Attention, Manhattanites! If you're out walking your dog—or thinking about innocently petting one on the sidewalk—be wary of a wheaten terrier named James. He belongs to Eliot Spitzer. And he's not exactly friendly. When this reporter unsuspectingly tried to pet him last night near the Metropolitan Museum, his dog walker issued a firm warning. "Those are the former governor's dogs," she said. "And that one," she said pointing to the aforementioned, seemingly sweet terrier. "He's mean, and he bites!"
James, as the dog is called, casually turned his eyes to us, looking proud of himself, maybe even a little smug. The luv gov's bichon frise, Jesse, stood patiently next to her "brother" (sporting a fresh blow-out, naturally) as if stopping to talk to strange women on the street were a normal occurrence.
The friendly, information-bearing dog walker went on: "That big one, he doesn't really like the men, and he usually bites them," she said. "He likes women, though. I don't know if they trained them or what." Interesting! Perhaps the Spitzers trained James to be a paparazzi attack-dog, willing to strike at any lensman with a camera? Or maybe the dogs have been used in the past to innocently strike up conversation? Everyone knows people use their dogs to flirt, right?
Spitzer has spoken fondly of his canine companions in the past. Back when he was in the thick of the Client No. 9 scandal, he took James out for walks, with photographers in tow. "I explained to James that he was a good-looking dog," Spitzer told Time. "People wanted to take his picture." But when Jesse, the petite bichon was added to the family's brood, Spitzer was skeptical. "I wouldn't take her out in public," he said. "I thought James was the better image for me." (Apparently, Jesse didn't hold it against him, as she's not the biter.) And now, Spitzer has changed his tune. "It's like, OK, I have a bichon, a little white ball of fluff... I don't care. What do you have to lose?"
Well, when it comes to James, what you you may lose is a finger. But just think of it as a public service announcement.
— Molly Fahner