guns” comment, and none of the Illinois folks are going to vote for me for President now? Dammit.]
I believe I have a few folks from our Missouri reps Sheila Ehler and Melody Whitworth’s groups joining us tomorrow in Jefferson City, Missouri. Looks like it’s supposed to be a hot one, high of 91.
I think it will be a better day! Gotta get some sleep.
Thanks again for your support. I would sure appreciate some sponsors for my fundraising page! If you can sponsor me on this tour for our work at Dogs Deserve Better, any amount is wonderful, just click this link. I’d like to raise $2000, I’m currently at $1090.