Black Labrador, service dog
Adopted by Sarah and Todd Palin (Aug. 25, 2014)
Trained by the Puppy Jake Foundation, jointly with the Des Moines-based group Canine Craze
Acquired as a service dog for their young son with special needs, Trig Palin
Became the center of national outrage after Mrs. Palin released a New Years Facebook post showing her son standing on her to reach the kitchen sink (Jan. 2015)
Why she might be annoying
A family pet with two names - now there's something you don't see every day.
She kept jumping into the frame during Palin's 2014 'Thanksgiving Message' which was uploaded to her web channel.
Her owner naively posted an image to social media depicting her being used as a stepping stool, seemingly unaware that this would draw the ire of animal rights activists online.
Shortly after the picture went viral, PeTA head Ingrid Newkirk released a statement blasting Palin reading 'It's odd that anyone — let alone a mother — would find it appropriate to post such a thing, with no apparent sympathy for the dog in the photo.'
Palin doubled down in a message responding to the backlash: 'Dear PETA, Chill. At least Trig didn't eat the dog' (making reference to President Obama's admission, in 2012, at having sampled dog meat as a child in Indonesia).
By the end of January 2015, the controversy had died down, although this didn't stop her from becoming the odd punchline of a joke Palin told at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Summit (describing a picture of the dog being 'au natural' wearing only a strip of leather in 'candid photos' - and making it sound like it was her daughter Bristol).
Why she might not be annoying
Her 'second name' is the Hebrew name for the Biblical Esther.
She was trained by an organization that provides military veterans, either disabled or with PTSD, with service dogs.
She had no control over the controversy that erupted (and people's beef was with the owner, not the dog, anyway).
Many accused PETA of holding a political double standard in attacking Palin (The Ellen DeGeneres Show had displayed a similar photo of a child standing on a golden retriever and received no backlash).
PETA backed down after Palin's response, calling for a truce and releasing a statement reading: 'We have no reason to believe that the Palin companion animals aren't ordinarily pampered.'
A bulk of the outrage seemed to be a reflection of how little people knew about the types of jobs/functions service dogs perform for owners with special needs (and came off more as attacks on her son with Down Syndrome, whom even her fiercest critics have more or less left alone).
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