The president needs a dog

President Donald Trump might have gone too far this time.

He bragged about sexually assaulting women, denigrated Mexicans and Muslims and mocked a disabled man. Still, his supporters stick by him. He even might have been right when he said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”

But when he aims his venom at frisky Spot and little Cuddles, that’s when voters bare their teeth.

An adviser to the president told The Atlantic that Trump thinks owning pets is “low class,” and how “embarrassed” he was when Vice President Mike Pence and his family brought theirs to Washington. The Pence family pets include two cats (Hazel and Pickle), a dog (Harley), a snake (Snake) and a rabbit named Marlon Bundo.

“What? Not only do pet owners have more class than Trump, so do their pets,” said Terry Russo of Staten Island, who has two cats.

Trump is the first president in 150 years not to have a pet in the White House.

Having pets has relieved the stress of being president — from Barack Obama and his Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny, to George W. Bush’s Scottish terrier, Barney. John F. Kennedy loved his many pets, including 10 dogs, rabbits, ponies and birds.

So perhaps Trump should reconsider his attitude about pets. Among the Russia probe, sexual abuse accusations and sagging popularity, he can use a loyal friend more than ever. A Trumperdoodle might do wonders for his blood pressure and temper. When he feels the impulse to tweet, he could instead frolic with a four-legged friend.

Unfortunately, the chances of that happening are slim, according to former spouse Ivana Trump.

“Donald was not a dog fan,” she wrote in her memoir. When she bought Chappy the poodle to their home, Trump expressed his displeasure. Chappy wasn’t thrilled with Trump either, especially when he ventured near Ivana’s closet. “Chappy would bark at him territorially,” she wrote.

But does not liking pets make Trump a bad guy?

“I’m suspicious of people who don’t like dogs,” actor-comedian Bill Murray tweeted, “but I trust a dog when it doesn’t like a person.”

Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.