New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Animal Law, Odds and Ends


November 7th, 2008

Barney Speaks Out (An Interview with the First Pooch)

As readers know, presidential pooch Barney took a bite out of Reuters’ reporter Jon Decker yesterday. The NYPILB caught up with the First Dog for this exclusive interview covering the incident, life in the White House, and the prospect of being sued:

NYPILB: Dog, what happened?

Barney: Please. It’s Barney. Save your familiarities. I’m still in the White House, you know. I’m not some common mutt on the street.

NYPLIB: My apologies. Barney, what happened?

Barney: You think it’s easy living in this prison? I snapped, OK?

NYPILB: Someone take away your doggie treats?

Barney: Oh sure, be a smartass. It’s bad enough that The Master has been walking around caged up in here because McCain didn’t want to see him and he’s grumpy because people don’t like him anymore. He says this place is worse than Gitmo. And I got these yahoos from the media crawling all over me with their cutchy, cutchy coo stuff like I’m a baby.

NYPILB: Don’t you have protection from them?

Barney: I did until yesterday. My Sheppards have been reassigned to the incoming puppy. They gave me a fist bump and were gone.

NYPILB: Incoming puppy?

Barney: Yeah, word is the new dog in town is already being trained.

NYPILB: How does that make you feel?

Barney: Like biting.

NYPILB: I heard you’ve done this before.

Barney: I need to keep myself amused. We get these tourists coming through the Rose Garden, traipsing on my turf. Don’t you humans have noses? I clearly marked it. You think Saddam was the only one to have active chemical weapons?

NYPILB: But he didn’t.

Barney: They should have sent me over. I could have sniffed them out.

NYPILB: Are you worried about being sued?

Barney: In order to serve me with the papers, they have to catch me first. I’m small, but I can move when I have to. And besides, it would be a frivolous suit!

NYPILB: But Dog, you’ve bitten before. You’ve got what lawyers call a “vicious propensity.”

Barney: What did I tell you about that? You think this is American Idol?

NYPILB: Sorry. Barney, you’ve bitten before.

Barney: Would it be OK if I water boarded them instead? And besides, I thought they were terrorists.

NYPILB: In the Rose Garden?

Barney: 9/11!!!


Barney: Rudy Giuliani likes to visit me. He said that was a defense to everything.

NYPILB: And where is Rudy now? Preparing his inaugural address, is he?

Barney: Again with the sass mouth. Look, the guy was coming after me. He bent down and made a grab. Am I supposed to let every Tom, Dick and Harry stroke my fur? I don’t think so! A dog’s gotta defend himself. By now the whole world’s seen the video. He’s 6 feet tall, I’m 1′-4″ on a good day. How can I reach his hand unless he’s coming down after me?

NYPILB: Barney, first you said you bit Decker because you snapped. Then you said you bite to amuse yourself. Then terrorists and now self defense. What gives?

Barney: I have a constitutional right to self-defense!

NYPILB: Where does the constitution say that?

Barney: The Second Amendment.

NYPILB: That deals with arms. We’re talking teeth.

Barney: Yeah, that’s what you think. In District of Columbia v. Heller Justice Scalia wrote that “The inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right.” Woof!

NYPILB: I didn’t know you were a constitutional scholar. Does it trouble you that they just made that “inherent right” stuff up, and that it isn’t part of the text?

Barney: You new to politics? Folks make stuff up all the time.

NYPILB: I notice that you didn’t answer the question about the multiple and contradictory defenses that you have raised.

Barney: Well, I have a book in progress. Millie cashed in, so why can’t I? My agent at William Morris is already working on the talk show and college campus circuits. I need to try out some lines to see what works.

NYPILB: Aren’t you afraid folks will see these conflicting things in print?

Barney: Nah. Your audience is too small. OK, I gotta go. Literally. I suggest you get out of my way.

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