FI-EditorialHarry Truman famously said, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” And while politics in Greenwich isn’t quite the bruising bloodsport it is in our nation’s capital, it’s still good advice.

And it just so happens that it’s good advice for anyone seeking a friend, not just politicians. Though with the way the races in town are going this year, especially for the Board of Education, people may soon be eager for the company of animals — and we don’t mean municipal politicians. Rather we mean dogs and cats in need of good homes. Because while President Truman wasn’t exactly advocating pet adoption, his words certainly apply.

This past weekend was the annual Puttin’ on the Dog festival, which had many residents turn out with their four-legged friends. Dogs competed in various events or simply dazzled us with their cuteness. It was a dog lover’s dream but it wasn’t just all about fun and games and finding out if fried Twinkies are as tasty as they sound. There was a serious message here because dogs need to be adopted.

Puttin’ on the Dog was created by Greenwich residents more than 30 years ago because they were concerned about dogs without owners. Those dogs were either in pounds or shelters or worse because people simply didn’t know they were available for adoption. Now the festival is put together yearly by town volunteers and Adopt-A-Dog to make sure people know that there are animals in need of a good permanent home.

And frankly, who couldn’t use the unquestioned love of a dog or a cat in their life? Political tempers are already flaring and it’s not October yet. Hard-charging columns and letters to the editor are on the attack before campaigns even typically get started, especially in the Republican race for the Board of Education.

Can you imagine how hot it’s going to be by this time next month with the election looming? These next few weeks in Greenwich politics are not shaping up to be a barrel of laughs. So, candidates may quickly find that the only ones they really can trust are their dogs. As for the rest of us, spending quality time with pets may be far preferable to what’s looking like a messy final month.

So this is the time to take advantage of the availability of good, loving animals in need of homes. Not only does the town’s animal shelter on North Street have pets looking for kind owners, but the Adopt-A-Dog sanctuary is open seven days a week in Armonk, N.Y.

Puttin’ on the Dog saw 30 adoption applications for the 15 animals that were brought to the festival and some of these dogs were considered the “less desirable” ones who need help most of all. That kind of response is always heartening, but is needed more than one Sunday a year. Adopt-A-Dog and the North Street shelter have animals for adoption all year round and doesn’t everyone need a friend in their lives?

More information may be found at Adoptadog.org and Greenwichct.org/News/Animal_Control_Adoption/ or call Adopt-A-Dog at 914-273-1674.

If you’re going to get barking and growling, it might as well be from a beloved pet and friend than from a political race.

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