New York Times columnist Gail Collins is obsessed with Mitt Romney's dog.
She's written about how he once strapped a dog carrier to the roof of his car, loaded his Irish setter Seamus into it, and drove to Canada on vacation, stopping to clean off the car when the dog soiled itself, about 50 times.
I read a lot of media criticism, and media critics have generally criticized Collins' dog obsession. They say Romney's treatment of Seamus on that long-ago road trip is trivia, and should be irrelevant when considering whether he would make a good president. For the most part, I agree with this, but when I mentioned the Romney dog incident to my family, they were aghast. "Why haven't we heard more about this?" my mother wanted to know. Everyone seemed to agree that there had to be something seriously wrong with anyone who would strap their dog to the roof and drive to Canada. They didn't think this detail was trivial at all. They thought it was revealing.
Anyway, the Washington Post has written a piece about poor Seamus, and the role he's playing in the current campaign. Regular people who like dogs - which is a lot of people, by the way - don't think the story is trivia. Like my family, they think it's pertinent and worth talking about. Who knows? Maybe the media critics are wrong.