West Wing Doghouse


JOHNSON: Senator Enzi.

ENZI. Thank you. Luke, congratulations on your nomination. Thank you for coming by to meet with us. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask about your qualifications. You have no previous governmental or policy experience, is that correct? Do you really think that you are qualified to head the new U. S. Dept. of Loyalty?

LUKE: Excuse me, Senator, but I am four years old. It’s not like I’m a puppy still wet behind the ears. I have years of experience in being loyal, even to humans who locked me in a crate and made me stay there all day with my own waste. Have you been loyal under such conditions?

ENZI: Not yet… There is considerable speculation as to how the Department of Loyalty will operate. What do you see as your role in serving as Secretary of Loyalty? Do you plan to suggest that citizens of the United States take a loyalty test?

LUKE: Oh, no. My job will be simply to be loyal.

ENZI: To the president? Or to the United States?

LUKE: To Donald. He told me we should be on a first-name basis. Truthfully, I’m not sure we’re a good match, but I’ll be loyal anyway.

JOHNSON: Senator, your time is up. Senator Heitkamp.

HEITKAMP: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Luke, my question to you is: why is a U. S. Department of Loyalty necessary? Can’t you provide the president with your loyalty without needing to be Secretary of Loyalty?

LUKE: I need a staff to feed me, walk me, and pick up my poop. Donald should do that, but he says he won’t.┬áThese are important staffing requirements that, when met, will enable me to put my full attention on supporting Donald.

HEITKAMP: Do you owe any favors to the Russians?

LUKE: There was a borzoi, once, but we just exchanged a few pleasantries. A mutual butt-sniff. She was much too tall for me, unfortunately. No commitments, either way.

TESTER: Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question.

HEITKAMP: I don’t mind if he takes part of my time.

JOHNSON: Very well, go ahead.

TESTER: I’m not positive, but I don’t think there has ever been a nonhuman Secretary as a member of the Cabinet before.

LUKE: The lawyers researched it. Not in the United States, but there is a historical precedent in ancient Rome. It was a horse, not a dog, but still. Not human.

TESTER: So your job will be solely to be loyal.

LUKE: Yes. Donald says it’s the single qualification for all his positions, not just mine.

JOHNSON (aside to Tester): How’s that going? The Dept. of Labor is so empty you can hear an echo.

TESTER: Your mic.

JOHNSON: Oops… So, Luke, just to be clear, if President Trump tweets a complaint about your performance, you will still be loyal?

LUKE: Yes. I am unconditionally loyal.

JOHNSON: If he insults you?

LUKE: Still loyal.

JOHNSON: If he shouts and screams?

LUKE: Shouting makes me nervous.

JOHNSON: But still loyal?

LUKE: Yes… but I must emphasize that I do not like shouting. And I have teeth.


Feel the Force, Luke


Luke, thinking Deep Thoughts.

I haven’t officially welcomed the newcomer to the household–Luke! He was adopted from a rescue group late last year. Let’s see what he has to say.

Donna: Any thoughts on the state of the arts? One of your predecessors, Toby, was something of a Rolling Stones fan. He particularly liked the song “Bitch” (although he was disappointed by the deceptive title) and the organ solo in “I’ve Got the Blues.”

Luke: I don’t pay much attention to music. But I do appreciate the fiber arts.

Donna: Oh, yes, the blanket. What do you find aesthetically pleasing about it?

Luke: When you first brought it home, rolled up, it was like a giant toy! It was huge! It was a real challenge to carry it around, but you know I am up for anything as long as it is play. No toy gets the better of me.

Donna: But its merits as a work of art…?

Luke: Well, when you unrolled it, I realized it was a blanket, but it still retained that play-with-me quality, which I love. It’s soft and cushy, yet strong, so I can pull it from one end of the couch to the other, over and over, without tearing it, even when I use paws and teeth. Best. Blanket. Ever.

Donna: What do you think of the neighborhood?

Luke: Great! …except for one thing….

Donna: What is that?

Luke: The storm drains. My previous humans didn’t take me exploring so I never realized how many of these truly frightening hazards are scattered about.

Donna: They’re not frightening.

Luke: I notice that humans seem to be unaware of the subtle, horrible smell that emanates from these hellish openings in the pavement.

Donna: No, I’ve never noticed a smell, but dogs do have more sensitive noses. The storm drains smell like poop, you mean?

Luke: Slightly, but I don’t mind that. No — they smell like … damp … and dark … and cats. I think cats use them as secret passages. That is very worrisome.

Donna: Any thoughts on politics? Advice for President Trump?

Luke: I hear that he doesn’t have a dog.

Donna: That’s correct.

Luke: I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand, he doesn’t look like a good ball-thrower, and wouldn’t be any fun. However, a dog could teach him something about loyalty.

Donna: President Trump is very firm about wanting loyalty.

Luke: Yes, but here’s where he goes wrong: loyalty is something that you give, not that you take. There was a perfect example in All the President’s Men

Donna: I didn’t realize you were watching that. I thought you were asleep.

Luke: I am never asleep while something is going on, even if I look like I am. Near the end, when the two reporters screw up and the paper is being attacked, the editor of the newspaper decides, “We’re going to stick by the boys.” That’s loyalty.

Donna: We’re almost out of time. Any final words?

Luke: Play every day. That’s my advice. Speaking of which, would you throw the squeaky lamb for me now?