Political Paws: Bend’s top dogs tell all

By Erin Rook, Source Weekly

A wise human once said, “Behind every great leader there stands a great dog.” To find out who’s really running this city, we interviewed some of Bend’s top dogs and discovered what really makes them tick—and what ticks them off. It should be noted that some city leaders do not have dogs (we’re not sure how they got elected/hired, either) and some did not respond by press time. But here are a few of the canines calling the shots, or barking the orders, if you will—and otherwise training the city leaders who call themselves their “owners.”

Dog1 face

Owner: City Councilor Victor Chudowsky

Names: Rocky and Honey

Ages: 8 and 6 years

Breed: French Bulldogs

Favorite toy: Socks

Favorite park/day trip: Swimming hole in Shevlin Park.

Pet political issue: Make Deschutes River trails leash-free year-round.

Hidden talent: Making people laugh.

One thing I have in common with my owner is: We’re very demanding.

One thing that sets me apart from my owner is: Short hair.

Anything else people should know: You wouldn’t believe the strange sounds we can make.


Owner: City Councilor Doug Knight

Name: Willow

Age: 2.5 years

Breed: Yellow Lab

Favorite toy: “Phes,” as in stuffed pheasant.

Favorite park/day trip: Walking with Mom along the Deschutes River Trail.

Pet political issue: Draconian leash laws in the Deschutes National Forest.

Hidden talent: Sniff, sniff, sniffing.

One thing I have in common with my owner is: I like to lie in the sun.

One thing that sets me apart from my owner is: I have hair all over my body.

Anything else people should know: I have a bark like a Basset Hound!


Owner: City Councilor Mark Capell

Name: Bonnie Capell

Age: 7 years

Breed: Pound pup, Blue Healer/Border Collie

Favorite toy:  Frisbee

Favorite park/day trip: Any hiking trail. I carry my food and the wine in my pack.

Pet political issue: There should be a law about squirrels. They should not be able to harass dogs.

Hidden talent: I run the office and have trained Fed Ex drivers to bring treats.

One thing I have in common with my owner is: I like to backpack, sail, canoe, and kayak.

One thing that sets me apart from my owner is: I am smarter and better looking.

Anything else people should know: I have three cats that love me.


Owner: City Councilor Sally Russell

Name: Ollie

Age: 4 3/4 years

Breed: Bearded Collie (small Scottish Sheepdog)

Favorite toy: None. I just love to run!!!

Favorite park/day trip:  The longer the better. Tumalo Mountain.

Pet political issue: Being able to access the river.

Hidden talent: Herding sheep, deer, geese, squirrels, etc.

One thing I have in common with my owner is: I love the outdoors.

One thing that sets me apart from my owner is: I am incapable of swimming.

Anything else people should know: If you can’t find me, I’m probably somewhere cold.


Owner: City Councilor Sally Russell

Name: Pancho

Age: 8

Breed: Beagle

Favorite toy: Anything food-associated.

Favorite park/day trip: Mt. Bachelor, early season snowboarding.

Pet political issue: More dog parks!

Hidden talent: Stealing chuck-it balls.

One thing I have in common with my owner is: We love breakfast burritos and Christmas ham.

One thing that sets me apart from my owner is: I steal the breakfast burritos and ham.


Owner: City Councilor Sally Russell

Name: Blinky

Age: 13

Breed: Bearded Collie mix

Favorite toy: None. I enjoy relaxing on the couch.

Favorite park/day trip: See above.

Pet political issue: None. Life is good.

Hidden talent: Pretending to be a sheep.

One thing I have in common with my owner is: I will chase away a raccoon at 2 a.m.

Anything else people should know: I can make numerous facial expressions.


Owner: Bend Police Chief Jim Porter

Name: Maizy

Age: 3

Breed: Golden Retriever/Irish Setter mix

Favorite toy: My blanket. Nothing better than a good game of peek-a-boo with my blanket.

Favorite park/day trip: Hiking the Canyon Creek trail to the base of Three Finger Jack.

Pet political issue: The violation of my constitutional rights of free association. Too often, us dogs are bound, leashed, and kept from being allowed to associate with any dog we please.

Hidden talent: The refined art of advanced manipulation of humans.  Despite my owner’s repeated requests that I do not relax on our sofa and leather chairs, all I have to do is tilt my head and with a slight tear I can get permission to sit with them on the sofa. And despite my owner›s repeated, and at times forceful assertive opposition, I maintain that TempurPedic beds were designed for dogs, with dogs in mind. And I do a great reindeer imitation.

One thing I have in common with my owner is: The love of listening to NPR and watching Oregon Field Guide on OPB.

One thing that sets me apart from my owner is: That whole “This is people furniture, not dog furniture” issue.

Anything else people should know: America will never truly be a great country, able to reach its full potential, and get government out of our lives, until dogs have equal rights!


Owner: Bend Park and Recreation Director Don Horton

Name: Blaze

Age: 10

Breed: 1/2 Lab, 1/2 Golden Retriever

Favorite toy: Squeaky hamburger

Favorite park/day trip: All parks. Are you kidding? I can’t discriminate against parks.

Pet political issue: Dogs for more milk bones at coffee shops.

Hidden talent: I can speak and will do it often for the right treat.

One thing I have in common with my owner is: We like food. All food.

One thing that sets me apart from my owner is: My owner has decided that he likes cats, grrrrr!

Anything else people should know: I received a citation one day because my pesky neighbor thinks I talk too much.